European Cookie Laws – Royal Navy SNAFU

There is plenty of information regarding the new EU cookie laws which have come into effect recently, as well as numerous posts from various experts in the field as to what the new cookie laws will mean for businesses. However, I just wanted to highlight how implementing the warning regarding cookies, as the new law requires, could lead to a few issues with your site and the search engines, especially if you’ve missed out a few key elements that relate to SEO when building your site.

Enter: The Royal Navy. They have successfully implemented the meta description┬átag on their homepage and various other pages… however not all pages have had a unique meta description included in the page header:

Add to this the fact that their new cookie warning appears at the top of the page when you first visit the site, as per the screenshot below, and you’re looking for trouble:

You see, in the absence of a meta description, Google and other search engines will usually pick up the first piece of text it finds and given it’s prominence, use it to form the snippet in the search results. Whoops:

Easily fixed, but perhaps something that shouldn’t have been overlooked in the first place. Try not to fall into the same trap.