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Are Meta Tags Dead in Google?

Does Google use meta tags for anything besides listing your results

     
10:00 pm on Mar 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I know that MSN and Yahoo place some importance (very little-but some) on Meta Tags. Does Google use Meta Tags for anything besides your listing (if there is very little content on page) in the SERPS? It appears they may use the Title or nothing at all. Any one have any in depth knowledge on this...?
10:44 pm on Mar 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The general consensus is that Google does not use Meta keywords at all.

However, if they are using bayesian filtering, as some suggest, they will most likely be analysing your meta keywords for signs of spam.

10:48 pm on Mar 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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To what extent do you feel listing relevant keywords becomes excessive then? For Google purposes are you better off not using them?
10:53 pm on Mar 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You will not upset Google by having a keyword tag providing you don't include words or phrase that are not present within the visible on page text.

As MM says, telling lies in the keyword tag can trigger a spam filter.

12:16 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The <title> element and the META "description" tag are the two most important ones to focus on. Both should be relevant to the individual page and not overloaded with excess words/phrases. The only thing we typically use the "keywords" tag for these days is to include potential misspellings, or if the page is geographic in nature, to list the names of towns and cities that the page applies to that are not already mentioned on the page itself.
1:24 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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How does placing cities not already listed on the site match up with what everyone says about the keyword tags should be found on your site. Same with misspellings
5:05 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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deluxcougar. As far as Google goes, you are best off without having a meta keywords tag at all.

This doesn't apply to Yahoo though.

11:37 am on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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In the Google SERPS the keywords of the description tag are highlighted. So is evident that this tag is not irrelevant.
11:52 am on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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No-one really knows if Google use the meta tags and if they do, how they use them.

It can happen, according to some people, that spamming the tags can cause a drop in rankings.

Putting in a word in the keyword tag (made up string of letters) and then searching for that word will not result in your site showing - this indicates to me that if they use the tag, they ignore words that are not also used in the body.

The description tag is sometimes displayed when snippets cannot be used - sometimes when anchor text brings a page into the serps, sometimes when using allinurl: commands.

There is no evidence one way or the other if Google use the tags to 'weight' words in the body more heavily if they are also used in the keywords or description metas.

They won't hurt (unless you spam).

They will probably help on other engines.

12:05 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I do agree with PCink,

did a huge research on metatags and the use of keywords.
Then, stupidly, I put too many keywords in the metatags. In one word, I "spammed" the metatag.

Result? You say it: Google made the site drop in the ranking for one point, from 6 to 5, which is aweful!

At the same time, the search results for the site improved in Yahoo and Altavista...

You see, here bad experiences help us gain very valuable insights!

Cheers,

<trim>

5:23 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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A drop in ranking from 5 to 6 may be due to normal fluctuation and may not be caused by any change on the page.
7:55 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Instand1,

oh really?
I thought I was being penalized for having changed (trying to improve, but clearly didnīt) the metatags.

So thatīs interesting... normal flucution changed the page rank.
I am now wondering what has been so bad about that fluctuation to put the site down for one point.

Every when is it updating then?

8:58 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"How does placing cities not already listed on the site match up with what everyone says about the keyword tags should be found on your site."

Meta keywords don't need to be on the page, so ignore the talk about them having to be found on the page. Google doesn't use meta keywords, but Yahoo does, so they are really offtopic here. Go through the Yahoo forum and see the posts from the Yahoo reps about using meta keywords. I forget if it was Mike or Tim, but they specifically said that meta keywords was the place for related or mispelled words, stuff that would help the engine understand the context of the page, even though the words don't appear on the page.

Meta description has obviously become hugely important to Google now as search results now often display the description when one exists, and that is enormously better than a ransom note.

9:03 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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That's interesting. I appreciate the feedback. Do you have any good links to specific information from Mike or Tim about meta tags within WebmasterWorld?
2:03 pm on Mar 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Page Rank 6 may drop to Page Rank 5: This may happen, if it was a low 6 and is now a high 5. As the web contiues to grow the average number of links required for PR6 will increase.
4:55 pm on Mar 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I see, Instant1,

so how do I get more links pointing at my page?

1. ideally they should be "quality" links = on pages that count with a high PR themselves - thatīs tough to get nowadays. I believe link spreading in forums isnīt tremendously effective for that purpose....

2. "buying" links, I have read in other forums, is usually not effective either or so expensive that itīs not worthwhile the try

My further doubt is, whether links indicated on blogs are being counted by the Search Engines at all?

Thank you for sharing information.
Sometimes I feel a bit green but itīs a widespread phenomena in these things...