You could almost be forgiven for thinking that in this day and age Meta Data has no real importance. Ever since Matt Cutts confirmed that Google no longer uses Meta data in the algorithm, many webmasters have started to neglect it, in particular Meta descriptions. However I’m going to present the case that Meta descriptions are still very important in the Google Algorithm.
Well written and accurate Meta descriptions and titles can seriously improve CTR. In turn, by improving your CTR, one would improve their ranking. The slide below is from a SEOmoz presentation slide done by Rand Fishkin.
In a survey of 72 SEO professionals, on average traffic and CTR was deemed to be weighted 6.29% in importance in the Google algorithm. So indirectly Meta data still has importance in rankings. You have to take this with a pinch of salt, especially since I don’t know how knowledgeable these SEO professionals are, nor how they derived their weightings. In addition, the statistic suffers from the same problem that a simple mean statistic does. A mode and median would be interesting to read.
Regardless, there is still a consensus that CTR remains an important enough factor in SEO to put effort into Meta data. For those looking to improve their capabilities in writing Meta data, I’d recommend this article.