Metatags

A quick guide to meta tags for search engine optimization. Improve your site's position and rank by applying these simple principals. There are several meta tags, but the most important for search engine indexing are the description and keywords search engines utilizes different tags. The description tag returns a description of the page in place of the summary the search engine would ordinarily create. The keywords tag provides keywords for the search engine to associate with your page.

Before going further I want to clear one thing, that meta tags are not a magic solution.You may have the best meta tags in the world, but meta tags alone will not significantly raise the ranking of your website if it lacks sufficient content.


Main meta tags:

Chose right TITLE:

Make sure each page of your site has a descriptive title. Because search engines usually give the most weight to the page's title, you should place a descriptive phrase between the <TITLE> tags. For best results, it is advised that you keep it within 200 characters and to-the-point. Also, since search engines return the title as the search results, your HTML title should be both descriptive and attractive.

For example, the following title describes well the site, and therefore is a good choice:

<TITLE>Dynamic Web promotion software - submit your web sites to 1000+ major search engines.</TITLE>

Meta Description Tag:

The meta description tag is used to assist those search engines which are meta capable in summarizing your website. The size of the meta description tag should be under 200 characters.The basic html format of the meta description tag is:

<meta name="description" content="simple webpage description">

Some actual sample tags:

<meta name="description" content="Submission2000 an ultimate web promotion and site submission tool to promote your web site to all major search engines ">

<meta name="description" content="Dynamic KeywordBid Maximizer an ultimate pay per click optimizer,bid manager and search engine promotion software help you to manage your keywords and bids online at all major pay-per-click search engines ">

The actual size used is not as important as the message it conveys, but do not exceed the limit. It must tell the reader what they will find on the website. In addition to these meta tags, you need to build a summary paragraph into your web page which can be used by the Search Engines which do not use the meta tags. This summary should be 170-200 characters maximum and be the first visible text on the screen when the page loads. Engines like Northern Light and Lycos will use this information for their summary of your web page. Therefor first 200 characters are very important for your web site to get higher rank in search engines.


Meta keyword tag:

The keywords tag is used by the meta capable search engines to help aid them in indexing your website. This is important, the search engines use this information to determine under what queries your website will come up under.

The basic html format of the meta keyword tag is:

<meta name="keywords" content="keyword1,keyword2,keyword3,keyword4,...">
OR
<meta name="keywords" content="keyword1 keyword2 keyword3 keyword4 ...">
sample:
<meta name="keywords" content="dog food,dogs,pet food,pets,dry,wet,canned dog food,pet supplies">
(Notice that it includes both words and phrases)

Note that these tags are functionally equal. Inclusion of commas does inflate the basic tag size, so they can be removed if you are hovering around the limit. Including them does have the effect of making the tag that much more readable however. You can exert some influence on search engines by customizing your tags for a specific set of engine queries.

The common abuse of the meta keyword tag was -- and still is -- the repetition of words which is called spamming. Never insert the same word twice in a row in this tag, even if you're using different variations. (Plurals, ALL CAPS, different tenses, etc.) You can use the same word in different phrases, but never use that word more than 3 or 4 times within the tag, even if you're using different variations of it.

How many keywords:

My own experiments suggest that some search engines penalize pages that use only one or two words in the keyword meta-tag, probably in an attempt to sniff out gateway pages. Besides, if you're only using one or two keywords, you're probably missing out on traffic by focusing too narrowly. Listing hundreds of keywords dilutes the keyword density, so you won't score well for any of them. Aim for about twenty keywords.

Keyword weight:

You may wish to use plenty of keywords and key phrases to gain a wide coverage but one or two of them may be much more important than the others. This is where weight or positioning comes into play.

Search engines often take into account how much of the keywords content is given over to a particular word or phrase. In the following example, the weight of the word "dog" is 25% - for obvious reasons.

<Meta name=keywords content="dog food pets chow">

Prominence:
This refers to how close to the beginning of the tag the keyword resides. The closer to the beginning the higher the prominence. In the above example, dog would have a prominence of 100%. So remember to put your most important keywords at the beginning.

Case sensitivity:

Some engines are case sensitive and some are not. To allow for this, many people include each keyword and/or keyphrase in lower, upper and proper case versions within the keywords tag. E.g. keyword, key phrase, KEYWORD, KEY PHRASE, Keyword, Key Phrase. Personally, I believe that most surfers don't bother with upper case characters when searching the web (apart from Altavista) and I prefer to include more keywords than use up the space in this way.

Robots Meta tags:

This is used to pass instructions to the search engines' robots - often referred to as spiders or crawlers. Robots are used to crawl web sites and gather pages for the search engines to evaluate and index. Some engines, such as AltaVista and Excite, have their own robots. Others use various databases such as Inktomi. Either way, a robot is always used to gather pages.

<Meta name="robots" content="noindex">

The robots meta tag is used to pass instructions to the robots. Many of them accept the instructions, particularly those from the major engines and databases. The content is always one word. The recognized words are:- index, noindex, follow, nofollow, all and none.

Index = index this page (Default setting --no need for a tag)
noindex = don't index this page
follow = follow the links from this page to get more pages
nofollow = don't follow the links from this page
all = index this page and follow the links from it
none = don't index this page and don't follow the links

Links:

Some search engine information Links

Do It Yourself Submission Software:

There are lot of submission software in the market today. The one I prefer is Dynamic Submission2000. This product can make your Search Engine Submission process easier. The automatic submission can save you hours. It has all the necessary tools you need to optimize your website including meta tag generator, web ranking, generate doorway pages and optimize pages time to time. Try the free trial version first, and buy it if you like the results. For more information click here.




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