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Thread: META Tags

  1. #1

    META Tags

    I was under the impression that search engines only wanted short site descriptions and less than 10 keywords in the META area of the html code. However, after looking at fileplanet.com's source code, I was confused. Here is what they had:

    <meta name="description" content="FilePlanet: The Ultimate Resource for Gaming Files. Download game files, free game demos, game patches, mods, movies, and more!">
    <meta name="keywords" lang="en" content="files, game files, gaming files, games FilePlanet, FilePlanet, demos, game demos, free game demos, download, downloads, try before you buy, map, game maps, mods, game mods, modifications, game modifications, skins, game skins, patch, game patch, patches, game patches, half life, half-life, half life patches, counter strike, counter-strike, download counter strike, counter strike patches, quake iii, quake 3, quake 3 point release, updates, download game files, personal server, software, gamespy software , gaming utilities, game utilities, trailers, commercials, movies, game movies, fan movies, game fan movies, screensavers, editing tools, gaming tools, internet tools, classic games, action games, strategy games, rpg games, role playing games, mmorpg, mmorpgs, massively multiplayer, massively multiplayer online games, multiplayer, handheld games, simulations, simulation games, sims, sports, sports games, strategy games, strategy, real time strategy, audio, audio">
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
    <meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE">




    This has a very short desciption, and then they went overboard on the keywords. Is this okay for all sites, or do you think they only did it because they are "fileplanet"

    Does anyone know anything about meta tages and site descriptions?

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
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    Most search engines today either ignore the contents of the meta keywords tag completely or value them very little. Similarly the meta description, while it may be displayed in some cases at some search engines or directories, is of little help in attaining rankings.

    If fileplanet is doing well for keywords you'd like to target, it's not because of their meta tags (and even back when the meta keywords were useful, the way they have them set up would never have been recommended).
    Specializing in SEO and PPC management.

  3. #3
    Only inktomi uses meta tags, but values it very little. And with that many keywords i guess it would just ignore whole tag

  4. #4
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    Site descriptions ARE important... keep them fairly short, I think 128 characters is the practical limit.

    META tags on the other hand are becoming increasingly trivial... most search engines will look at them, but will not give them much importance - nowadays they aren't used as any real kind of index or keyword search for your site.

    But in general, just to comply with the search engines that do use them, make sure you don't repeat keywords too often in the META tags, and don't use too many of them. Also if the actual text content of the website matches some of the words in the META tags... all the better.

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by CyberAlien
    Only inktomi uses meta tags
    Inktomi is no more. There's a hint that the new Yahoo search uses meta keywords to an extent, in that they mention them in their help section as something that can help you, but I haven't yet seen real evidence that they have any effect on rankings.

    That doesn't matter, though: just the fact that they mention it there will have plenty of people insisting that meta keywords are important.
    Last edited by JayC; 03-26-2004 at 10:35 PM.
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  6. #6
    I read an article the other day that mentioned goings on at Yahoo. I think they will be integrating Inktomi technology, with a little bit of Yahoo and a dash of Google technology. Correct me if I'm wrong... OK, I just skimmed the article, but basically whatever you knew about Inktomi before is gonna change :-)

  7. #7
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    Meta Tags are really important. It is not true that search engines ignore them. Keep your keywords up to 1000 characters.

    Regards
    D.
    Last edited by dawhb; 03-30-2004 at 04:11 PM.
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    are you being sarcastic...or are you really that ignorant.


    that advice would have worked MAYBE in the 90s but things have changed and search engines have become smarter. the goal of a search engine is to find the best quality sites and display them first so their users dont bother looking at worse sites. when something is found to be a way to maliciously increase search engine positioning, the search engines modify their algorithms to exclude that. why would a search engine support something so easily abused?

    the only use of meta tags is when the site has no content at all visible to search engines (like a full flash site) to provide a summary of the site.
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  9. #9
    meta tags barely matter. site descriptions do, because they directly influence whether someone will go to your site, sometimes over rank. linking and quality of content will get you there.

  10. #10
    I would have to agree with njtom. A year ago when I submitted my free graphic site, TotalAnarchy, to Google, and 9 other top-ten search engines, I got a top ranking not for my meta tags, but for the site description that I included on the site, and in submission. (google keyword: totalanarchy)
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  11. #11
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    Originally posted by tweak187
    , I got a top ranking not for my meta tags, but for the site description that I included on the site, and in submission. (google keyword: totalanarchy)
    No, you got your ranking for the content of the site, and were helped by the fact that the keyword "totalanarchy" exists on very few sites.

    Njtom does have a good point, though; and that is that regardless of your rankings you need people to actually visit your site. The importance of the meta description, though, can easily be overestimated: where do people see it? Few search engines or directories use it. Google, since that search engine has been mentioned, in almost every case displays snippets from the page text, not the meta description. In some cases they display the dmoz description. Only rarely, in the case of a site that's not in the directory and has no text content on the index page, will they (sometimes) use the meta description.
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  12. #12
    I have found that meta tags are important. If you don't have them your site will not get spidered.

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by elle1961
    I have found that meta tags are important. If you don't have them your site will not get spidered.
    Well... that's a claim I haven't heard before. Let me ask this: how would the search engine in question find out whether a site has meta tags or not if they don't spider it?
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  14. #14
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    Good point Jay.

