Duplicate Meta Descriptions: OK or Not?
Matt Cutts, Google's chief of battling search spam, is back with yet another video to tell us a simple but important search engine optimization (SEO) tip. Today's tip concerns meta descriptions and the best ways to use them. A meta description, of course, is a brief description of the contents of a given web page.
The meta description will show up in search results pages under the link to the relevant page. From a user interaction standpoint, your goal is for your meta description to entice the user to visit your page by previewing the valuable content they'll find if they do.
However, in order to achieve the best search engine results, you'll need to think about meta descriptions a little more carefully and include define them appropriately across the various pages of your website.
Duplicate Metas: Avoid at All Costs
The latest question answered by Cutts comes from Google user and website owner Walter, who hails from the Netherlands. Walter asks: "
Is it necessary for each single page within my website to have a unique metatag description?"
Essentially, Cutts says that the worst mistake you could make is to use the same meta description repeated across all your pages, even if it's technically an accurate description of what's on the page. In fact, Cutts says that it would be much, much better to simply leave all of your meta descriptions blank. If you choose to go this route, Google will automatically create meta descriptions for you using snippets of content found on your pages.
Of course, you do stand to benefit by creating unique, catchy meta descriptions for each of your pages, preferably with a relevant keyword or two included. At the very least, this will give your potential visitors a better idea of what they'll find on your pages, so long as you or another talented content writer drafts the metas. If you're short on time, it might be a better idea to leave most of your meta descriptions blank and only create handcrafted metas for your best, most important pages, according to Cutts.
At the same time, Cutts says that he doesn't spend time making meta descriptions for any of the pages on his own blog - but then again, Matt Cutts is a busy man! See the man in action below: