1. Destination: Between the start and the end HEAD tag : here
2. Correct HTML syntax (HTML 4.1):
3. Correct XHTML syntax (XHTML 1.0):
4. Maximum number of recommended characters: Google will display a maximum of 152-154 description characters for URL’s, in his results pages, any content residing after the 152-154 character limit beeing totally scraped and ignored).
As a personal recommendation, do not exceed 420 characters (to profit the most from all search engine description rules).
Yahoo will display, depending on a number of aspects, between 412 and 420 maximum description characters, any content residing after the 412-420 character limit beeing totally scraped and ignored.
MSN will display, depending on a number of aspects, between 190 and 195 maximum description characters, any content residing after the 190-195 character limit beeing totally scraped and ignored.
Try to resume yourself to 150 characters (space too, is considered a countable character), which are most descriptive and relevant to your page/website. Avoid to irellevantly repeat words (do not repeat any word, more than twice), because it will not help you at all.
Avoid to use the website’s URL address in the Meta description tag, because it will not help you at all, beside to waste important space, that might be filled with unique relevant keywords. Avoid using keywords or phrases that are not relevant to that particular page/website.
Avoid using special characters: !, @, #, $, % (etc.) or diacritics, because of certain browsers as well as certain search engine spiders incompatibilities with the standards of most unusual language coding.
5. Description: Represents a short and as much unique as possible description of every page in a website, as well as of the website itself. This is a very important and crucial part of any website’s optimization.
The most known (and bigger) search engines (MSN, Google, Yahoo), emphase a great deal of importance on this tag’s presence in every page’s HTML code. In the last year or so, Google (and recently MSN) started to sustract the description of a website, from it’s DMOZ submission (if that particular website is present in the DMOZ’s index), if it doesn’t find the Meta description tag present.
If the description tag is not present in a page, and the website is not in DMOZ either, the description which is shown in Google’s search result pages, will automatically be created by Google, from the page’s content, and it will just be an accumulation of spidered words, chosen randomly, which will not only negatively affect your optimization effect, but it will just waste a good optimization process, as well as your rankings.
6. Utilization: It’s very important to use this tag in every page of your website. Do not repeat the words excessively. Try to resume yourself to the number of characters specified in section 4, depending on the search engine you are optimizing for.
Do NOT repeat the same description in every page of your website, because all your pages will enter under the search engines duplicate content filter’s infuence (practically you can have 40.000 pages in your website, but if you have the same description for all of them, at the site:www.domain.com search, you will only have a few results).
7. Advantages: Significantly helps the inpage optimization process. Represents an important in the pozitioning algorithm used by the international search engines. It also improves the accessibility of a page
8. Disadvantages: None.
9. The importance of the tag’s presence in the HTML code : BIG.
10. SEO Score
- Aprox. benefit brought to the overall inpage optimization process : 10%.
- Aprox. benefit brought to the overall page accesibility / functionality process: 2-5%.
11. Real world usage examples (HTML 4.1):