[whatwg] <summary> tag to help avoid redundancy of meta description tag!?

Roger Hågensen rescator at emsai.net
Fri Mar 19 05:43:55 PDT 2010

On 2010-03-18 10:04, Ashley Sheridan wrote:
> The main problem with that would be that parsers would then need to 
> read into the <body> of the page to produce a description of your 
> site. This might not produce much of an overhead on a one-off basis, 
> but imagine a parser that is grabbing the description from hundreds or 
> thousands of pages, then this could become a bit of a problem.

I do not see how that is any more or less of an problem than today with 
pages that have meta description missing,
what do those parsers do then? Do they stop at </head> ? What do they 
use as description instead? The first paragraph?
The parsers used by all major search engines certainly do not halt, they 
break down the entire page right?

As for delays, that is not an issue for consumers, I can not recall any 
browser ever showing me the meta description unless I explicitly view 
page properties.
I can imagine that the seeing impaired community would love something 
like this, as it would basically tell screenreaders that "this" is the 
first paragraph/summary/description/teaser of the page,
allowing blind people to more rapidly jump from page to page.

Currently the meta description is not always good content, would be 
interesting to see a Google analysis of how the meta description is used,
i.e. how many are basically repeating page content (like I do) and how 
many just dump keywords in there, how many pages on a site have a site 
wide identical description? And so on.


Roger "Rescator" Hågensen.
Freelancer - http://EmSai.net/

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