Do Posts Need Search Descriptions to Rank Higher?

You must have read elsewhere how important it was to use the right and powerful post/search descriptions (SD) to earn ranking from search engines especially Google.

I also introduced you to the power of post/search description in my post, “Best Blog Writing Techniques: How To Write Unique Content”. There, I explained what you could achieve by using the right descriptions for your posts.

Yet, a few skeptical bloggers and newbies are still wondering if this is, at all, a ranking factor. I’ve never equally read Google mentioning search description as a factor for its ranking.

That’s why some of us are still puzzled.

If I must help, I will have to ignore what Google or anybody else says. I need to share my experiences and how post/search descriptions may or may not be important in your online success. It has helped me and many other writers out there. Perhaps, you'll find it working for you too.

Let’s go on a ride.

But before then …

What’s Search Description (SD)?

Look at the picture below.

The part marked with the red line is called the “search description”.

If you notice the order of things on Google results, the title is on the top of the URL (address) and the search description is below that.

Recently, the order is URL, title, and description.

These are three items a searcher will see as soon as your posts appear on his screen.

Primarily, SD is meant only to briefly explain what the prospective readers will find within the post.

Searchers are learning to read this before deciding whether to check your posts or otherwise.

Most interestingly, bloggers can decide what to put, in-there, whether it aligns with the main content or not.

Do you think Google and other search engines will use that as a ranking factor?

The answer is YES and NO.

Let me explain.

Why Description May Not Be a Ranking Factor

Gone are the days when you could just fill up your posts with certain keywords and Google would dogmatically rank you for it. The time when keyword stuffing was working. Things have changed with time.

The same happens to our dear description.

Google has learned, with time, that most bloggers are taking advantage of their controls over this feature to manipulate searchers for clicks. Even though the content is weak or not as relevant to the description itself, publishers use that to bait readers. 

Read Clickbaiting: Where and How To Use and Not To UseClick.

Just recently, Google removed the option to use the search description in her platform.

If you’re an old owner, the box is still available. If you’re just joining, you can’t find it again. And I’m not sure if it’s coming back. 

Check this below.

New blogger post box

UPDATE: The description box has been restored even for the new bloggers. However, users of the blogger platform may need to believe that Google must have refined the effects of this before letting it out again.

Old blogger post box

So, what does Google do to get out of this mess? Especially for those who are not on the platform, Google knows how well to handle you.

Google chooses what to show from your content instead of your “tailored or manipulative words”. If Google doesn’t trust your exact words in the description box, they will ignore that and use a sentence or two within the post.

If Google trusts words that describe your posts, they will show it as you put it down. If otherwise, they will take from your content.

That’s fair to their customers.

Let’s see the cases below.

Possible higher ranking due to search descriptions

For result number 1, the description was exactly what the author wrote for Google and search engines to show for the searchers.

Why did I know that? Because it’s my post and those were the exact words I put in to describe my content.

Take note of the next three results. Google uses part of the content to describe the posts.

I think you get this?

Google is getting smarter daily. You’d better give the right words to describe your post, else Google will help you do that themselves.

Will this influence Ranking?

The answer here is YES.

Checking our example again, even though my content may be better than theirs, yet my description is as well better. Google must have used one of these or both to rank me over them.

When my descriptions appear as I want below my posts, more searchers give me clicks. Then, I rank higher.


Why Search Descriptions May Not Be a Ranking Factor

As earlier said, Google has nowhere said: “Search description will help you rank”. And in fact, it’s not a ranking factor unless searchers make it be.

Let me explain.

Google is powerless. Do you know that? They’re powerless without users. That’s why they’re users dependent.

If searchers click your posts based on their descriptions - be it genuine or otherwise, Google will have no other choice than to rank you.

Some bloggers have escaped this.

Google is aware they’re manipulating searchers to click and yet, people still keep clicking to consume their content. As a result, Google retains their rankings and positions.

You must have seen people whose content is not as good as yours. Yet, they’re standing above you. That’s not new.

Note the following about those guys.

  1. They’ve been in the industry for so long and get themselves accustomed to searchers. Hence, searchers don’t care to look at their descriptions before clicking their titles once they know they belong to their regulars.
  2. Those guys had gained ground that they hardly take the small things in SEO seriously again.
  3. They have their readership and believe their list is enough even if no organic traffic is coming. Even though that doesn’t ampere their organic traffics since Google compensates authority blogs better than newbies.

So, if you think Google shouldn't have ranked these authority blogs’ because of lack of, poor or manipulative descriptions, you’re wrong.

Searchers leave Google with no choice. Google follows users' choices and clicks to determine who they rank.


If you’re just starting out in blogging or you’re yet to attain authority level, you will need search descriptions to rank higher. However, established blogs may not care so much about search descriptions as their ranking hardly depends on this rather on their fans.

Finally, search descriptions still help the ranking and it may not matter depending on your present status in your niche.

Do you think your posts are still ranking over those who use perfect descriptions even with your manipulative skills? Do you think doing it right has helped you rank? Share your experience with us. Leave a comment below.

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