Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Divyush Raj on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, April 12, 2018).

After adding a meta tag description my ranking have fallen

Without a meta tag the ranking were higher.
After adding a meta tag description my ranking have fallen.
Any one ever came across such a situation?

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Alan Bleiweiss: Have never seen Meta description influence rankings!
  • Divyush Raj: So , its not required for Seo?I mean to ask, doesn`t it help seo in any way?
  • Travis Bailey: Think about a meta description as your elevator pitch, but users will make a decision faster than that. If the user included the same, or similar, words & phrases in their query - the matching keywords in your description will be bold. That`s eye catching.And catching the user`s eye is key in order to even hope to increase CTR. It`s been demonstrated, in the recent past, that increasing CTR has a positive impact on rankings - though modest.So the meta description itself isn`t a ranking factor, but it can be an edge once you`re on the front page.
  • Alan Bleiweiss: Travis is correct. Good descriptions improve click through rates!
  • Mike Stewart: pretty faces attract more visitors... eyes are the title, the nose is URL and symmetry and mouth is your meta description.
  • Benj Arriola: Mike Stewart I got to make my SERPs as sexy as possible!
  • Stephen McConville: I`ve seen it affect ranking if you just fill it with keyword after keyword and don`t make it useful
  • Divyush Raj: No i didn`t fill it with just keywords. It was meaningful sentences with keywords in it.
  • Stockbridge Truslow: This answer from Stephen McConville is probably the right answer... do all the words in the meta description actually appear on the page? Does the meta description indicate that the page is about one thing, but the content is really about something else? Are you describing the entire page, or just a section of it?Google hates contradictory signals.
  • Jim Munro: What was the meta tag? <meta name="robots" content="noindex">?
  • Divyush Raj: Haha. No Jim Munro. Meta desciption tag - `<meta name="description"....`
  • Jim Munro: I am sorry, Divyush Raj. I missed that you mentioned description tag in the second line. I`m too old, too sleepy. :)
  • Divyush Raj: 😂okay
  • Greg Stoffels: Science/stats - correlation & causation: how is it you determined that a meta description affected your ranking? Firstly has any other changes occurred onpage for your site? Second _ have you checked console or any other tool you use that there are no other acknowledged issues? Thirdly-time frame: is it just a blip or a real ranking change over a month Fourthly- have you checked global algo changes & have they matched the change dates in anyway .... If so has your site been algo influenced etc, etc, etc
  • Greg Stoffels: There`s loads more than that, but this principal of checking idea vs data etc is really important... You see it all over `fake news` etc
  • Travis Bailey: The meta description isn`t a ranking factor, last I knew. Either your competition got better, somehow, or Google decided to shuffle the results to better serve users. Ranking fluctuations happen all the time.There is a possibility that the new meta description could have negatively effected click through rate. It`s a small factor, sure. But if a number of other factors aligned, in just the wrong way - and the page was on the edge, it could have pushed it over.If, a very big `if`, such is the case - it would be decreased CTR that did it. Not the meta description, solely.
  • Divyush Raj: Ok. That was really good input.But how does the meta description added just now affect the ctr instantly?I didn`t understand this.
  • Divyush Raj: Because i made the changes (ie:added the meta description tag), and submitted the specific page for indexing thru google webmasters and it was instantly indexed...within seconds actually. and then, suddenly the ranking fell.
  • Travis Bailey: How did you check the rankings? If it was manually, it`s possible to slip up and see personalized results. I`ve done it many times.
  • Sachin Sharma: It may be temporary down, wait for few days. It sometimes happens when you edit content or meta tags
  • Divyush Raj: Cool thanks.Any approximate time i should wait for?
  • Sachin Sharma: I experienced it approx 2 weeks.
  • Divyush Raj: Sachin Sharma Thats a long time. Have to show some improvements to my clients pretty soon.
  • Sachin Sharma: I know it is long. But in recent years Google has changed / update a lot. Don`t ever try to build link for that particular page otherwise this will take much longer time.
  • Divyush Raj: thanks
  • Mal Ö Tonge: Without a meta description then google may have automatically truncated a description for search results from your content or from the ODP (Open Directory Project). This can happen when the user search for the exact phrase contained in your content, then google will show this bold within the truncated description. this could of led to better click through rates before.I would take a look at the description again, make sure it is in exact reference to your page, Do not spam it, A direct excerpt is preferred. A great tip would be to check the competitors who have now moved above you in the rankings. Maybe they have improved in some way and this was just a coincidence. Also remember there is always slight fluctuation within Google search result and this could also be the cause.As for search ranking in Google, the description meta does not directly influence rankings, however the effect on Click through could potentially lower your rankings.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, April 12, 2018).

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