|Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Information Tony|
Meta Tags - What Are They and Which Search Engines Use Them?
Defining Meta Tags is much easier than explaining how they are used, and by which engines. The reason is very few engines clearly lay out what they do and do not look at, and how much emphasis they put on any one factor. So, we'll start with the easy part
Meta Tags are lines of HTML code embedded into web pages that are used by search engines to store information about your site. These "tags" contain keywords, descriptions, copyright information, site titles and more. They are among the numerous things that the search engines look for, when trying to evaluate a web site.
Meta Tags are not "required" when you're creating web pages. Unfortunately, many web site operators who don't use them are left wondering why the saying "If I build it they will come" didn't apply to their site.
There's also a few naysayers in the search engine optimization industry who claim that Meta Tags are useless. You can believe them if you like, but you would be wise not to. While not technically "required", Meta Tags are essential.
If you simply create a web site and register the URL with the search engines, their spiders will visit your site, and attempt to index it. Each search engine operates slightly differently, and each one weighs different elements of a web site according to their own proprietary algorithms. For example, Altavista places an emphasis on the description tag and Inktomi states on their web site that;
Inktomi "(...) indexes both the full text of the Web page you submit as well as the meta-tags within the site's HTML."
Other search engines like Exactseek are true meta tag search engines which clearly state their policy:
"Your site will not be added if it does not have Title and Meta Description tags."
They also use the keywords tag.
Of course, not all search engines work this way. Some place their emphasis on content. The search engines have over 100 individual factors they look at when reviewing a web site. Some of these factors deal with page structure. They check to see that all the 't's are crossed, and the 'i's dotted. They note sites that have omitted basic steps, like missing tags.
One reason so many engines de-emphasized the meta-keyword tag had to do with spam. There was a time when 'search engine promotion specialists' would cram keywords tags full of irrelevant information. The web site would be selling garbage cans, but the keywords tags were chock full of irrelevant terms like "mp3" or "Britney Spears". They figured that if enough people visited their site, some would buy.
So today, to avoid and penalize this kind of abuse, some search engines don't specifically use the keywords tag as part of the scoring of a site, but they monitor the keywords to ensure they match the content in the site. The reasoning being that, if the tags are irrelevant, they must have an alternate purpose. Is it a spam site? When keywords tags are completely irrelevant to the content, some search engines, that don't specifically use keywords tags, will penalize that web site.
Even for those engines that have downplayed the value of Meta Tags, there are situations where Meta Tags gain considerably in importance, e.g. sites with rich graphics, but poor textual content. Unfortunately, a picture is worth 1000 words to you and me, but zero to a search engine. If a site has poor textual content, the engines will be more dependent than ever on the Meta Tags to properly categorize it.
Even if you ensure you have completely relevant Meta Tags, some search engines will still ignore them. But better they ignore them, than they ignore your whole site because they suspect something is less than above board. Never hope that having Meta Tags will make the difference in all the search engines; nothing is a substitute for good content. But in cases where the engine depends on that content, it may be the only thing that does work for your site.
So How To Use The Meta Tags?
Meta tags should always be placed in the area of an HTML document. This starts just after the tag, and ends immediately before the tag. Here's how the most basic set should look:
Search Engine Optimization Software - Metamend
Always make sure that your meta tags do not have any line breaks, otherwise the search engines will just see bad code and ignore them. You should also avoid use of capitals in your code (html5 standard) as well as repetition of terms within the keywords tag.
What Goes Into a Meta Tag?
For the Description tag: ; Many search engines will display this summary along with the title of your page in their search results. Keep this reasonably short, concise and to the point, but make sure that it's an appropriate reflection of your site content.
For the keyword tag;
Keywords represent the key terms that someone might enter into a search engine. Choose only relevant keywords. If the terms are going to appear in your keywords tag, they must appear in the content of your site, or be a synonym to a term on your site. Most search engines compare your meta content with what is actually on your page, and if it doesn't match, your web site can get penalized, and suffer in search results.
for the Robots tag ;Many web pages have this tag wrong. An example of the wrong usage is content="index, follow, all" - wrong because some spiders can't handle spaces between the words in the tag or the word "all". Most engines by default assume that you want a web page to be indexed and links followed, so using the wrong syntax can actually result in the spider coming to the wrong conclusion and penalizing, or worse, ignoring the page outright. If by chance you do not want your links followed, or the page not indexed, then you would substitute "noindex" and or "nofollow" into the tag.
With the Internet growing at a rate of over 8,000,000 new pages per day, and the search engines adding a fraction of that number, Meta Tags are a common standard which can reasonably ensure a measure of proper categorization for a web site. So, always ensure that you cover all the bases, and use completely relevant terms in properly structured Meta Tags. Using tags properly will pay dividends in the short and long term. After all, using them properly only helps the search engines, which means they will send you more qualified traffic - customers.
About The Author
Richard Zwicky is a founder and the CEO of Metamend Software & Design Ltd., www.metamend.com, a Victoria B.C. based firm whose cutting edge Search Engine Optimization software is recognized as the world leader in its field. Employing a staff of 10, the firm's business comes from around the world, with clients from every continent. Most recently the company was recognized for their geo-locational, or GIS, along with their phraseological and context sensitive search technologies.
