Can the Meta Description Tag Help with Google Ranking or Driving Website Traffic?

A few minutes spent editing or creating meta could drive more website traffic.

The SEO meta description tag, or more correctly the description attribute, has been around since the early days of the World Wide Web. The meta description tag should provide a short description of what a web page is about, ideally in fewer than 160 characters.

The important questions are whether Google still takes any notice of meta description tags and whether they help with ranking or driving more website traffic.

Google says it sometimes uses the meta description tags

To try and find some answers to these questions, we need to go to the source: Google Search Central. In the SEO Starter Guide, under the subheading "Control Your Snippets," it mentions that the snippet may sometimes be “sourced from the contents of the meta description tag” and outlines the characteristics of a good meta description.

So where does this leave us? At this time, Google is still sometimes choosing to use meta description tags as snippets to display on the results page. Therefore, it makes sense to spend a little time crafting them carefully and keeping them focused on the relevant points of the page they relate to.

Can often appear on the search engine result page

In my own experience, based on running the Budget SEO Package, a well-written meta description tag will often be chosen by Google for the results page over a scraped snippet. This is important because it offers a unique chance to influence people looking at the search results page and increases the likelihood of them clicking on your link rather than your competitors'.

Back to the title question: Can the meta description tag help with ranking or drive traffic? I don’t believe there is much evidence of it helping with ranking, but based on the fact that you can influence people viewing the search results page, they can potentially drive traffic