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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Choosing Meta Tags

    I thought I'd open up a discussion about the dos and donts of meta tags. It used to be that the same word wasn't supposed to be repeated more than three times. Now I see very reputable sites repeating the same term several times in their tags.

    Any thoughts? Any anecdotes?

    Thanks!
    Joe

  2. #2
    public static void brain Gybbyl's Avatar
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    Sometimes, repitition is key... just not in meta tags. I always try not to repeat any words in my keyword tags... What about the other ones? I mean, in the desc. tag you can obviosuly say "and" or "the" more than once, right?
    Ryan

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    I believe, <meta> keyword tags are rarely even considered in search algorithms, anymore. When they are, they don't hold enough weight to affect the outcomes much. Several reputable SEOs have gone as far as to ask: "why bother?"

    As far as <meta> descriptions go, many SEs use them in their results to describe the link. I don't know if the description affects the rank of a page, though. Since, I think that any effect they have is so marginal, I concentrate more on using it as a marketing tag line than for search rankings.

    Remember, the <meta> tag was designed as a way to include important information about the document and not solely for search engine rankings. Because people abused the original purpose so much, SEs now essentially create their own Meta profile about a page, forgoing the authors'. The info is probably more likely to be used in-house than by anyone else, so just use pertinent, *honest* info--no sense in trying to trick yourself. :-)

    ~~Ian

    'Portant links: Dublin Core, DC Metadata Template, W3C's Metadata initiative; RankWrite: Get It in Your <Head>: The Meta Description Tag & The Meta Keyword Tag.

  4. #4
    Grumpy Mole Man Skunk's Avatar
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    While <meta> tags aren't generally worth worrying too much about, if you're interested in a listing in the open directory it could be worth putting together a good <meta> description. I'm a dmoz editor and the tool used to add new sites grabs the contents of the description tag as the "suggested" description for a site. If it's a good description chances are the editor will go with it.

    That said, I'm pretty sure you can suggest your own description when manually submitting to the ODP which will overrids your meta one so the above advice is pretty much invalid. Still, it's an interesting example of something that actually uses <meta> tags.

  5. #5
    eCommerce specialist hotnuts21's Avatar
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    One of the best tools I have found is a programme called Web position Gold, you can analyzw your page to find out where it ranks in the search engines, you can build pages that are search engine friendly, you can run a page critic on your site, you can even submit your site to search engines, and unlike other search engine submission tools, this is the only one I would use. It has a database of what is and what isnt allowed as far as search engine submitting goes, if the engine wont accept automatic submissions it wont submit, and it will tel you if you are submitting to much.

    Heres an example of a Critic i did to one of my sites, its bad!
    Find it here

    As you will see as well as telling you where you page sucks, it also tells you what the reccomended, keyoword frequency etc is for that engine. Well worth a look!

    By the way I have the standard edition which means I can work on 5 sites max, but the PRO edition allows you to work on unlimited sites. IF anyone wants to fork out a bit towards the Upgrade, i will happily use it for sitepoint members for free and analyze all you websites for free!

    Aint I nice!
    Search & Rescue Aberystwyth Lifeboat
    CSS Tutorials/Guides

    Sitepoint signatures are not visible to Search Engines More info

  6. #6
    . Ruchir's Avatar
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    Meta tags.. ?? well, they usually now a days dont' matter much. but well, they do matter at various SE's .. and so having them doesn't hurt. So i would say, meta tags aren't any waste of time, just have them to be in the safer side for if they are ever indexed by any SE or anything else..
    Peace.


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