It’s data about data. For search purposes, it’s the data that tells the search engine and the searcher
what a page is about.
In general, every listing within a search engine results page (SERP) contains a page title drawn
from metadata (the SEO Page Title), which links to the page.
Each listing also contains a brief description (often, but not always, the meta description you create) that behaves like a trailer for the page’s content.
It’s the job of these bits of metadata to give concise information to the search engine and to the searcher. They don’t show on the page itself; that’s not their job.
The strategy for metadata is to convey a page’s content as accurately and attractively as possible, so
that the search engine can make the best choice among the many pages it could return, and that the
searcher’s expectations will be fulfilled as satisfactorily as possible.
The same principle accounts for other forms of metadata, such as:
- Header tags. These apply to the headlines and subheads or category titles on a page
- URL structures. A page’s URL should be created deliberately, not left to default. It’s good to
have at least the headword in the URL, and entire keyword if possible, near the front
- Image alt. tags. This is text that’s embedded on the back end of an image, which allows search