Check out this video from Maile Ohye of Google Webmaster Help:
At 3:24 Maile is talking about improving the SEO of a website for the keyword “Android tshirt” – she mentions that she would improve the Meta Description an indented result.
But here was me thinking Google said Meta Descriptions aren’t an SEO metric? So why would Maile point this out?
CTR is an SEO metric, and whilst Meta Descriptions done factor into Googles SEO Algorithms directly, Meta Descriptions effect the CTRs which ARE in the algorithms.
6:45: “Every page on my site should have a unique title and description, and that way I don’t dilute any of my page rank”
Huh? Either Maile is a n00b, or shes saying something very profound here. Yes yes, I know every page should have a unique title and description, but what does this have to do with page rank? Traditionally nothing… but is Maile suggesting that having duplicate titles and descriptions will pop pieces of page rank into oblivion?
7:40: Maile talks about internal linking – this has been a big deal for a long long time, but its good to hear this being reitterated.
9:00: “Most e-commerce sites aim to render in under 2 seconds” – well now we have a performance benchmark target for our ecommerce sites. Happy days… Also, if Google is happy for its own ecommerce store to load in an average of 2-3 seconds, I think we can safely guess this is fine for any other website. But I’m intruiged by the emphasis of improving the 6 second load time as a “High Priority” considering how much emphasis is put on this presentation being about SEO.
Often getting info from Google is about reading between the lines. In the days of page rank sculpting with no-follow links Matt Cutts said “its better to focus on good internal linking than to try to sculpt page rank”, and a year later he announced the new way no-follow was blowing up page rank. Just one of many examples.