Meta tags are snippets of HTML code that provide information about a web page to search engines and website browsers. They are placed in the head section of an HTML document and are not visible on the web page itself. It is like the small menu card of a huge restaurant. You can see the menu and decide whether to order or go elsewhere.
Meta tags serve several parts in it, including:
Meta Title: The title tag is a crucial Meta Tag part that specifies the title of a web page. It appears as a clickable headline in search engine results pages (SERPs) and is displayed at the top of a browser window or tab. The title tag should accurately describe the page's content and be concise and relevant.
Meta Description: The Meta Description tag provides a summary or description of the content of a web page. It is often displayed below the title tag in search engine results. While it doesn't directly impact search engine rankings, a well-crafted Meta Description can influence click-through rates by enticing users to click on your link.
Meta Keywords: In the past, Meta Keywords were used to indicate the main keywords or phrases related to the content of a web page. However, search engines now largely ignore this tag because it was frequently abused for keyword stuffing. As a result, Meta Keywords are no longer considered a significant factor for SEO.
Other Meta Tags: There are additional meta tags that provide specific information about a web page, such as the viewport meta tag for controlling the viewport settings on mobile devices, the charset meta tag for specifying the character encoding of the page, and the author meta tag for identifying the author of the content.
Why Should You Stop Curating Meta Tags?
As mentioned above, the Meta Description does not directly impact the search engine ranking, and the Meta Keywords are no longer considered necessary for SEO. So, you, I, and all other marketers can take a break from it. And that's not it. There are a couple of more exciting factors you might or might not know.
Google's Auto-generated Summaries
Google Docs has introduced a new feature that provides automatic suggestions for content summaries. This functionality utilizes a machine learning model capable of understanding document text and generating concise, 1-2 sentence descriptions of the document's content.
Google Rewrites Meta Descriptions
John Mueller from Google shares insights into the three reasons behind Google's rewriting of Meta Descriptions.
The first reason is when a Meta Description is poorly created and fails to summarize the corresponding web page effectively.
The second reason occurs when the web page's content is missing a portion of the search query, and Google aims to ensure a more accurate match between the search query and the web page.
The third reason is when Google attempts to align the search query with the web page's content, but the relevant match is absent within the Meta Description.
Note: For Google to rewrite your Meta Tags, a meta tag must be written on the page.
Don't be a writer who brags
Oh, I write the best Meta Tags
Stop doing it right away
Be ready for what's coming your way
Google bots rewrite your meta tags as they like
Be it short, long, or of any type
So, save time, write a basic tag, and move on
Some like it, while for some, it is a bitter pill to chew on
Imagine the two scenarios:
You spent time curating Meta Tags according to your webpage, but Google still edited it to make it even better.
You wrote an average Meta Tag, saved time, and did other marketing tasks in that time. Google edited the Meta Tag to make it better.
Choose your scenario for the future.