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Is it Necessary for each Website Page to have a Unique Meta-Tag Description?

Another day another update from our favourite Google God – yes, it’s Matt Cutts, Head of Search Spam.

RH dt - Is it Necessary for each Website Page to have a Unique Meta-Tag Description?

The latest words of wisdom emanating from his lips concern SEO tips on meta descriptions. The question he was answering was: “Is it necessary for each page on my website to have a unique meta description?”

So what did Magic Matt have to say about this?

Well, Mr Cutts shockingly revealed that for his own blog he DOESN’T bother to write meta descriptions (the horror!) Although he did concede that it’s better to have unique meta descriptions on each page – or even none at all – than to show indistinguishable ones across pages:

“In general, it’s probably not worth your time to come up with a unique meta description for every single page on your site,” he adds. “Like when I blog, I don’t bother to do that. Don’t tell anybody. Ooh. I told everybody…”

Briefly, Cutts advised that it’s better to let Google auto-create snippets for your pages rather than have every page with a unique description. However, he advises to focus on the pages that are important such as those key to your business etc:

“But if there are some pages that really matter, like your homepage or pages that have really important return on investment – you know, your most featured products or something like that – or maybe you’ve looked at the search results and there’s a few pages on your site that just have really bad automatically generated snippets. We try to do our best, but we wouldn’t claim that we have perfect snippets all the time.”

Matt concludes, “You know, in those kinds of situations, then it might make sense to go in, and make sure you have a unique handcrafted, lovingly-made meta-tag description, but in general, rather than have one meta-tag description repeated over and over and over again for every page on your site, I would either go ahead and make sure that there is a unique one for the pages that really matter or just leave it off, and Google will generate the snippet for you. But I wouldn’t have the duplicate ones if you can help it.”

So should you take Matt’s advice? Well, many people probably will and will start spending a lot less time bothering with meta descriptions. Just remember to regularly check about looking at the search results and making sure that Google isn’t showing something irrelevant, particularly if it’s an important page.

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