I’m a meta data fanatic. Here’s why — it’s a good SEO tactic, and it works. Your meta description tag is an advertising snippet. It shows up in the search query results, so it’s a tiny advertisement for your content.
Use it, but don’t abuse it.
Yes, there’s a school of thought that it’s been devalued.
“Nowadays if a webmaster writes a good representation of a webpage into the Meta Description Tag there is a good chance Google will use the tag as the description of the page in search engine results. As a result, the wise marketer will take this a step further and ensure the Description Meta Tag is further optimized to entice someone to click on her search result versus her competitor’s.”
And as I said here:
Writing for print is much less exacting than writing for the Web. Once someone’s picked up a newspaper or magazine, they read the article, or they don’t. They’re as much a captive audience as you’ll get.
The Web’s different, because your audience has to find the content first.
With billions of webpages online, FINDING your content is a real trick. I’m in favor of anything which helps readers to find your content.
So I’ll keep nagging you about it, because nagging works. I nag my writing students about meta data. Initially they tell me that writing meta data is “boring”.
No, it’s not. Your page description is an advertisement, and it’s FREE. Yes, it might take a few seconds to create, but considering that your Web content stays online for years, and gets traffic for years, a few seconds can make all the difference. Your content is worth a few seconds of effort.