RIP Meta Tags RIP Meta Tags
A fond farewell
To a dear friend
(of Black Hat SEO)
[I had better quickly said that Title Tags are incredibly important to search engines and therefore absolutely vital to SEO. But technically Title Tags are not Meta Tags so I will continue….]

In SEO terms, Meta Tags have been dead for some time. Google hasn’t taken in to account Meta tags, when rating a web page’s importance, since 2005.

So is there any point in even bothering with them then?

Yes, definitely. Meta Tags can provide relevant information regarding a web page and it is simply good practice and housekeeping to ensure your Meta tags are correct.

One key Meta Tag that should not be ignored is the Meta Description Tag.

Although Google doesn’t rate your Meta description text when compiling the importance of a web page, they will take the first 25 words (approx.) of the description and display them in your listing on a search results page. If you haven’t bothered filling in the description, Google will then go to DMOZ, and take your description from there. Not listed on DMOZ… ok then… Google will simply take a bit of random text from your website.

Therefore, your listing may then read something like…

Welcome to ABC Widgets Ltd
ABC Widgets · Home | About Us | Services | Contact | Help | Sitemap · << Back. ABC Widgets – 17k –

Well, that certainly is enlightening to all potential visitors! I can’t really see anyone beating a path to ABC Widgets door anytime soon.

You can, therefore, see that the Meta description is an important way of getting information about your company across to people.

However, you should also be able to see how the Meta description could actually be put to work for you as a promotional tool – not with Google but with potential customers. Use words and phrases that a visitor will use to search for a business like yours and write text that will simply shout for people to click on your listing rather than someone else’s.

Your description could include any current promotions you may be running, discounts provided, specialized services you offer, etc. Why not put in your contact telephone number? And a call for action – ‘call us today for all your widget needs’? But remember to make it relevant and current, you don’t want to disappoint your visitors when they arrive at your website – your bounce rate may go up rather sharply!

Take note of other companies’ descriptions when you are searching the net for information, this will give you a good idea of how others are utilizing this resource to promote their online business. Then go and search your own keywords and see what your competitors are up to! I suspect you may then want to take a bit more notice of your own Meta description…