Optimisation of the meta tags for SEO
Oh, the famous meta tags! Probably the best-known term in SEO with the no less famous PageRank. The meta tags are the tags located in the part head of an HTML document. They are completely invisible for the user when they visit a website, unless they open the generated source code.
A meta tag is used to indicate some properties of a document such as its author, a description or a list of keywords. The syntax of the meta tags is the following one:
<meta attribut-name="valeur-name" attribut-content="valeur-content">
At a given time and on several search engines, filling in the meta description tags and keywords could be enough to rank number one on the SERPs. Today, the situation has drastically changed as we will see in this article.
What are the meta tags that impact the visibility of a website?
As far as I know, only the tags robots and description can play a role. This does not mean that you should not use the other meta tags but simply that it is useless to hope to optimize your SEO by filling them in.
Why are meta tags no longer really used by search engines?
This attitude is due to the nature of the meta. They are almost invisible and therefore the temptation to spam them has been too great for some people. Some webmasters had fun including very popular key phrases that belong to the erotic domain in order to generate traffic. Others hid the names of their competitors in these tags to benefit from their notoriety.
Faced with these methods and the overall improvement of the ranking algorithms, the search engines first devalued the weighting of the meta tags, and then finally decided to ignore most of them...
The meta Robots tag
This tag will have no negative impact on your visibility if you ignore it. Indeed, the default behavior of a robot consists in indexing a web page and following the links in.
On the other hand, it is possible to prohibit the indexing with consequences you can imagine on SEO...
<meta name="Robots" Content="noindex, nofollow">
The Meta Description tag
This tag is frequently used as a snippet in the results pages. It allows you to describe the content of the page. It is not necessary to propose more than 930 pixels. Actually, the use of the meta description tag is not mandatory. On the other hand, if you decide to use it, it must be personalized on each page of your website.
It is useless to try to stuff with keywords the content of the meta description. Try to put a word that does not exist on the Internet in this tag, have the page indexed and you will see, this won't bring this term out (at least on Google)!
Write your descriptions with the idea of making Internet users want to click! A marketing approach is then required, exactly like for an Adwords Ad.
If you don't use this tag, the search engines will use the content of your website to generate it automatically.
Unlike what we might think, it is not mandatory to make grammatically correct sentences. Here is an example of description recommended by Google:
<META NAME="Description" CONTENT="Author: J. K. Rowling, Illustrator: Mary GrandPré, Category: Books, Price: $17.99, Length: 784 pages">
The Meta Keywords tag
The content of the meta Keywords tag is apparently ignored by most of the search engines.
Waste as little time as possible with this tag, then. In the same vein as for the meta description, it would be preferable to leave it empty rather than having the same list on all your pages.
The other meta tags
Other meta tags are often used with the aim of optimizing the visibility, such as "revisited after". As far as I know, they have no direct impact.
Meta tags and SEO
You got it, the SEO optimization of a website does not require anymore meta tags and this, since several years!
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