Focus on Important Meta Tags and Ignore the Rest
The beginning of search engine optimization was a time when everyone was learning what to do. Since then, some people have been stuck in the old days when keywords ruled the Internet and search engine placement depended on how many times the keyword was used and where it was placed. The old way of thinking also applies to meta tags.
Meta tags are an important part of getting your websites recognized by search engines, but you have to learn which ones are important and which ones are a waste of time. Focusing on the important ones can help you ensure that your website is set for success from a search engine perspective.
The Big Four
There are four meta tags that you need to focus on when you are creating your website. These four have the biggest impact on how your website places and is viewed by searchers. If you don’t include a single other meta tag on your website, these four must be there.
The Meta Content Type: This is the way that you set the type for your website. This isn’t something that is universal, so you should work with your web designer to determine what you need to do here.
The Meta Title: This is the header that lets search engines and readers know the title of your page. This is the most important meta tag that you will have to determine because this can impact your search engine placement.
The Meta Description: This is something that searchers will find the most important. This is the 160-character description that should entice them to click on your link if it comes up in their search engine results. Many people think that this tag should be filled with keywords, but the truth is that it doesn’t have any impact on search engine placement. This component should be readable for human viewers instead of being of tailored to bots or spiders.
The Time Wasters
There are several meta tags that are just time wasters when it comes to configuring for search engine results unless they specifically need to be on your website. Language, for example, is one that you would need if your company is going international and you need to let people know the primary language on the page. Unless that is the case, this is useless.
Meta tags for specific bots are pretty much a waste of time. The technology that these bots use has improved considerably since the start of search engines. Now, the bots are pretty good at determining how to handle website information.
The robots meta tag is another one that is a time waster. This one is only necessary if you want to change the index, follow command. You would only have to specify which one you want to change if you don’t want this exact command.
Other points for you to avoid spending time on are the keywords meta tag, site verification tags, the refresh tag, and the geotag. All of these are likely handled by the search engines or alternative methods that don’t require you to add meta tags to your website. Of these, the most harmful to your website is the refresh tag, which is frowned upon by Google.
The Space Wasters
The space wasters are meta tags that some people might think they need but in reality, don’t have an impact on anything. Avoiding these can save you some space on your website and will also save you some time.
The revisit-after tag provides you with the false hope that the search engines will come back to your website when you say. This isn’t going to happen since none of the major search engines pay attention to this command.
The author, rating, generator, distribution, abstract, and resource type tags are all space wasters. None of these really do anything to improve your website’s search engine placement. Instead of worrying about these, you would do better to just come up with fresh content for your website.
The copyright and expiration date tags are also wastes of space. The copyright information is likely found in the footer of your website, so you don’t have to repeat the information in a meta tag. Paying attention to the expiration date tag is a waste of time because you should always make sure all of the pages of your website are current and applicable to readers today. Some pages, such as contest pages, should just be pulled when they are no longer valid.