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  1. #1
    Member Azam's Avatar
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    Cool Are meta-tags now worthless?
    I have just checked the code for about ten affiliate network websites and not a single one has description or keyword meta-tags. That really surprised me.

    Is that because these tags are worthless now or the designers are just incompetent/lazy?

  2. #2
    Member Tobius's Avatar
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    They don't matter to Google, but last I heard the others still ranked against them; Yahoo, MSN, Lycos, etc. Maybe those sites are only interested in Google results?

    -tm

  3. #3
    Internet Cowboy
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    to the best of my knowledge, keyword metatags are completely dead and desc. metatags are still used on some engines, Google is fine with neither but will pick up the description tag if it is present.


  4. #4
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    IMHO, a unique meta description (and page title) is a must for sites with product pages that are near-duplicates or just on the edge. It can also increase clickability in cases where the meta description is shown for the snippet at the engine if written well.

    In general they're not necessary, but can add a bit of plus value. For the keywords meta, it's probably better to omit it altogether than to keyword-stuff it.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    For the keywords meta, it's probably better to omit it altogether than to keyword-stuff it.
    Was thinking about that the other day. I've always used keyword tags (b/c it only take a bit of time to put them in), but considering that most SE's don't recognize them, one has to think whether more harm than good will always come out of using it.

  6. #6
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    considering that most SE's don't recognize them, one has to think whether more harm than good will always come out of using it.
    MB, recognizing them and using them toward scoring are two different things. Like last I heard, Yahoo doesn't use them for rankings, but does for identification.

    It's unlikely that there's any benefit at all for rankings, but in some cases it can be used by directory editors when making submissions, so it can't hurt to have one, using only the top 1/2/3 keyword phrases for the individual page, just short & sweet, targeted and accurate.

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    As others have said, SE's don't use these for ranking much anymore, but they are used for other purposes. For example, by default Google will display the 1st 100 characters or so of your site text when it turns up in the natural results. However, it will display your description meta tag instead if you have one. Usually the description tag makes more sense.

    I'd say there is no harm using them, as long as you don't try and stuff them with keywords. I always include them just to be safe.

    --Jason
    Jason Rosenbaum
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  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateBuddha's Avatar
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    it's cool to have meta tags, it's a ... web 2.0 thing - more and more next generation websites and "webapps" as they are sometimes refered to, have a lot of stuff in between their <head>tags</head> one also feels like a purist when using metatags, plus, metatags bring back memories of the olden web 0.5 days.
    Gift Shopping Zone Affiliate Program on SAS - 10% per sale with unlimited cookie duration, over 10,000 products.

  9. #9
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    no they are not dead

  10. #10
    You are in, or you are out ... choose!
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    Metatags as a whole are but a few of many factors used by Search Engines these days, each of which have their own secret mix, in determining ranking factors compared to search phrases. Whilst Metatags may appear to be not in vogue at the moment, that could change at any time.

    I say "appear to be not in vogue" because to test each and every search engine would take a lot of time and even then not be conclusive. And whilst ten top affiliate sites apparently have no metatags, this does not necessarily mean that metatags are of little value, let alone that that the spiders may or may not be seeing the same as human eyes. IE., "Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence".

    >They don't matter to Google
    Actually, this is not the case. There was a situation recently over at ThreadWatch where pages were disappearing from Google's index, which Matt Cutts later attributed to those pages having identical descriptions. When the descriptions were fixed, the pages reappeared. This would indicate that perhaps the Description tag is of more value than thought.

    I also understand from talks with Google type people that the Keyword Tag is used, although of lower importance, where little or no other information is available, eg., flash sites. (However, these talks were some time ago and things may have changed since then.)

    Even so, to determine the importance of Tag based on only one Search Engine's usage would be a mistake in my opinion. There are many Search Engines out there, and the fact that most traffic may come from one or other particular SE at the moment does not mean that this will always be the case. Remember the days when Alta Vista was the Search Engine?

    Not to mention that an SE could drop any site at any time, changing the relevant importance of Tags to the dropped site. There are SEs out there who still rely on those tags, it would be prudent to feed them.

    >used by directory editors
    Bingo! (Remember that thread over at WmW Webworker?) Best to give directory editors as many tools as they may need to effectively list sites.

    Metatags are perceived to be currently not in Vogue, but the way SEs twist and turn their Algo Knobs, Tags may start to be important again at any time, if not for direct listings, perhaps for LSI, Theming, or whatever.

    It takes little time when building pages to construct correct Tags, infact, some publishers construct their tags first to help focus their attention when writing the content. Of course with database driven sites it is a different matter, but perhaps even more ciritical given the challenges with duplicate content. Judicious editing of supplied Tags may make all the difference.

    Yes, I know, it is extra work, but then that is what we get paid for.
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  11. #11
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I have dozens of merchants dictating what can and can't be included in my meta tags, so THEY must think it's still relavent.

  12. #12
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    I always use them. Better safe than sorry. If the SE's use them, they're there. If they don't, then they don't

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