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Effects of Metatags

Would change in metatags cause change in the webpage

12:47 am on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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First off, I know that once you have a website up, the bots from all the various search engines will find your pages and index them in their databases in a matter of weeks. They will stay indexed as long as the names of those pages remind the same. I also know that once you change the names of those pages, the search engines lose those old pages, have to re-index your whole site again, and therefore you lose traffic to your site. So, am I accurate to this point?

Therefore, my question is of that same nature. Would changing the metatags on a webpage cause traffic to that particular page to go down? Change meaning adding more specific keywords to the title and meta keywords section, rewording the description around to be more specific, and making the meta keywords section to have more relevant words in it.

1:48 am on July 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm pretty sure the meta keywords are ignored, as very early on they were used to spam the search engines. But the search engines often do display the meta description in search results, so composing good ones can increase your search engine referrals.

This can actually improve your traffic dramatically by improving your position in search results. The reason is that the search engines sometimes use redirects to see which links get clicked, and improve the position of pages that get a lot of clicks. Similarly, pages that don't receive many clicks are moved to poorer positions.

I discuss this in this forum under White Hat Search Engine Optimization [webmasterworld.com]

There is a way you can rename a page without losing traffic: use a redirect. I've been renaming a few of my old pages so that their filenames would be composed of better keywords, but I've been redirecting traffic to the old filenames to the new ones. I've found that this works just fine to retain both traffic and pagerank.

5:49 am on July 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

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Whilst meta keywords are ignored by most of the major search engines they can be useful as a reminder on each page of the words and phrases you are targeting there.

I believe that title and description are factors in your page ranking so changes to these can affect this in a positive or negative way. I change mine on a regular basis but you must also remember that, as Michael says, good titles and description may decide whether someone actually clicks into your site.

1:56 pm on July 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well, the reason why I am asking this question is simple. A few months ago, around the end of March and beginning of April, I changed the metatags on every page on our site to try to boost our traffic.

The changes I made were:

- added more "key" words to the title to make it more specific
- reworded the meta description to be more accurate and up-to-date
- reworded the meta keywords to remove irrelevant words and add new relevant ones

I've then been monitoring our traffic for the next few months and instead of seeing a boost or even a constant flow of traffic, I see a drop in traffic. Is there any reason to believe that the changes I made to the metatags could be causing my traffic to drop? Also, would using the same meta description for each page cause the traffic to drop as well?