What are the SEO Title and SEO Description fields used for?

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Question

I have seen SEO Title and SEO Description fields in various places around the Hub. What do these fields do?

For example:

  • Hub Level (Appearance > Branding > Text > SEO Title):
    Hubs___Branding_-_Uberflip_-__Private_Browsing_.png
  • Stream Level (Content > Manage Stream > Metadata):
    Hubs___Manage_-_Uberflip_-__Private_Browsing_.png
  • Item Level (Content > Edit Item > SEO):
    Hubs___Edit_Video_-_Uberflip_-__Private_Browsing_.png

 

Answer

The purpose of the SEO Title and SEO Description fields is basically as the names suggest: these fields are used to tell search engines what to display when your Hubs, Streams or Items appear in search results. For example, here are the Hub-level SEO Title and SEO Description as set on the Uberflip Content Experience Hub:

Hubs___Branding_-_Uberflip_-__Private_Browsing_.png

And here's what it looks like when you Google "content experience hub":

content_experience_hub_-_Google_Search_-__Private_Browsing_.png

On a technical level, the SEO Title and SEO Description fields are used to set the meta tags that appear in the HTML of all pages in your Hubs. Specifically, the SEO Title and SEO Description settings define the values of the meta name="title" and meta name="description" tags, respectively. Search engines typically use the values of these tags for the titles and blurbs of pages that appear in their search results.

On a related note, you might have noticed that the SEO Title and SEO Description fields are blank by default. What happens if you leave them that way? In this case the meta tags are populated using the primary title and description fields for that page, which are also used to set the page's Open Graph tags. You can learn more about this topic, and about Open Graph tags specifically, in this article.

Note

Keep in mind that, even if you set an SEO Title and SEO Description for a page, Google will not always use them in search results: in some cases, Google might use alternative text (e.g. from the body of the content) if it has deemed that it's more relevant to the search query.

 

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