What are meta descriptions in general? How do I know where to place it on a normal site not just HP?
Meta descriptions are snippets that are around 155 characters long (Google had lengthened to 300 but in May cut back again - they aren't saying exactly how long but some indication that 110 -130 best for mobile) that summarizes the article. Its what you see on the search page under the title when you do a search. Where you put them and how depends on the site. With HP it's our summary section at the very beginning.
Meta descriptions are records in the HTML code that provide summaries of the web content. Search engines sometimes use this information as snippets in the search results, especially if the searched keywords are in the meta description.
If you’re creating your own web site, it goes within the <head> on each page, and the format of the record is:
<meta name="description" content="summary text goes here”>
In the case of HubPages, the meta description record is automatically created in the HTML from the summary you write for your hub.
The descriptions tend to get truncated to fit in the SERPs. Google has recently been experimenting with an increased length of 300 characters. But quickly lowered this again in May 2018 to ~160 characters. So it’s best to keep your summary in hubs under 160 characters.
On a related note, you can also do this with images; add meta data.
If you have a Wordpress site, when editing/uploading an image, you'll notice a box for the "caption" and under it is a box for "alternative text". In alternative text you put in your meta data.
This helps the search engine understand what your picture is and put it in search results.
Edit: Also you can give a meta description for your whole site, in Wordpress done in settings, under "general" where you see "tagline" under your sites title. The tagline is pretty short, I think you can provide a longer one if you get a plugin like Yoast SEO.
Nate, That is not meta data! You are confusing HTML meta records with the alt attribute on images.
The meta data is placed within the <head> section and the "alt" attribute is placed in the <img> records in the <body>.
Okay. I was just thinking generally on what the search engine reads sort of underneath things. Wasn't sure about terminology. Although some people call those things meta data. But Google could be wrong.
Literally metadata means data about data https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metadata#Definition , which pretty much describes what I described. People like this http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/ … scription/ and others use the term the way I used it. This article also implies that alt tags (on images) are metadata in the sense that they give data on data. https://yoast.com/image-seo-alt-tag-and … imization/
So at any rate that's the way I was understanding it. Semantics aside, just seemed like good tools that related to the OP.
The OP was asking about sites other than HP. She wanted to know how to specify meta descriptions. “Metadata” is a general term, but HTML “meta” records are used for specifying various attributes of the web page. The meta descriptions do not include image alt information, which is why I needed to correct your statement. Just because some people use incorrect terminology is no reason to repeat it if you don’t know HTML programming.
Loosen up a little bit, Glenn. You seem a little wound up too tight. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zANvYB93u2g
Just because you think you're educated doesn't mean you should go around like an arrogant know-it-all.
I've seen you get things wrong on numerous occasions, by the way. Which is funny considering your tendency to want to prove your knowledge and expertise which seems to have sunk down deep into your ego.
Glenn, Thank you. There are so many levels of understanding this stuff. I consider myself just a writer. Still, I need to understand some of these basics in order to excel on the Internet, per say.
Hey Guys! I'm an old Engineer and spent a number of years programming pretty much everything on the market from main frames to the first cell phone test systems.
I respect both of you and your opinions, but just let me say that NO we do not need to proliferate confusing information at the same time, there are so many people here on HP that do not "speak computers??" at all, we are occasionally going to not "speak computers in the same dialect???
It's a danger that many of us techie people fall into, but I need for both of you (and others) to keep getting along and have frank cordial discussions on such subjects, otherwise how are we going to help our fellow HPers?
Anyway, thats my 2-cents worth.
https://mor10.com/power-of-wordpress-image-metadata/ and the author: https://www.lynda.com/Morten-Rand-Hendr … 270-author https://twitter.com/mor10 This guy seems to think alt text is metadata. Weird considering all of his experience working on web design and development and he even teaches this stuff.
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