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Meta-descriptions: not really metaphysical

March 28th, 2008 by mdmcginnis

More about controlling your search engine results to make them say exactly what you want them to say: our Google Search Appliance now allows us to display meta-description tags (which you come up with) instead of Google snippets (which Google comes up with). Try it and see what you get when you search for your own site using the “Google snippet-free test page.”

So, do you like the description you wrote? You did write a meta-description for your Web page, didn’t you? Or do your search results still say, “Your text goes here”? Google will display about three lines (290 characters or 45 words) of meta-description.

Fortunately, if you haven’t provided any meta-description, the usual snippet appears. But now would be a good time to make sure your meta-description tags say what you want them to say, since we’re considering implementing this new search result format site-wide. Our Web Style Guide includes helpful guidelines on meeting State usability requirements (yes, proper meta-tags are legally required) for metadata.

Friday, March 28th, 2008 Search
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