Here is our general
overview of META Tags, what they are and how to use them. Plus
a little history which explains why they are a little tricky to
Tags are used to help catalog and categorize the contents of a
web page. They are not seen by your visitors, but instead seen
only by search engines. In theory the search engines could just
extract this information and include it in their database as it
contains all the necessary information to catalog and categorize
a web page. However, this simple idea simply does not work. The
reason is that like almost all areas of endeavor people are more
likely to try and cheat the system than follow the rules. If we
could get everyone to follow one simple rule it would make life
on the web and life in general a whole lot easier. The rule: "Everybody
has to be honest".
Well we know thats not going to happen so lets discuss how
the system works in reality. No one knows how a search engine
works, and I mean no one. There is not "a programmer"
that knows how they work. These systems have become very large
and very complex. The majority of the search engine developers
time and effort is spent trying to keeping ahead of the liars
and cheaters. We wont go into all the ways that have been
used to try and trick the search engines, but if you look at other
sites about web site promotion Im sure you see them touting
some latest loophole theyve found to cheat the search engines
to get your site to the top of the list. If the trick
is more than a day old and it really works you can be certain
that the search engine programmers are busy trying to find a way
to identify the cheating sites and exclude them from the search
engine. More time and effort is spent trying to cheat the search
engines than in creating quality sites.
So how do you get your site listed in the search engine? First
and foremost create the best site you possibly can. Part of this
process is to create META Tags. You may have trouble figuring
out what to put in your META Tags. Which keywords do I use? Use
words that fit the contents of your site. Say you created a site
about Sam Jones. Sam likes surfing, volleyball and hot dogs. Use
Sam Jones in your title, description and in your list
of key words. If you do that then your site will be more heavily
weighted on Sam Jones and less on surfing, volleyball and hot
dogs. The search engines will search the contents of your page
to see if you indeed talk about Sam Jones.
To achieve a high position in the search
it is best to concentrate
on a small number of words and include them in the title, description
and keyword META
tags as well as at the start of your web page. As more keywords
are added, the relevance of each is diluted resulting in a lower
score by the some search engine algorithms.
the temptation to stuff too many words in your META
tags and avoid repeating
your keywords as this may be considered spamming by some engines
resulting in your site being blacklisted, penalized or banned.
Some search engines
concentrate on only
the <TITLE> tag and very little else. Site builders have
reported that Altavista works in this manner. Some search engines
ignore the META
tags altogether and concentrate on the body of the web site. Including
your keywords in the top line of text on the page can help for
Remember no matter what you do to optimize your page for one engine
today may not take the same page to the top spot in another search
or even the same
search engine in the future. So if youre not willing to
spend your full time keeping up with the changing search engine
technology then just keep it simple and honest and the search
engines will eventually find a way to find you. After all their
goal to find the best sites on the net.
Consider the case when Geo Cities first came online and caused
thousands of pages to be created. Barely related pages from Geo
Cities would come up constantly on your searches, but they dont
anymore. How come? Did those pages disappear? Not likely. A simple
solution would be to simply exclude Geo Cities from the search.
But what about great sites on Geo Cities? One solutions that works
well for search engines is to check the sites popularity? What
do they mean by popularity? Its not actually how many times
the site is visited. After all the search engines themselves are
sending users to the pages. They judge the popularity of a site
by how many links exist to your site. The theory is that if a
human checked out your site and thought it was worthy enough to
put an actually link to it then it must have some content of value.
So this again leads us to fact that your site must have value.
Another type of Search Engine which is not really
a search engine at all is a human edit directory.
How much would bet that the search engines check out these human
edited directories to add weight to sites listed in them? These
are great place to get you site listed. Remember at the heart
of (under all the new bells and whistles) of Yahoo lies the granddaddy
of human edited directories. Some people swear that this directory
never get updated anymore, but it does. Its just take a
very very long time to get listed. And Im sure that is electronically
assisted. In other words they dont look at site that arent
statistically popular yet. Ill bet they arent the
first directory to list a site unless their paid to do so of course.