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Do Metas Still Matter?

Posted on January 26, 2023 by Simon Maury

Meta tags, specifically the "keyword" and "description" tags, are created to provide quick, thumbnail sketches of a web page's content to be able to better classify it. At once, the meta tags were an integral element in on-page optimization for nearly all se's. That "onetime" was round the late 90's. It soon became apparent a reliance on these tags could possibly be exploited, and exploited it had been. Today, following the "fall" of the metatag, they are creating a partial comeback as very low-weight on-page optimization factor.

The influence of the metatag, especially the keywords, faded out once most major se's either dropped them entirely from consideration within their algorithms or greatly reduced their weight. This happened in reaction to the vast quantity of meta-spamming that occurred once their power was discovered. Techniques most of us recognize today as blatant keyword spamming were commonplace. Webmasters added completely irrelevant, but highly searched terms (particularly "adult" terms) to a site's meta tags, usually in collaboration with similar hidden text blocks. These techniques were done and then drive traffic with their sites, highly untargeted and generally unrelated traffic, but traffic nonetheless.

Search engines taken care of immediately the problem after they realized their results were no more relevant. It appears Google completely ignored the meta keywords in reaction to the blatant spaming. Nov the meta tags gave rise to a still strong trend today, that of on page text analysis for keywords. Rather than blindly considering the meta tags to classify a full page, search engines considered the specific content of the page. Text in paragraphs and titles rose to importance, along with other indicators like text in "alt" tags from images. These factors produced greater results for individuals using se's. Theoretically, the meta tags were a straightforward, easy method for visitors to help se's classify and rank their pages. Used these were highly abused, because the commodity the various search engines provided became essential, especially to the budding ecommerce community.

Today meta tags could be creating a quiet comeback. Years have passed because the blatant, irrelevant spamming that caused them to be so thoroughly discredited. With penalties set up, se's have ways to punish those that would use such techniques. Wise, conservative usage of your meta keywords and description tags can only just be beneficial. Today the meta description tag sometimes serves because the small page sample Google uses on its result pages.

Like anything concerning seo, especially Google search engine marketing, ensure that your meta tags seem to be as "natural" and "people friendly" as you possibly can. If your description is a word-for-word rehash of one's keywords, that won't look natural, and could be considered a red flag to search engines spider. Create a genuine description a person can read and understand. Use your keywords in the description, but don't repeat them. An individual sentence or phrase should suffice, 2 at most. The description isn't a place to place an overview paragraph. The more words your description gets the more watered down it becomes to the internet search engine.

Advice on the meta keyword tag varies a whole lot, but focus on your core keywords/keyphrases, placing the main ones first and moving to minimal important. Avoid 50 keywords, even though you believe your website does, actually, address all 50 in perfect detail. Keep carefully the list short, and focused. Twenty is an excellent maximum, and only when you are feeling you absolutely must target all 20 keywords. Remember, its difficult to very effectively optimize an individual page for a lot more than 2 or simply 3 keywords. For those who have numerous them, then consider spreading your optimization efforts out across internal pages for several topics. You may make these into "landing pages" which are specifically optimized for the secondary keywords. Note I said "landing pages" rather than "doorway pages". Doorway pages imply pages geared to a specific internet search engine that generally employ spamming techniques. A website landing page is really a natural section of your existing site, say a section title page, that you perform general on-page optimization on for a subset of one's keywords.

Meta keyword and descriptions don't have the energy they once did, plus they never will. Giving that much weight to this easily abused page attribute was a blunder the various search engines eventually corrected. Today, your keywords and deceptions can offer you some small benefit if they're well crafted and without any spaming techniques. Construct an agreeable, natural description and choose your core keywords wisely as well as your meta tags should give you a hand, if only a bit.