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Yahoo recommends Keywords META and Image ALT text

In "How to improve my ranking?" document

   
10:57 pm on Feb 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Stealing this link from another discussion, it's Yahoo's help document titled How do I improve the ranking of my web site in the search results? [help.yahoo.com]

I'm intrigued by the items in there that suggest webmasters use the Keywords META tag (maybe it's not dead after all?) and by the suggestion that image ALT text is being crawled for "search purposes".

Keywords and ALT text -- two things G stopped looking at long ago, right, because they're so ripe for spam.

I suppose this reinforces the comments made in this thread [webmasterworld.com] that the current Yahoo algo is like Google's was two years ago.

11:01 pm on Feb 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Keywords and ALT text -- two things G stopped looking at long ago, right, because they're so ripe for spam.

I don't think Google has stopped looking at either of those areas. I believe they are still weighed in the overall relevancy equation of a page.

The alt attribute will never go away. Its a usability and accessibility requirement and whether or not the SE's index it is of no major importance. You should still be utilizing your alt attributes as they were intended to be used.

11:01 pm on Feb 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Google values ALT on images that link. It only ignores it when the images don't link. Ink has always used meta keywords.
12:09 am on Feb 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I don't think Google has stopped looking at either of those areas. I believe they are still weighed in the overall relevancy equation of a page.

Really? That would be news to me. I sure haven't done any research on it myself but everything I've read over the past year or more has said META Keywords is dead ... aside from Ink possibly still giving it some consideration.

The alt attribute will never go away. Its a usability and accessibility requirement and whether or not the SE's index it is of no major importance. You should still be utilizing your alt attributes as they were intended to be used.

Exactly, and that's what makes this interesting to me about Yahoo -- they're actually saying, "Yeah, use it to help your search ranking." Whereas everything else has been what you said -- it's an accessibility thing and because it's been spammed to death over the years, it holds no weight for search positioning.

Google values ALT on images that link. It only ignores it when the images don't link. Ink has always used meta keywords.

Right. But this is supposed to be a NEW and IMPROVED Yahoo algo, and not Ink. That's what the big announcement was about. Sure, I understand they're pulling in factors and technology from Ink, and ATW, etc., but it intrigues me that they'd pull in something like image ALT text which is so ripe for spam, and then specifically list it as something that webmasters should use for "search purposes".

Still seems like this is G of a couple years ago before it got smarter about handling spammy web pages.

12:18 am on Feb 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Really? That would be news to me. I sure haven't done any research on it myself but everything I've read over the past year or more has said META Keywords is dead ... aside from Ink possibly still giving it some consideration.

Sometimes you just have to take things with a grain of salt. You might want to do some research at Google and check out information they have about their search appliances and how that ties in with the public search.

I would think it is easy for an algo to detect alt attribute spam. Certain character count, relevancy of alt attribute to surrounding image text, etc.

12:21 am on Feb 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Stopped using the meta-keywords tag about 6 months ago.

I do well without them, but if I was doing bad...it might not hurt to try them.

12:39 am on Feb 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Keyword meta:
With this Florida/Austin/Brandy update I'm back to using them.
1:03 am on Feb 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



With this Florida/Austin/Brandy update I'm back to using them.

And you made that decision based on ...? Something you saw/researched? A hunch? Lots of free time? ;)

Have you seen any impact yet from your decision?

Never stopped using it myself, but figured I was just spinning wheels. Perhaps not.

1:23 am on Feb 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Go ahead and put it to the test. Do you have a page that is sitting somewhere in the top ten? Does that page have a META keywords tag? If not, drop one and see what transpires.

I like keeping them short and to the point. If the words don't appear in the title, META description and <h> tags, they don't belong in the keywords tag.

Just think, Google claims they look at 100+ factors when determining the relevancy of a page. What if, now mind you I said "what if" the META keywords tag is that 100th factor? If that is the case, then your page sitting in the top ten may jump a position or two, who knows?

Even if Google doesn't give the tag any relevancy, there are many other resources that do. I've always felt it was a good practice to include one on primary pages. I got lazy like the rest of us and don't have them on all pages.

5:44 pm on Feb 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Put it to the test? Hehehe. I have one personal page that sits at No. 2 for its one-word keyphrase, and removing the keywords tag there will have no implication at all I'm sure.

But I don't think I care to start playing around with our client sites that are in the Top 10... I'm not that adventurous! :)

5:48 pm on Feb 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I think taking account of the metas is important for search engines with a PFI model.

In order to get more advantage from regular spidering, webmasters need to be able to tinker with their pages. It is not always so easy to change layout and copy, but webmasters can tweak metas to their heart's content.

8:58 pm on Feb 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



"Google values ALT on images that link. It only ignores it when the images don't link. Ink has always used meta keywords."

I'll have to disagree, Google is giving relevancy to my image alt tags which do not link anywhere.

As for the keyword meta tag, yes it can be spammed, but anyone with a half a brain can write a crawler to filter out metakeyword spam! If it's not on the page, the metakeyword is spamming.

10:09 pm on Feb 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I would have to agree with Steveb. Alt-tags don't help unless they appear in a linked object. Even in a linked object they do not count as much as a normal text link.
2:51 am on Feb 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>Google values ALT on images that link.

Only on the internal image links? Or maybe on the external image links, also?

3:00 pm on Feb 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Use meta tags for Y! in Ink wisely. They do not have heavy weight by themselves, but they can make or brake your overall optimization.

Think of them as an "underline" for keywords you want spiders to pay extra attention to.

4:49 am on Feb 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Why is this a surprise to anybody?

Yahoo bought Inktomi. Inktomi was recommending "meta name=keywords" for years [web.archive.org].

7:18 am on Feb 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Why is this a surprise to anybody?

Because, it seems to me that a new and improved search engine wouldn't account for something that has been historically used for spam and has been ignored by all other major search engines.

Yahoo bought Inktomi. Inktomi was recommending "meta name=keywords" for years.

Yes, and judging by the quality of those SERPs over the years, or lack thereof, you'd think they would stop looking at the Keywords meta like everyone else. :)

10:41 am on Feb 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Could someone please tell me how you can spam a keyword meta tag these days?

Putting a whole bunch of keywords in the tag that have nothing to do with your site will not get you ranked for those keywords. There has to be corresponding body text to back up your keyword meta tag or else it is spotted as spam and penalised.

Keyword meta tag spam is easy to spot and therefore any basic algorithm should be able to handle it. I'm sure Yahoo's algorithm isn't basic so could all of you nay-sayers please back up what you're saying by explaining how anyone could get away with keyword meta tag spam these days.

2:01 pm on Feb 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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pleeker: everything I've read over the past year or more has said META Keywords is dead ...

In an older thread GoogleGuy said explicitly not to neglect the keyowrd tag because it helps to some extend. We should not lose too much sleep over it though.

That was shortly before I was about to drop that tag altogether. Still do some basic work with keyword tags...

1:52 am on Mar 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I think it's always useful to add keywords in meta tag and alt text. I helps the engines with their image databases, and it can help with rankings, especially with obscure searches.

It may take a little extra time to add these when building sites, but overall I think it's worth it.

1:59 am on Mar 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have not used the keyword meta tag for 2 years and I have top positions for a super competitive two word phrase in both Yahoo! and Google. If it does matter, it must be very small. I'm not an authority but I thought modern SEs stopped looking at those long ago.

Regarding the Image ALT, I think this makes good sense for the user and if it makes good sense for the user it probably makes good sense for SEs

 

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