How To See What Pages Of Your Site Google Has In Its Index
There is a lag time between the indexing or updating of your site, and the time it takes to show new results in the database. Depending on your site, where it was linked from, who it was linked from, and who knows what other factors, the amount of time varies.
Design A Spider Friendly Site
To be successful in the search engines it's important to design your web site with the spiders in mind. Using the latest in web page design is not generally the best way to go. Spiders don't view web pages like humans do, they must read the HTML in the page to see what it's about. Below you will find tips on how to best design your web site with search engines in mind.
High Search Engine Rankings - A Long Term Strategy
The last 1.5 years have shown major changes in search engine behavior across the board. Algorithms change at random dates. Websites that ranked great in search results are suddenly completely wiped out from the search index. It becomes less and less predictable what a certain change to your website will get for results. A major change to a website or the way how it is promoted could have a major impact on search engine success for that website.
Link Horse Trading For The PR Challenged
After 105 days Google finally updated PR. And it's about time. There for awhile you couldn't swing a dead cat and not hit an anxious post on a seo forum wondering where the update was.
Five and a Half Ways to Amp Up Your Search Engine Optimization
Statistics show that 85% of pages visited on the Internet come from people who have gotten there from a search engine. Statistically, people look first at the top of the first page of the regular search results, then the bottom, and then they go to the sponsored listings.
Getting Listed in the ODP, Google Directory
First of all, the Google directory is really just the open directory project (ODP: url here) with a few adjustments. While listings on DMOZ.org are arranged within their category according to simple alphabetic order, listings in the Google Directory are based upon PageRank [link]. Thus, sites with higher PageRanks will show up higher on the list of sites under any given category. You can see the PageRank of a site pictorially by looking at the little green bar off to the left of each listing. The other major difference is that the Google Directory updates its listings only once every few months. Therefore, a website that is accepted into the ODP today may have to wait 3 months or more before it is listed in the Google Directory. If you go to DMOZ.org, you can see all the latest listings because each category page is updated immediately after a new site is added.
Website Ranking With an Internet Marketing Specialist
On the internet, competition is stronger than ever. There was a time where paying a few bucks to get in Yahoo was enough to generate substantial traffic but marketing websites on the internet got much more complex since. Google is now a major player in the search engine industry and any serious internet marketing specialist and seo expert knows how important it is to get a good website ranking in that popular search engine. Understanding Google's algorythm along with having good html and writing skills can often make the difference between being an amateur or a good internet marketing specialist. Although, many other aspects that we will cover here should be taken into consideration when comes the time to find the right internet marketing specialist for your website.
Would You Let A Dog Or A Butler Market Your Website?
The latest news to hit the Internet's 'water cooler' is that Lycos and Ask Jeeves are to begin their own SEO services..
Five Ways To Win The Favor Of Search Engines
You've got a cool new website with all the works: cool Flash presentations, eye-catching colors, informative text, easy-to-use layout, and an interesting topic. You think your site is amazing, and you know that others will agree with you. If only they know it exists.
Writing Search Engine Friendly Webpages
In order to tap the huge stream of targeted traffic an internet search engine can provide a website you need to master a few common sense principles when crafting your webpages.
Understanding Googles Algorithm
What is the Google Algorithm?
Goofy Mistakes that Hurt Your Search Engine Rankings
One thing is for sure, you don't want to spend hours, perhaps days, months, or years on a website to have some stupid little mistake get your site dropped or never even listed in the search engines. There are a lot of rules that search engines have created to block out what they call spammers, so don't kid yourself by telling yourself you are not an evil spammer. As the courts might say, ignorance of the law is no excuse. So what kind of horrific mistake could sneak upon you and possibly ruin all your hard work?
Six Reasons Why Your Alexa Rating Is Still Important
1. Additional Exposure For Your Site.
Using Blogs for SEO
Why Start A Blog?
Google Gunning For Directories?
Why is it that webmasters are so quick to blame Google if their website falls down the search rankings, or out of the rankings altogether? Can it never be their own fault?
How Do I Improve My Web Site Conversion Rate? Part 1
SEO and the Outsourcing of Inbound Link Building
Search Engine Optimization nowadays has a lot to do with building inbound links to your website. Building inbound links is a cumbersome tasks and webmasters have always been looking for shortcuts to do this. Webmasters buy links (as advertising as an example) or contact other webmasters to exchange links with them. The need for inbound links has created a new business opportunity in the search engine optimization industry. The outsourcing of link building emerged from the fact that many inbound links mean a high search engine ranking and/or a high Google PageRank.
Anatomy Of A Top Ranking Web page
Optimizing web pages for high rankings in the search engines involved two main processes. Firstly there is the on-page factors which include what keywords you place where on the page itself. The second, and more important process is getting the off-page factors right - incoming links.
Internet 2005: The Ten Billions Pages Search Engines
To see each and every page during 10 seconds would take 694 days 24/24. The leading search engines fight to be the first that oversteps this level. In the meantime the key word "sex" has been typed about 20'000'000 times on the entire web and Google found 333'000'000 results for this query in January 2005.
Search Engine Traffic: Winning With Content
Targeted traffic is the lifeblood of any online business. The best source of free-targeted traffic to your site is the search engines. To be visible at the search engines, you have to appear in the first three or so pages of the search engine result pages (SERPS). The quest for attaining high rankings at the search engines has spawned a whole industry, the search engine optimization (SEO) world.
|home | site map|