It’s been a very long time since meta tags helped improve a site’s search engine rankings. Unfortunately, there are still agencies today that equate optimizing meta tags with SEO.
We typically see this with web design companies that add “SEO” into the contract as a value-added service. Unfortunately, the “SEO” they do really is nothing more than throwing some keywords into the meta description and keyword meta tags throughout the site. The unaware business owner then thinks their site is optimized and ready to rank!
The problem is, meta tag optimization isn’t SEO any more than movie posters are the movie. They are just window dressing!
Meta tags don’t do anything to help rankings. The keyword meta tag is all but useless, but the meta description tag actually does have some value and should be a part of the optimization process. But only in as much as the movie poster is part of releasing a blockbuster movie. It’s there to generate interest to the real show, but it isn’t the show itself.
Meta descriptions help entice the click once a page shows up in the search results. It won’t help you get to that top spot, but a well-written meta description can help drive people to the site. And thus its value starts and ends.
If you ever see meta tag optimization as the core of the SEO service, you’re in for a big surprise, and not the good kind. There is so much more to SEO than meta tags.