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I have been blogging from the past three years. And one thing that I didn't care about was to add Meta Description for every page. I was, unfortunately, fallen for the "Google doesn't care about Meta Descriptions" trap, and recently did I realize that adding a short, concise description wouldn't hurt. Plus this would bring in greater visibility/CTR from the Search Engine Result Pages.

Now, I have around 1000 pages of content spread across my site. I was looking for a plugin -- as my site is hosted on WordPress -- that could help me bulk edit/add Meta Descriptions. I couldn't find any; however there is plugin which promised to mass edit MD, but the thing is, because I use Yoast SEO Plugin, I can use this plugin to mass edit excerpts -- not MD.

I asked the author of the plugin if it's alright to replace MD with excerpts, and he said no: http://foliovision.com/seo-tools/wordpress/plugins/foliopress-descriptions

So, is replacing the Meta Description string with Excerpts a bad idea?

Any help is highly appreciated.

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3 Answers 3

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Not a bad idea at all, since your description becomes unique for each URL. Just make sure that the description (or your excerpt) is max. 160 characters long.

Check out the plugin "Ultimate SEO". That plugin has an option to mass edit meta tags with predefined values, such as {excerpt}, {blogname}, etc. on the fly. no need for you to manually edit each excerpt, etc.

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Thanks, DKOATED! I looked at the plugin, "SEO Ultimate" and this one really sounds promising. However, the issue is I have configured Yoast SEO Plugin for my blog such that some of the URLs are stripped for the betterment of visibility on the search. I went through the plugin you mentioned, and I believe this will conflict with the Yoast SEO Plugin. I have done something like this before -- using two similar plugins together -- and it wasn't a good experience from traffic point of view. –  Sid Jul 22 '11 at 12:58
    
Maybe I can mass edit MD from the plugin, and then deactivate the plugin later. In such case, will I lose the Meta Descriptions? –  Sid Jul 22 '11 at 13:05
    
Actually, the Ultimate SEO plugin is totally customizable, since all functionalities of the plugin are module-based. That means, you can deactivate all but the META-Description functionality and leave the Yoast SEO plugin at default. That should interfere at all ... –  DKOATED Jul 22 '11 at 14:12
    
Oh, i meant: That should NOT interfere at all .. –  DKOATED Jul 22 '11 at 14:28
    
Oh, and another thing: Yoast SEO is good, but you really should look into the Ultimate SEO plugin. In my experience it does a lot that Yoast SEO doesn't do, runs stable and on top of that is frequently updated ... –  DKOATED Jul 22 '11 at 14:33
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I don't think using excerpts is a bad idea at all. Although, you will get better results if you custom write the meta description so that it is easily readable to possible visitors (Those who may view your site in a search result).

If it were me, I would do 10 to 20 meta descriptions per day and just start knocking them out.

As for plugins... It it would be pretty simple to do a db query and extract the first sentence from each paragraph of the body of your blog post, and then maybe use 4 of them concatenated for your meta description.

also... just a little SEO thing you may want to look at is the google rel author link

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/06/authorship-markup-and-web-search.html

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=1229920

Best of luck! Joe Harman

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Thanks a lot, Joeyh. –  Sid Jul 22 '11 at 18:43
    
I don't want to auto-generate MD. Actually, I have to write excerpts. They are empty as well. It's pretty dumb to write an excerpt for a page, and then assign this to MD. I planned to do this because I couldn't find any mass MD editor. And, as you said, it would be better to knock off 10-20 MD everyday. Once I get ahold of mass editor, day 1 of editing should follow. Lastly, I did implement Authorship when it was out. For some reason Google didn't pick my profile -- although it has been verified in Rich Snippet tool. I'll have a look into these links again. Thanks a bunch! :) –  Sid Jul 22 '11 at 18:54
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Imho, you are spending your time for nothing...

Even though we sometimes use the description meta tag for the snippets we show, we still don't use the description meta tag in our ranking.

Source: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/09/google-does-not-use-keywords-meta-tag.html

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maybe not but it still can affect your click thrus –  John Conde Aug 5 '11 at 0:36
    
maybe so, maybe so. It 's all a ROI matter –  john Aug 5 '11 at 13:32
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