Earlier, we posted a story about a new video Google uploaded, where Matt Cutts talks about how Google uses meta tags. Given some of the recent discussion in the SEO community, it seemed like a couple of things Cutts said in the video were worth a separate article.
As you may know, Cutts spoke at SXSW recently, and mentioned some changes Google is working on, which would "level the playing field" for mom and pops, compared to bigger companies with big SEO budgets. The thinking is that as long as you have good, relevant content, it doesn't matter that it's not optimized for search engines - or at least not as much.
We'll have to wait and see just how Google is approaching this. Former Googler Vanessa Fox, who created Google Webmaster Central shared some interesting insight on Google's plans, and suggested it's likely not so much about brands.
It's interesting that Cutts would put out a video about the SEO implications of meta tags right in the middle of all of this. As a matter of fact, in the video, he says, “So if you’re a good SEO, someone who is paying attention to conversion and not just rankings on trophy phrases, then you might want to pay some attention to testing different meta descriptions that might result in more clickthrough and possibly more conversions."
Note: It's worth noting that the video was actually uploaded all the way back in August, but Google chose today to make it "today's webmaster video":
"So don’t do anything deceptive, like you say you’re about apples when you’re really about red widgets that are completely unrelated to apples," he adds. "But if you have a good and a compelling meta description, that can be handy.”
Google has always been against the more deceptive, black hat SEO tactics, and the signals we're getting are basically that Google is trying to get better at what it's already tried to be good at for years.