3 Replies to “FDA Hates the Like Button, Loves Metadata…Wait, Huh?”

  1. Great writeup Phil!

    We’ve been playing around with meta descriptions of our medical practice webpages quite a lot lately, and it’s interesting to see how Google both use them and ignore them.

    But first its important to understand the limits. These limits have changed quite rapidly the last few years. Yahoo used to display 120 characters in the Title description (today, only about 65ish)! Today, we should write for the most common and strict search engine–Google.
    – 69 characters for a page title
    – 156 character for metadata description
    Both including spaces, so my rule of thumb is 65 for title, 150 for description.

    Most of the time Google will display our meta description of a page in their search results, but sometimes Google decides that what we wrote in the meta tag isn’t the best and will then go on and create their own meta description with fragments of the page. They do this quite well actually.

    So they use meta descriptions and it can be quite powerful when displayed in the search results (SERPs), but meta descriptions will have no effect on page ranking. Meta keywords as you stated–are totally useless.

    With the strict limits meta descriptions in mind, it’s going to be a huge challenge for Pharma and others to squeeze all kinds of “legal/regulatory” language info into 150 char and still have a attractive message to the target market.


    1. Audun

      Thank you for sharing experience with meta descriptions.

      Agree – the character limitation is going to post a lot of problems.

      By Jove, it’s worse than Twitter! 😉


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