SEO: Tags & Meta 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!