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Changing Meta Description

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by bsl64, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. bsl64

    bsl64 Newbie

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    I have a site that is about 7 months old. I want to change the meta description for the homepage but do not want to hurt my Google rankings. I know in the past on another site when I changed the meta title it hurt my site for a long time. I don't want to make the same mistake again.

    So, will changing the meta description hurt rankings?
     
  2. nYXem

    nYXem Power Member

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    Yes it can hurt your rankings. Not that it will hurt every time though. Generally what I've seen is, when you change your meta tags(description mainly), your rankings drop for some time and then get back to previous place or gets better or poorer depending on whether the new tags are better for a specific search phrase or not. But in most cases, it does get unstable for a small period of time.
     
  3. bsl64

    bsl64 Newbie

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    Thanks for the input. I thought that changing the meta description tag would not hurt. I guess what I should have asked is will it cause any penalty? I realize the site may fluctuate depending on the new keywords that may be targeted in the description but does it cause a penalty? Changing the title tag does so I need to know about the description.
     
  4. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

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    The meta description is one of the most valuable parts of on page seo. Changing it will affect your rankings. Improving it will improve your rankings, changing the targeting of it will lower your rankings.

    For instance:

    "Learn all about how to wind up your Bosco toy dog here" is a description. If you are targeting Bosco toy dogs, it is not a good one. If you were to change it to "Bosco toy dog wind up information here". It does a better job of targeting your keyword because the targeted keyword is now at the beginning of the description and not the end. This change is an improvement and will probably improve you ranking.

    However, if you change it to "free toy dog wind up information here" it will no longer target Bosco toy dogs at all and it will cause a slip in the rankings because you are targeting a new keyword phrase.

    There is no penalty, there is an SEO adjustment.
     
  5. nYXem

    nYXem Power Member

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    Penalty? Never heard of any site getting penalty for changing meta description. A person may want to improve his meta description, that's not black hat or unethical in any way. So don't see why you should get a penalty for that.
     
  6. MBW007

    MBW007 Junior Member

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    I don't worry when I need to change my description. Google may or may not use it anyway. Assuming you plan on increasing your site visitors over time, it's better to do it now than to do it later.
     
  7. bsl64

    bsl64 Newbie

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    Thank you sldebo.

    What you say makes perfect sense. So to be clear it won't cause any penalty though right?

    I have been on other seo forums and most say meta description has no effect on rankings but I disagree with that.
     
  8. nYXem

    nYXem Power Member

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    Meta description still matters, meta keywords don't(as far as Google is concerned). But Yahoo/Bing may still recognize meta keywords, not sure.
     
  9. bsl64

    bsl64 Newbie

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    Well I changed my description yesterday and Google reindexed my site yesterday as well because I can see the new description shown in the serps.

    As a result my site has dropped for every keyword I was ranking for. I mean disappeared totally from the results which tells me I was penalized! I made sure my description was not filled with keywords and only contained 2 words that are keywords. I did not touch my title at all. If it was just a drop I could understand but to totally disappear for these keywords means I was penalized.

    So anyone who says changing a meta description won't effect you is 100% wrong!
     
  10. pshot

    pshot Newbie

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    Relax,breath deeply,and reread this piece of advice


     
  11. Ark_Bill

    Ark_Bill Newbie

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    According to me, better involve yourself in offpage SEO activities like

    Directory Submission
    Article Submission
    Press Release Submission
    Blog Posting and commenting
    Forum Posting
    social media optimization
    Social bookmarking