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Meta Tags

Meta tag optimization is done for the search engines. Meta tags are pieces information that are inserted into the “head” area of the html code of your page.  In the main these give information, not to humans, but to the search engine crawlers that spider the web. So they are created to help the search engine crawlers know what your page is about.

Meta – what the heck does that mean?  In this sense, it means: the part of something that is not immediately visible but which is there nonetheless and has an effect.

Tags are a pieces of html code.  (HTML is the language in which web pages are written)

Meta tag optimization was at one time thought to be the magic wand that made search engines bend to our whims (or at least rank our sites at the top).  This is not the case.  In fact, according to searchenginewatch.com. few major crawlers pay any attention to “keywords” and “description”.  Teoma, Fast and Alta Vista support the meta description tag.  While only  Inktomi supports meta keywords.  These crawlers are certainly large enough that you will not want to ignore the meta tags.

Note that recently Google has suggested that webmasters pay attention to the meta tags of their pages.  If the information provided in those tags is honest and appropriate to the page Google may use these on their search engine results listings.

Although many of the crawlers do not use the meta tags to help in the ranking of your site, these tags are often used by the search engine as part of the title and description you see when your site is listed.

The meta title tag, the description tag and the keywords tag are the three most common tags of interest in search engine promotion.

The Title Tag

Whatever you place in the title tag will appear at the very top portion of the browser the viewer is using to look at your web site. This tag is also used as the words to describe the page when someone adds it to their “favorites” or “bookmarks”.

This tag is also crucial to search engines.  The text you use in the title tag is one of the most important factors in how a search engine (that uses these meta tags for ranking) will rank your site.  Also, all major crawlers will use what you put in your title tag as the text they use for the title of your page in their listings.

The Description Tag

The meta description tag allows you some control over the description of your page in the crawlers that support the tag.  The text you want here goes within the quotes after the word content in the tag.   Generally, 200 to 250 characters may be indexed, although fewer may be displayed in the listing.

The Keywords Tag

Meta keywords tag is used to list terms that apply to that page.  These are separated by commas.  It is helpful if these terms are mentioned in the text of your page.  If your page has to do with German shepherd puppies, for example, some keywords and phrases you could use might be: German shepherds, German shepherd puppies, German shepherds, puppies for sale, pedigreed dogs, police dogs

For the crawlers that support this  it is a useful way to reinforce the terms you feel are most important to your page and which you think potential visitors are likely to type into a search engine.

This may all sound complicated for those of you unfamiliar with html.  Have no fear.  When you hire Ultimate Site Promotion, Inc.  as part of  our web site optimization services we take care of  meta tag optimization.

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