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Meta Tags

Although many of the larger search engines do not 'spider' the keyword Meta Tags on your page, and in some cases ignore these completely, the use of Meta Tags on your page still serves an important purpose. There are literally hundreds, even thousands of smaller search engines scattered all across the Internet. Whilst the bigger engines tend to 'spider' whole pages instead and obtain their results from that, these smaller search engines don't have as much physical space to work with and must do things differently. It is in these particular engines you will find that Meta Tags are still very important.

Example:
<html>
<head>
<title>Put the title of your page here</title>
<Meta name="keywords "content="put,your,keywords,here">
<Meta name="description" content="put a short description here">
</head>
<body bgcolor=#FFFFFF>

Put the page contents here ....

</body>
</html>
The above layout provides a basic template for the creation of correctly formatted Meta Tags, and can be used for all pages contained within your website. If you are not showing up in a lot of the smaller engines, lets say the first 200 or so entries under your chosen keywords, then you may need to re-design your page and Meta Tags. This will need to be done to ensure that users have a better chance of finding you under the keywords you wish to be found under. It is not always a big change in your page that results in your position moving up, it can be subtle changes that have the greatest effect.

What matters the most with any creation of Meta Tags is to create a great Description Tag, one that not only includes your keywords but one that also includes well-written text that sells. It is a well designed Description that ultimately attracts the web surfer in the long run.

It seems to be a popular trend for web surfers and site-submitters these days to focus largely on the larger traffic bringers (such as Google, Yahoo, etc) at the expense of the more smaller, less visited search engines. Of course, if that traffic source is broken for any reason then so is your business. If you concentrate on the other sources, who may bring less traffic, then you get a broader spectrum of referrals and can easily weather any particular search engine storm that comes up. It is for this reason that we shouldn't forget the humble Meta Tag.
 Meta Tag Optimization
 You should make sure that all important entry pages to your web site have at least the KEYWORDS and a DESCRIPTION Meta Tags included in the Header section of the HTML code. This should be done BEFORE a submission. Without a good set of Meta Tags, some search engines may not index your web site correctly and may even downgrade your ranking quite considerably.

Even though there are many methods you may use in order to help you improve the effectiveness of your Meta Tags, you should always pay careful attention first to the most common mistakes that people make, even after following any sound advice on improving your web page. You should check your pages for the following:
· Always include the most relevant keywords in the Meta Tags section first. The relative position of your keywords can greatly influence the ranking of your page on some engines.
· Avoid repeating keywords in your Meta Tags, eg: genealogy,genealogy,genealogy,genealogy. This type of practice is regarded as SPAMming by most of the search engines and can result in the eventual banning of your site altogether.
· DO NOT try to include every possible keyword in the dictionary. The more keywords that you include, the more chance you have of 'diluting' the perceived relevancy of these words. This kind of practice may result in a downgrading of your web page ranking on some important search engines.
· Aim to use more grammatically correct sentences in your Meta Tags, ie: in your Page Title and Description, rather than just a simple list of keywords.
· Some search engines do not employ the use of Meta Tags, so try and have the most important keywords appear elsewhere in the visible text portion of your page.
If you wish to include an additional list of keywords in the visible text of your page, then it would be a good idea to use them in grammatically correct sentences.
Example:
"A broad range of computers and software for sale. We stock monitors and games or printers. Best place for hardware shopping on the internet."

Simple MetaTag Rules
Some people spend the time turning MetaTag optimization into an art. However, most of us don't have the time for that. The countless hours that can be spent on adjusting and re-adjusting Meta Tags could be better spent creating new content. After all, it is the content that search engines are "really" looking for. The Meta Tags just help the search engines to find it.

So, the best thing that you can do is to create a sensible set of Meta Tags which will be friendly to most of the major search engines, then MOVE ON. However, Meta Tags are quite important, so you should go about making them correctly the first time around. There is no such thing as a "magical" set of Meta Tags that will instantly explode your web site statistics and search engine rankings.
Example:
You could go to a site that has a #1 ranking for a great search term and cut and paste the Meta Tags into your site, but you will not get a #1 ranking out of it. There are many factors that determine how search rankings turn out, such as site popularity, page-loading speed and content. What you need is a set of Meta Tags that will match your site as best as possible. And remember, it is far better to have too few than too many.
· Rule 1: If a keyword is not on your page then try to avoid putting it in the title, description or keywords. Many unwitting people seem to do this, and can be extremely damaging to your promotional efforts. All it will do is water the theme of your page down, and the search engines will be wondering who and what to show your page to.
Note: If you do know a word or phrase that is very common, and you want to use it, then you need to make sure that it is in your title, description and keywords 'as well' as on your page several times. Therefore you will most likely need to re-edit your content as well, (not just the MetaTags).
· Rule 2: Don't try to trick the search engines. Search engines are getting smarter every day, and if you think you know of a way to deceive them then chances are... they already know about it.

Example:
Avoid repeating text hundreds of times, and be careful not to make it the same color as the background. Search engines woke up to this a long time ago. This is usually referred to as 'invisible text', and was originally invented as a way to artificially 'boost' the ranking of a website. Search engines know this trick inside-out, and would simply place your page at the bottom of their index. The time you waste trying to be "tricky" would be better spent working on your site, your site-content and REAL promotional efforts.
· Rule 3: Keep your title, description, keywords and content as specific as possible. Many people try to add too many words and phrases all over their webpage, thus making it difficult for any search engine to categorize and index your site...
Example:
Imagine for a moment that you are lost and you need to ask for directions. If you were told to "drive under the bridge, past the green house on the left, over the little bump, past the red mail box, you'll see a house with a white gate and then you'll need to pass a school crossing and then turn left"... you would most likely stare blankly at the person in question. However, if the person simply says: "Take your next left" it would be much more helpful.
In summing up the above information, you must make all attempts to keep as specific as you possibly can. All you need to remember is to use as many informative words as you can to keep a "theme" on your page. By all means, use as many keywords as is necessary, but avoid going overboard with these at all costs.
(This information is part of the Trellian SEO Toolkit Knowledge Base.)

 

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