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On Meta Tags

Posted By Darren Rowse 10th of November 2005 Adsense, Search Engine Optimization 8

Yaro asks Do Meta Tag Keywords Matter Anymore? and does a good job of explaining what they are and answering the question. His advice to whether we should use meta tags:

‘Yes and no. It definitely should not be prioritized and if you have other, better SEO things to do worry about don’t spend time on your meta keywords. If you insist on using meta keywords use them sparingly, only a handful, about 10 maximum, and keep them very relevant to the page content. Less is more in this case.’

I agree with this advice – if I were setting up a new blog I’d include them but it wouldn’t be the first thing that I look at.

‘Meta keywords are a legacy of web 1.0 and are slowly being phased out completely. Your title tags, heading tags and content play a much more important role and really if you have time to spare to work on SEO you should be writing great new content that people will link to, not cramming your pages with redundant keywords.’

Good advice again – however I’d add one thing.

If you’re running Adsense ads on your site then you’ll probably want to include meta tags. Many experienced Adsense publishers highly recommend them – not to optimize your site in Search Engines – but because they seem to have impact upon what ads are being served.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Tagging pages is Web 2.0, surely?

  2. Fintan – not talking about tagging pages – but ‘metatags’ which is…. well just read the article I linked to – Yaro explains it.

  3. The key is that there is no one audience for a given HTML page. And, just because something’s not useful for one of those audiences, doesn’t mean that another doesn’t need it. The best pages combine and blend the needs of all of the audiences together.

    I’ve been looking at using the Yahoo keyword extraction api to populate those tags as a reinforcement of the content of the page. We’ll see how it turns out.

  4. welly well. Still, keyword stuffed content is getting many sites to top positions.
    its disgusting.
    at matt cuts blog i ve just seen examples that are simply funny .. or ridiculous.

  5. Look at it this way — if your pages are well-crafted, it should be easy to fill in the meta tags. If you can’t describe the page in one or two sentences, or come up with a list of keywords for the page, then perhaps you need to work some more on the page.

  6. Ideally, your meta tags would change between pages to reflect the content of each individual page.

    I’ve managed this in the past with ASP applications (not blogs! Shock! Horror!), where I’ve used information stored in the database to generate keywords and title tags dynamically, based on the content of that page.

    Also, as I understand it, MSN Search gives some weighting toward Meta tags, although I haven’t yet verified this.

  7. I know what meta tags are, Darren.

  8. Do you think this site is for real? It pulls meta tags from anyone’s webpage. Is there a way to prevent someone from seeing my meta tags? I find this useful but I don’t think we should take someone else’s work?

    What’s your opinion?

    The address is http://www.metasucker.com – you enter the website and then you can see the meta tags on the website page.

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