While titles and meta descriptions are widely recognized by most web admins, certain CMS platforms, particularly Drupal, use ‘meta abstracts’ as well as meta descriptions. So what exactly is the difference between a meta description and meta abstract?
At their core, the two are nearly identical, as they are both used to describe the content that is on their corresponding web page or blog post. However, they differ in how search engines use them. Meta Descriptions are keyword-rich overviews that are often visible on search engine results pages. This 160-character-or-less block of text is used to improve the click-through-rate of websites, as users will be attracted to compellingly written meta descriptions. While Google and other search engines may choose to display an actual sample of the content on the web page instead, meta descriptions are indeed supported by every major search engine.
On the contrary, Meta Abstracts are ignored by Google, and will, therefore, do nothing for your Google search rankings. However, with lesser search engines, meta abstracts may help them understand the content of the page, and therefore allow the page to be displayed in relevant search queries.
If your website’s CMS includes a meta abstract, you might as well fill it out on each web page, using many of the same practices you use for your meta descriptions.