Many people new to the SEO scheme tend to believe that Meta Tags actually make google or other search engines immediately pick up on your site and rank them in the top numbers. I have three things to say to you people:
- They don’t.
- The never have.
- They never will.
Meta tags do not deliver guaranteed results, as some would have you believe, but rather they just help guide the search engine to what you are really presenting on your site. Meta tags have a few uses:
Your Site’s Title Here
This is the most crucial bit of information you can provide the search engines, because whatever you have in here (e.g what shows up in the bar at the top) is what you will be listed in the search engines as. If your title is TheImpulse – Link Building Blog, then that is what your site is going to show up as on search engines. It will also help them determine how they rank your page.
- Meta Description
This is a simple bit of html code that specifies what your page/website is all about. In this section you will choose a brief bit of text that sums up your website effectively.
- Meta Keywords
For the few crawlers that still support and look at this meta tag, it can be beneficial to your rank because it shows terms that your website supports and enhances the overall effectiveness of the website (from a crawlers point of view). The keywords you put in here, have correlate with what is viewed on your page. You can’t just put a tag in that says Ponies and expect to start getting hits from google on searches for Ponies.
- Meta Robots Tag
- Another of the important tags designed simple to keep robots from indexing a specific page that you do not want indexed.
I bet some of you are like, “Josh? Where do we place these snippets of code?” Well, you need to go to the specific page that you want to tag (let’s use the index file), open it up, and place your code inside the tags. Sometimes, when you have php based scripts, such as wordpress or phpbb, they are found in the header.php, or in an option in the administration section. If you are unsure, you can always search to find where to place the code.
Many people feel that Meta Tags such as the keywords tag are going out of style, that they aren’t as effective as they once were. The truth is, they are right. But by adding the keywords, even though only few search engines even look for it anymore, you might get ranked a bit higher or you might be ranked better for specific words or phrases. It’s all relative to how far you want to go.