Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Using Meta-tags effectively
Meta-tags are the first thing Search Engines see. It's absolutely critical to your website optimization strategy.
Meta-tags are important to many search engines. While not all are still using them to categorize your website, many still use them to rank and prioritize your site. Meta-tags provide you the webmaster with a concise way of categorizing and defining your website. Don't believe that they aren't important, but proper usage is. Search engines have algorithms to prevent abuse and misleading information giving your site more weight. Don't cheat.
Keep META Tags Concise
Don't use the description and keywords section of the meta-tags to give too much information. Realize that search engine databases are finite, and they do manage space. Keep your tags short and simple, and remember that search engines will penalize you for misusing or overusing meta-tags.
Use Proper Case
While this used to work many years ago, it's just not true anymore. Search engines don't want to display information in all caps, anymore than you want to look at it. Rest assured that you WILL GET PENALIZED for using all caps, and just don't do it.
If Possible, Avoid Doorway Pages
Doorway pages (Sometimes called bridge pages), redirect another user to a different page. These pages clutter up the search results and are really starting to upset people. You should note that using doorway pages is against Google's (and most SE's) terms of service. Doorway pages are mostly associated with the META Refresh Tag. Know what Keywords are Important to Optimize Your Page!
Some search engines only read the first portion of your webpage. Make sure your keywords and descriptions are accurate. We went over this above but I felt it was important enough that I had to stress how important this was for your on-site optimization.
Place Meta-tags at the Top of Your Document
View the source of a couple of highly ranked websites and get an idea of what their meta-tags look like. No need to re-invent the wheel here. A meta-tag always goes in the same place above the body inside the "" tag.