University of Michigan

Meta Descriptions of Colleges

When revving up the Googler and searching for colleges, the browser shows a snippet of information it gleans from the site’s source code. This is the meta description that is embedded in the website’s HTML code.

Ideally, that information should be no more than 160 characters. It can be longer, but it will be truncated and after the limit has been reached, it ends with dot-dot-dot. See this link from Moz for a better explanation: https://moz.com/learn/seo/meta-description

A random sampling of university meta descriptions returns a mixed bag of results. Some of them seem well-considered (University of Michigan) and some do not (University of Iowa).

Below is sampling from colleges and universities I randomly searched for in the US, Canada, South Africa and the UK.

If you were searching for colleges and this is the first thing you found out about a particular institution, would you click through?

University of Michigan
(check out the big M in source code!)

University of Michigan<meta name=”description” content=”A top-ranked public university, the University of Michigan has a tradition of excellence in research, learning and teaching, sports and the arts, and more.” />

University of Iowa
The University of Iowa Museum of Art has been without a building since the flood … the help of the University of Iowa will have its world premiere at the American …

University of Montana
Located in Missoula, Montana, the University of Montana is a place where top-tier students, educators and researchers from across the country and around the …

University of Oregon
Oregon’s flagship institution tucked into the scenic Willamette Valley.

Valdosta State
We are a place where all doors are open and you will never feel invisible. Consider the next four years your launching pad. Whatever your goals, Valdosta State …

Mississippi State
At Mississippi State University, we are a world-class research institution. We think inclusively and beyond the boundaries to encourage boldness, imagination …

Savannah College of Art and Design
Visit SCAD. Experience. Calendar · Facilities … SCADTV · Student portfolios · Give. © 2017 (SCAD) Savannah College of Art and Design. Careers Legal Sitemap.

University of Florida
One university. The Gator Good is our campaign to combine those efforts and solve those global problems. Because together, our impact is greater. Learn More.

University of Houston
Located near the heart of Houston, this public, tier one research university offers over 300 degrees and programs and award-winning faculty.

University of Alberta
The University of Alberta is a Top 5 Canadian university located in Edmonton, Alberta, and home to nearly 40000 students in a wide variety of programs. Visit the …

University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, based in the Northwest, is a leading research school, providing majors and degrees for graduate and undergraduate students.

University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati, founded in 1819, offers success by providing a balance of academic excellence, real-world experience and collaborative research.

University of Texas
Like the state it calls home, The University of Texas at Austin is a bold, ambitious leader, home to more than 51000 students and 3000 teaching faculty.

University of Liverpool
For the advancement of learning and ennoblement of life since 1881.

University of Denver
The oldest and largest private university in the Rocky Mountain region, DU offers innovative and rigorous undergraduate, graduate and professional programs.

University of Akron
With more than 250 degree programs, UA is one of the nation’s strongest public universities focused on innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth.

University of Southampton
Study at the University of Southampton, ranked among the top 1% of universities worldwide. A research-led founding member of the prestigious Russell Group.

University of Pretoria
University of Pretoria is 1 of the top research institutions in Africa and their mission is to be an internationally recognised teaching & research university.

SUNY Oswego
RT @artswego: My Hometown Banner exhibit opens at #sunyoswego’s Tyler Art Gallery @ Oswego StateDowntown this Fri, June 23; rece… https://t.co/ …

Iowa State
Iowa State University is the nation’s most student-centered public research university. 100 majors. 800 clubs. 1 amazing adventure.

Binghamton University
Binghamton University: top-rated public research center; SUNY system; located in upstate New York; 15300+ students; 140+ undergrad/grad programs offered.

Siena College
Siena College is more than a liberal arts college—it is a learning community that prepares students for a successful life filled with compassion and drive, service .

Florida State University
FSU, designated a preeminent university in the state of Florida, is one of the most respected research and learning institutions in the country.


Lynchburg College
Lynchburg College offers opportunities for life through engaging undergraduate and graduate programs. It will adopt the name University of Lynchburg in 2018.

Roanoke College
College isn’t just four more years of school; it sets you on the path for the life you want to lead. At Roanoke College we think the world needs people with passion

UNC-Charlotte
UNC Charlotte alumna Melissa Farling, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, has devoted her career to investigating the effects of architecture on …

Randolph College
Randolph College is a nationally recognized private liberal arts and sciences college, located in beautiful Lynchburg, VA, focused on you the student.

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tuckaway1

Jeff Macharyas is a graphics, marketing and publishing professional. Macharyas holds a BS in Communications and an MS in Cybersecurity and Computer Forensics. Macharyas holds the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) and is a frequent contributor to Opensource.com where he writes on various open source-related topics.