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Are meta tags importaint?
Description and Keywords

 1:48 pm on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hello everyone,

As a relatively new webmaster, I have a question regarding changing the META name="description" content = " ". If I am not mistaken, this determines the title in the top part of a browser when visiting the site. I just changed this for one of my sites (the company name has changed since the web designer first designed the site). But the old name still remains, despite several refreshers and looking at in 2 browsers. Does anyone know why this could be, or what I may have done wrong when changing the code?

Also, how does the description content affect search engines (or is it just the keywords tags)? Thanks...


Alternative Future

 1:53 pm on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)


To change your site title in the browser you have to change the <title> </title> tags to reflect any new changes.

The meta description is *was* used to give the search engines a brief snippet of what was on the page an appetizer used on the SERP's promoting your site. There are a lot of arguments saying that they are no longer used by any of the major search engines anymore (but personally I still have them in place - used or not)


added: The about using Meta description above is also related to the usage of the meta keywords - they were once a haven for spammers and black hat search engine promotion techniques


 2:11 pm on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks. Done and fixed (I should have known that, just haven't worked with basic html for awhile). As for meta tags in general, is it not still important to use key words, so long as they are appropriate and relevant? Or do they engines just totally ignore them because of past black hats/spammers?

Alternative Future

 2:19 pm on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>As for meta tags in general, is it not still important to use key words, so long as they are appropriate and relevant? Or do they engines just totally ignore them because of past black hats/spammers?

I *think* that most SE's ignore them, but who knows what the current algorithm used by googlebot yahoobot & msnbot uses. Again I use them and keep them relevant to the page it cannot do any harm - the worst they can do is ignore them.



 7:32 pm on Sep 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

In the meta name="description" content="blah", i simply use the title tag that is on each page. This is mainly out of laziness, but i am wondering, does anyone know if this is a bad idea in terms of search engines?


 7:53 pm on Sep 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Some engines display the content of the description meta tag on the results page. So people searching for information may decide to go to your site based on what they read in the description. That alone is a reason to make sure the content is appropriate, regardless of the other uses search engines may or may not make of that tag.



 8:03 pm on Sep 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

The <title> element is very important of course. Google absolutely does use the <meta type="description" content="..."> element, and it often appears in the snippet displayed in the SERPs. Google does not presently seem to use the type="keywords" <meta> element, but there may be other search engines that do, and Google could conceivably pick it up again in the future, so it can do no harm to put it in. In both cases, keep those elements short: about 150 characters of content is good.


 3:38 pm on Sep 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Most search engines will ignore pages where the meta tags do not match the content of the page as some spammers were putting in keywords that would get them a high hit rate (I think you know the sorts of words I mean ;-) ).

As long as the meta tags are close to the content you should be OK.

I work on a public service website and as well as the usual meta tags we use the "Dublin Core" meta tags.

But don't worry, as long as it's not a public service website, the standard ones should be fine.


 11:23 am on Sep 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I always put them in but make sure they are related to to the page content.

If you have them then they cant hold it against you for not having them... Even if they arent much use now days.

Import Export

 2:40 pm on Sep 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I believe they are still important, depending on the situation of your site. They can help trigger your site as a result for related searches..

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