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  1. #1
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    It's in writing: Meta tags are dead

    As first seen on Aspen's blog Google flat out has said Meta Tags, specifically the description tag, is not used to rank pages. They also noticeably ignore the keywords tag which to me shows just how worthless it is.

    Here is where Google says it:

    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogsp...meta-tags.html

    While the use of a description meta tag is optional and will have no effect on your rankings, a good description can result in a better snippet, which in turn can help to improve the quality and quantity of visitors from our search results.
    So, the debate ends here. Meta tags are dead!!

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bbolte's Avatar
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    just curious, what about other SE's?

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    There are other SEs??
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    SitePoint Wizard bbolte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkinT View Post
    There are other SEs??
    I actually get quite a bit of traffic from MSN on one site, oddly enough.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Guru Rob_D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    As first seen on Aspen's blog Google flat out has said Meta Tags, specifically the description tag, is not used to rank pages. They also noticeably ignore the keywords tag which to me shows just how worthless it is.

    Here is where Google says it:

    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogsp...meta-tags.html



    So, the debate ends here. Meta tags are dead!!
    Content, content, content.

    And the description & title tags, plus keywords in the URL make for more visits!
    It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value.
    Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #6
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbolte View Post
    just curious, what about other SE's?
    It's safe to assume they don't use them either. They've been dead and useless from an SEO perspective for a long time.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy DaveWoods's Avatar
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    I do still include them within my pages even though I've known they've been dead for a while... it's probably more out of habit than anything else and doesn't take a few minutes to do but is there actually any point in bothering at all or is it a few extra KB of wasted code that actually serves no purpose at all?

  8. #8
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    The meta description is worth doing because it may be used as the page's description in the SERPs. The keyword tag serves virtually no purpose whatsoever.

  9. #9
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    I add them to every page to use in the search facility that I built internal to my site. The title, description and keyword tags are the ONLY part of the content that my internal search facility actually searches.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy DaveWoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    The meta description is worth doing because it may be used as the page's description in the SERPs. The keyword tag serves virtually no purpose whatsoever.
    Yeah, I do use the description for that very reason. I do tend to use meta keywords purely because it only takes a few minutes to add but maybe its doing little more than providing competition with an easy way to see which words the site is targetting if nothing else and the time has come just to remove them completely.

    Stephen, I've used a similar method before to display related content where keywords match. Although this is stored in a database and doesn't necessarily need to be displayed in the meta tags to work.

  11. #11
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    One thing I wonder about is if the smaller directories use them?
    Linda Jenkinson
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  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy C. Ankerstjerne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall
    The title, description and keyword tags are the ONLY part of the content that my internal search facility actually searches.
    Manipulating your own search engine, are you?
    Christian Ankerstjerne
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  13. #13
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    One thing I wonder about is if the smaller directories use them?
    I've seen some directories that do use them for their listings. Very few but some do.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy DaveWoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    I've seen some directories that do use them for their listings. Very few but some do.
    Most of the directories I've seen that do this usually have a field for entering the keywords so not sure whether they actually crawl the meta keywords and use it?

    Either way, as it takes next to no time to add anyway, I'll probably continue to use them but as before expect next to no impact from them.

  15. #15
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by csswiz View Post
    Most of the directories I've seen that do this usually have a field for entering the keywords so not sure whether they actually crawl the meta keywords and use it?

    Either way, as it takes next to no time to add anyway, I'll probably continue to use them but as before expect next to no impact from them.
    That's my philosophy as well... they may not help much, but they don't hurt.
    Linda Jenkinson
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  16. #16
    Employed Again Viflux's Avatar
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    Am I the only one who finds the use of META tags useful for their added benefits to bookmarks?

  17. #17
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viflux View Post
    Am I the only one who finds the use of META tags useful for their added benefits to bookmarks?
    Please explain? How are META keywords and description beneficial to bookmarks. What appears in a book mark is the page title and the title element in your source code is very heavily weighted for SEO as well.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  18. #18
    Employed Again Viflux's Avatar
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    Right-click on a bookmark in Firefox and go to "Properties".

    I'm not sure, but I always assumed that the "Keywords" and "Description" were from the page's META tags. If so, they can be useful for searching one's bookmarks.

  19. #19
    Employed Again Viflux's Avatar
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    Alright, scratch that.

    They don't seem to be populated from the META tags.

    Maybe they should be?

    It's a shame that there isn't some benefit to be gained from them that can't be exploited. I've always made a point of including descriptive and accurate (yet not spammy) tags, and will probably continue to do out of habit.

  20. #20
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by csswiz View Post
    Most of the directories I've seen that do this usually have a field for entering the keywords so not sure whether they actually crawl the meta keywords and use it?

    Either way, as it takes next to no time to add anyway, I'll probably continue to use them but as before expect next to no impact from them.
    Some directory software will actually crawl your site during the submission process and grab your meta tags to fill out some of the fields.

  21. #21
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    "I never Meta-Tag I didn't like!"
    <g>

  22. #22
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    *groan*

  23. #23
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    Meta-tag description still very important to Google and for your SERP listing in Google results, which means.. clicks.

    If you don't have a dynamic description meta tag all pages will look the same.
    I have a mediawiki that has that problem, still didn't find an extension that could do that.

  24. #24
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    I'd re-read the article then. It clearly states that the description tag is not used in the search listings as a ranking factor, but instead as a snippet of the page (the most relevant page of the page's content as far as what the user is searching for anyway).

    As far as I'm concerned, this is and always HAS been the original use of the description tag (to provide a relevant description of what the page is about to the user), and everyone who's abused it for their own personal gain should feel ashamed of themselves (but that's the HTML purist in me talking again).

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard cpvr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz View Post
    I'd re-read the article then. It clearly states that the description tag is not used in the search listings as a ranking factor, but instead as a snippet of the page (the most relevant page of the page's content as far as what the user is searching for anyway).

    As far as I'm concerned, this is and always HAS been the original use of the description tag (to provide a relevant description of what the page is about to the user), and everyone who's abused it for their own personal gain should feel ashamed of themselves (but that's the HTML purist in me talking again).
    Ya, exactly. I've tried this multiple times (as tests) to see if a well-written description would rank better than a site that just uses two keywords in the keywords - with the amount of backlinks staying the same, but of course, the sites without descriptions ended up ranking better. I'm not sure why, but it could be because the description had virtually no effect on the ranking, but on-site seo + backlinks did.
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