Why don't Stack Overflow, Wikipedia or MSDN etc. include keyword and description meta tags in their page headers?

For example Google indexes the first paragraph as a brief description. Is this a technical point in web design and SEO?

  • Definitely a question for Meta. – AllenG May 17 '11 at 22:06
  • You may want to checkout the webmasters stackexchange. – Brian Fisher May 17 '11 at 22:06
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    Very interesting question, in my opinion is because they don't need it. and the sites have enough useful content to make up for the little hacks people do everyday – Ibu May 17 '11 at 22:09
  • Will vote to reopen if closed. SO was mentioned but this is clearly a valid question the answer to which has implications far beyond meta. – Triptych May 17 '11 at 22:15

Meta Keywords are no longer used for any purpose by any of the large and most of the smaller search engines.

Meta Descriptions are only good to display a snippet of text that summarizes the content on the page when displaying it in the search results, it has very little if any SEO standing.

Most of the sites you listed (stackoverflow, wikipedia, etc), the content that appears near the top of the page serves as the best summary, therefore it's not necessary to include (and maintain) an additional Meta Description tag for each and every page.

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    Great answer. It's hard to decide exactly what it should be when dealing with user-generated content. – DisgruntledGoat May 18 '11 at 10:00
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    Agree with this answer, meta keywords and description had been getting abused a lot so the search engines started putting much less weight on them. Using meta keywords tags can also give competitors an idea of the kinds of keywords you are targeting for SEO ranking and may influence their SEO strategies. – Rob May 18 '11 at 13:28

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