Ask any SEO expert, and you are likely to get the same response. Meta Descriptions are important to your website. However, it is the how and why that determine how much help they will actually be. On a basic level meta descriptions give an explanation of what your site, page or article is all about. On a slightly more complex level it gives search engines an opportunity to display that description to their searchers as opposed to pulling primary (or worse, random) content from your pages. Herein lies the strength and dangers of meta descriptions. They can range from very good to very bad to just plain ugly.
In his second Sherlock Holmes novel, The Sign of the Four, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle presents an interesting dichotomy between facts and romance in a chapter entitled "The Science of Detection". Holmes is critiquing Dr. Watson, his would-be biographer, on his first installment. "Detection is, or should be, an exact science, and should be treated in the same cold and unemotional manner. You have attempted to tinge it with romanticism ..."
"But the romance was there," responded the good Dr. Watson. "I could not tamper with the facts."
To some, SEO seems like the same cold and unemotional science of detection where, instead of finding clues, one leaves them. Tasks A, B and C will yield result X, Y and Z. This is, at very best, only SEO in part. Truthfully, if SEO is a science it is best likened to sociology: the study of human social behavior. It's the study of romance itself.
Well, it's been a while since my last post of Search Engine Optimization. I guess that's only natural seeing as I declared that 2012 would be the end of SEO. However, I am still asked quite frequently about when and how search engines rank sites. So, I thought that I would give you the 5 latest and greatest tips to optimize your site for search engines. Before I do that, I thought it might be nice to do a quick refresher course on what SEO does and what search engines want to see.
When looking at SEO always remember this:
They use the information your website provides to determine who you can help based on the queries provided by their users. If you have a lot of information about toothbrushes, then they really don't want to connect you with people searching for Spackle. If you have a lot of information about interior design, then they want to connect you with the people searching for related topics (who will probably be in your target audience). However, if you only have information about yourself, then they probably only want to connect you with people who are searching for ... you.