Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Meta Tags On The Outs

Once upon a time in the SEO world it was all about the meta tags and they played the major role for SEO aka search engine optimization. While placing some keywords in the meta tag keywords, adding a simple and easy description tag, good quality title in the title tag, and cal it good these days.

Well, these days, it's actually not going to get you very far if that's all your going to center your SEO work on. And a lot of sites are even seeing low to poor ranking and even many are getting penalised when using just average or even over used keywords and description. Though now search engines are looking more at the over all actualy quality content of the site.

But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use the meta tags at all. There are two tags that still make a difference and they are, the title tag and the description tag. And they are important because search engines like Google and Yahoo use your title as a hyperlink when your website appears on the search result pages and below this hyperlink appears the text that you have included in your description meta tag.

The title of your page should, must, contain the keywords that carry the essence of your page. They must have the keywords you think the search engine users will use to search for your website. Multiple studies have shown that people click those links more that contain the keywords and expressions they have just used as search terms.

Your description tag acts as an important nudge because it just appears beneath the hyperlink. Most users read your text description before clicking the link and a bad description can easily turn them off no matter how interesting and relevant your title sounds.

So is the keywords tag totally irrelevant? I don’t think so. There are many search engines, probably the smaller ones, that use this tag. I read somewhere that among the known search engines only perhaps Inktomi is using the keywords meta tag. The primary reason why all the major search engines stopped noticing the keywords meta tag was its exploitation. Keep this tag simple and put only those keywords there that are relevant to the particular page. Don’t use more than 9 keywords.

You don’t need to bother about a bunch of other tags used primarily for the SEO purpose. Just focus on the tags mentioned above in the following manner:

* Use 5-10 words in the title tag
* Use 9-12 keywords in your keywords tag
* Use around 160 characters, including spaces, in your description tag.

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