SEO: Tags & Meta Tags

Why Do Tags & Meta Tags Matter?

I remember when keyword tags were the big thing.  One of the main components of SEO was plugging in the right keywords relating to your website and you were good to go.  Then the unscrupulous spammers and black hat SEO progammers came in and ruined all that for us by keyword stuffing, inputting invisible text and other unethical practices.  Google and the other search engines had to come up with alternative measures to counter these measures and the new Tags & Meta Tags practices discussed in this post are just one aspect of the SEO practices that were changed.

Title Tags

meta tags<Title Tags> as it looks in HTML format is the same as it was before.  The title tag is used by all search engines and is the first thing spiders (also known as web crawlers, web robots, or automatic indexers) will index and the first thing people will read. </title tag>

Description Tags

<meta name=”description” content= This is where your sample content goes you want to show up in your search engine results.  You want to keep this description length less than 170 characters.” />  The description tag should read well, and be interesting enough to make someone click on the link to visit your site more than your competition. Think of the description tag as an advertisement.  Take some time to put your best material in this space.

Keyword Meta Tags

<meta name=”keywords” content= “Tags, Meta Tags, SEO, Title Tags, Social Media” />  Remember what I said at the very beginning of this post how spammers pretty much ruined keyword tags?  I’m still stickin’ to that, but I wanted you to see what it looked like in HTML format.  If you are working with WordPress you will be able to toggle back and forth between “Visual” and “HTML” format.  My research indicates Yahoo does still use keyword tags, but they don’t carry much weight, and if you do decide to use them, don’t use more than 10.tags

Robots & Additional “Bot” Tags or Meta Elements

The robot attributes or tags are supported by most of the major search engines and determine whether search engine spiders are allowed to index a page or not, and whether they should follow links from a page or not.  the no index prevents a page from being indexed and the no follow prevents a page from being crawled.

meta name=”robots” content=”noodp”
Google: <meta name=”googlebot” content=”noodp”>
Yahoo!: <meta name=”Slurp” content=”noodp”>
MSN & Live Search: <meta name=”msnbot” content=”noodp”>

 

Now if all of this sounds like a bunch of technical jibber jabber don’t feel bad.  It can be overwhelming at first.  There are plenty of people who handle SEO for a living and love it if you would rather not bother.  But if you want to take a stab at it, keep reading, post questions on my fan page and follow me on Twitter.  Even if I don’t know the answer, I know LOTS of really smart people who do!

7 Replies to “SEO: Tags & Meta Tags”

  1. I have been having the SEO conversation with myself for the past couple of months, knowing it’s something I need to do. I’ve been dragging my feet. Your post has helped to demystify the process. Thanks!

    1. Hi Lahronda,

      I went through the same process myself. I read through so many SEO books, and many made SEO so much more confusing than it needed to be! I’m so thankful for all my online SEO expert friends and SEO blogs that I can refer to when something confusing comes up. We all start as beginners. 🙂

  2. If robot is require for our website .
    Robot can help to increase web traffic ? Please give me some suggestion on it.

    1. Sometimes an old meta tag, the description tag, remains in the index of Google. Despite the fact that you change relevant information on your website and submit this to Google, the old description remains in the Google search results. Yahoo and Live will index the new information, Google won’t.

      This problem originates your results in the Open Directory Project DMOZ (also check the relations between the search engines). Your website, including the old meta description, also has a description and a link in the ODP listings. The Googlebot has used this description while spidering your website.

      This information came directly from http://www.metatags.org/meta_name_googlebot I hope it answered your question to your satisfaction. 🙂

  3. It’s a shame that the black-hat SEOs ruined what was otherwise useful code… But this stuff still comes in handy. Google and other search engines sometimes use the data to display SERPs. They also use the data to get hints about the content on a page so it still counts.

    At the very least, using this mark-up is good for organizational purposes.. good coding habit, even!

    A note about the robot tags. You can do things like “NoIndex” and “NoFollow” to limit site crawling efforts. This may be good for sites that can’t handle the additional server loads but it does limit organic traffic. On the flip side, you can use ping services to encourage bots to come back ASAP and often.

    Ah, yes, the lighter side of SEO! =oD

    1. LOL – you’re so funny! To you this is the lighter side of SEO – to the average user it can be very confusing & even intimidating! I know enough to know I have so much more to learn about SEO! Perhaps you can help me out! 🙂

  4. Meta Tags were created early on to provide concise information about a website. Meta tags list information about the web page, such as the author, keywords, description, type of document, copyright, and other core information. your concern is very genuine and the way you have explained the complexity that spammers might cause is great.

    thanks for the post.

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