16 Nov 09 11:41 pm
Yup and like Mark said, your meta description is the text that appears under your site's URL on the search results page (SERP). So it's best to write your description for people first and search engines second.
In the example above, I've searched for "website design Sydney" in Google. The top result in this image has used exactly 160 characters in their meta description to give a brief intro to the company. Info that can't be gathered from the URL name alone.
The second result has been written for search engine robots rather than humans. It's been stuffed with keywords (although each keyword has been varied slightly to cover a wider range of search terms) which may help it climb up the rankings but doesn't really tell the reader much. Plus it's full of incorrect language - e.g. "Need professional website designer in Sydney, creative web site design at an affordable web design rate?" - plenty of keywords but you wouldn't want these people to be writing the copy for your website if they can't string a proper sentence together!
While looking at these, also note the importance of the page titles themselves. Each of these titles features the searched-for keywords. The earlier they appear in the title, the higher kudos they receive from Google. If your company name does not contain keywords in itself, you don't want to be using up this prime real estate with your company name when it could be better used for important keywords.