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Are Metatags so Important to the Search Engines Anymore?

Feb 25, 2008
The debate rages on about whether meta tags are really relevant anymore and should you even bother with them.

Meta tags are unseen bits of information that reside in the 'Head' section of web pages. They give the Search Engine robots that visit your website an idea of what your web page is about. In earlier days when the robots were much simpler little programs good meta tags were an absolute necessity if you wanted your web page to rank highly in the search engine results. The main three meta tags that search engines took an interest in were 'Title', 'Description' and 'Keywords'. In the early days all one had to do was stuff these tags with your favorite keywords and you were sure to rank highly with the search engines.

However as robots got more sophisticated 'keyword stuffing' became detected and the robots actually started to weigh the content of the actual page against the meta tags. Keyword stuffing meta tags could now get you penalized by the search engines if your page didn't match up to the keywords in the tags.

Then, lead by the big daddy search engine, Google, link popularity suddenly became a much more important criteria on which they judge the relevancy and 'importance' of websites. This means how many external websites (as in someone else's) have a link on their website which points to yours. This lead to a flurry of link farms springing up (now a no no..) and reciprocal linking between websites (You put a link on mine and I'll put a link on yours). Obviously Google and the others live in the same World that we do and soon became aware of what was going on. The robots improved yet again and could now differentiate between one way links and reciprocal links. Guess what, reciprocal links suddenly carried a lot less weight and a lot of websites tumbled down the rankings as a result.

The best links to have without a doubt are now One-Way links (Someone else links to your website but you don't link to theirs..) This really brought to the fore already established marketing methods such as Submitting your links to Directories and Article Writing. These are two of the currently most effective methods of getting a good ranking with the Search Engines, and as an effect, more traffic to your website.

So do the Search Engines care about Meta Tags? Yes and no. In my opinion as far as Search Optimization goes Tags carry a LOT less weight than they used to. Search Engines had to learn better methods of ranking websites because Web Masters were exploiting the Tags.

So if you're concerned about getting on the front page of Google then you need to get lots of quality back links to your website, did I mention relevance? Maybe that's for another article. For now if your website is about cars then try to get links from car related websites, it could be a Desert Rallying website if you like, but there should be a better than tenuous connection.

Meta tags ARE still important in my view if you want to do Google Adwords. I believe that Google still considers meta tags in determining relevancy of your ad to your page WHICH in turn determines how much you will have to pay per click.

SO yes it's worth getting your meta tags sorted and clear, it will help to bring your pay par click price down with Google and it doesn't hurt to have them done right anyway. Pick about four or five relevant key words or phrases for your page, Don't put fifty in there, Google will laugh all the way to the bank with your click price.
About the Author
Russell Marsh is an independent Internet Marketer. This
Online Business website
helpandinfo.com has lots of resources and
help for those wishing to make a living on the internet including a free meta tags creator. Russell is a Consultant
with CarbonCopyPro
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