    Another one I liked is people saying Meta tags do not matter but a site description does -- whoops, a site description "is" a Meta tag.

    Meta tags are somewhat of an Art form. If what is in the Meta tags does not jive with the page Content, especailly the first 250 - 500 words, and site Content does not use Heading tags and/or links, then you might as well leave out the Meta tags.
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  15. #15
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    yeah, metatags do not matter. it is about putting the right keywords on your homepage and most search engines will pick it up. another very important thing is to get linked by other sites.
    Alvin

  16. #16
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    You have the people who put keywords of no relation to their site to thank or them being of little importance these days.

  17. #17
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    Actually, meta tags do have some uses.

    1. Many smaller engines and directories use the meta description and even the meta keywords tag to sort their listings.

    2. Some engines use the meta description tag for their descriptions, and even Google has been seen doing this as recently as a month ago (It puzzled me when I saw t, but they were doinf it). This might not help your ranking, but it sure is important to make sure the description Google displays entices surfers to click.

    3. The new Yahoo! is recommending the use of meta tags, and that alone has convinced me to reinstate meta tags I had once considered obsolete.
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  18. #18
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    meta tags are important look:

    result for my site - -link-

    notice how it says

    This is the homesite of Irfan Maqbool aka ALGORYTHM, it uses e107, a
    content management system / portal system written in PHP/MySQL


    now look at the meta tags for my site:

    <META NAME="DESCRIPTION" CONTENT="This is the homesite of Irfan Maqbool aka ALGORYTHM, it uses e107, a content management system / portal system written in PHP/MySQL. It gives you a fully configurable website out of the box.">

    so meta tags are important, specially when content of your sites entry page changes often.
    <erno> hm. I've lost a machine.. literally _lost_. it responds to ping, it works completely, I just can't figure out where in my apartment it is.

  19. #19
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    sometimes Google's descriptions are taken directly from their directory i.e. the ODP. Now the ODP editor in question may have taken your meta tags

  20. #20
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    sometimes Google's descriptions are taken directly from their directory i.e. the ODP.
    When you say something on the Internet, you just never know who's listening. Nor how long it will reverberate in the halls of cyberspace. That is why keyword stuffing in descriotions and title tags is si silly.
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  21. #21
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    Originally posted by ALGORYTHM
    notice how it says

    This is the homesite of Irfan Maqbool aka ALGORYTHM, it uses e107, a
    content management system / portal system written in PHP/MySQL


    now look at the meta tags for my site:
    [...]
    so meta tags are important, specially when content of your sites entry page changes often.
    Sure, it's been mentioned a few times in this thread that there are circumstances under which a search engine will display a site's meta description. You illustrated one circumstance in which it might happen; a search for the site's domain name. But, search at the same engine for "normal" keywords and it won't happen -- for example, here's a search for terms currently on your index page, enterprising muppet in the UK. Try that, or any other search that involves your site's content, and Google will show you snippets from your text, not your meta description.

    Further, the contents of the meta description, while they're stored and can be displayed, play no role in ranking at Google. That can be confirmed with a search for a phrase that exists only in your meta description: the homesite of Irfan Maqbool. Google responds that the term does not match any documents -- it has not indexed the text of the meta description, just stored it as just what it is, meta information about the site.

    So, does that mean the meta description is "important?" Depends on your priorities. If having that information appear when people search for your site after they already know your domain name is what's important to you, I suppose so. If your priority is your rankings at Google, no... it's not.
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  22. #22
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    Originally posted by amabaie
    1. Many smaller engines and directories use the meta description and even the meta keywords tag to sort their listings.
    Can you name any of these "many" smaller engines? Other than software applications and appliances designed for internal site search, intranet use, or other closed systems, I can not name a search engine today that places significant value on meta keywords. I could name many people who have said that over the years, but not any search engines that do so now.

    2. Some engines use the meta description tag for their descriptions, and even Google has been seen doing this as recently as a month ago (It puzzled me when I saw t, but they were doinf it). This might not help your ranking, but it sure is important to make sure the description Google displays entices surfers to click..
    Not puzzling; it's explained above. And no, it doesn't help your rankings... as is demonstrated above.

    3. The new Yahoo! is recommending the use of meta tags, and that alone has convinced me to reinstate meta tags I had once considered obsolete.
    Heh... which is what I predicted earlier in this thread: that just because Yahoo mentions meta keywords in the help pages for webmasters, some people would start insisting that they're important.

    Well, I've long since learned that accepting what I hear or read about search engines doesn't pay off, so these days I actually test and analyze results (novel idea that it is)... so that passing mention didn't convince me. And after experimenting on our test domains for which we have paid for inclusion in SiteMatch (meaning that they get spidered and refreshed in Yahoo every few days) I've seen no difference in rankings based on changes to meta keywords, or their existence on a given page.
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  23. #23
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    Originally posted by amabaie
    When you say something on the Internet, you just never know who's listening. Nor how long it will reverberate in the halls of cyberspace. That is why keyword stuffing in descriotions and title tags is si silly.
    I don't see your point here... no ODP editor worth their salt will blindly take a sites meta tags as a description without first editing it and secondly checking the actual content of the site... this is why ODP descriptions are usually considered pretty good.

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