Recently there has been some question of how Google deals with META information, and which information is critical to incorporate in a search engine optimized website.
For example, client site Big Bear Tournaments was originally built as a custom sports registration site for youth hockey. When it was later incorporated with a public facing website title tags were generated from the existing data for tournament, division and city pages. META tags were not included in those pages.
When questioned about this I turned to Google’s Webmaster Central.
Google doesn’t use the “keywords” meta tag in our web search ranking
As a matter of fact, keywords are essentially dead as far as Google is concerned. Any value at all would come from keywords which are also found in the page content, which is where you want them to be.
We do sometimes use the “description” meta tag as the text for our search results snippets, but we don’t use the description meta tag in our ranking.
So yeah, you can use description if you don’t like the description being pulled from your content. But optimally the content should provide the perfect description.
Video from Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team: