A few years back it was very important to tell search engines about your title, description and keywords in the form of meta tags on each page of your site. “What meta tags should I use in my website?” you are now asking yourself…
Search engines have evolved and they can have nowadays a pretty good idea of what your page is about and extract a relevant description snippet to go with the search results. In the video belowMatt Cutts from Google explains which meta tags matters.
How much time should I spend on meta tags, and which ones matter?
Published on Mar 19, 2012 -- GoogleWebmasterHelp Youtube Channel.
Question: How much time should I spend on meta tags, and which ones matter?
~ Matt Cutts, Bay Area, California.
Matt Cutts says that the keyword meta tag is not used to get ranked in Google anymore and that you should not spend time with them. My advise though would be to still use your main keywords in the keyword meta tag because there are other search engines like Yahoo, Bing and hundreds of smaller ones that people still use.
I do not know how all these other search engines provide their results, but having the keywords in place may help you rank better in them. Don’t spend too much time with this, just use the main keyword and relative keywords that you used in the content on your page.
Also, things change… Google may decide to re-use the keyword meta tag in the future, and you don’t want to have to re-insert the keyword meta tag for all your 500 +pages, do you? Yahoo used to be the top search engine, now it’s Google. A new player may emerge in the search industry in the future and redefine the rules…
Anyways, don’t do keyword stuffing, that’s useless.
I agree that the “Description” meta tag is very important, not only for Google, but all the other search engines. It is the opportunity to tell the search engines what description snippet you want the search engines to use in search results. If it fits exactly 160 characters, you won’t have other unwanted text or menu links showing.
This is if Google choses to use the meta tag snippet over their own.
I hope this helps.