The Importance of Meta Tags

In previous years, meta titles have been a key feature of SEO and website ranking. Within this, meta keywords, titles and descriptions are added within a page to improve ranking.
But now the use of meta keywords have become less frequent, mostly unsupported by search engines.

What are meta keywords?

Meta keywords are a form of meta tag that use specific words or phrases related to the webpage. Different to keywords you may use for advertising, meta keywords are not shown to users, only held in the source code.

Meta keywords can be used to improve your ranking to match with user searches. For example, in the Blue Thirst page we may use the meta keywords ‘PPC agency’ or ‘digital marketing agency’. This will improve our ranking for those searching for those terms as they have been used in the meta tags.

Goodbye meta keywords…

In 2009, Google announced that they no longer support meta keywords for ranking purposes, meaning that websites are ranked based on content and other meta tags. The main reason for this was due to ‘keyword stuffing’ where developers would enter as many keywords to outrank competitors. This is now a strict black-hat tactic.

Following in Google’s footsteps, other search engines have phased out using meta keywords. This includes Bing, Yahoo and Yandex. Although developers can still include meta keywords in their pages, the engines have released that they are not used in algorithms to calculate ranking.

There is still some uncertainty in whether they make a difference to a site in 2018. However, as the search engines don’t support them, we can be sure that they are not the deal breaker of a high or low ranking website.

Using other meta tags
Other meta tags that are still being used by search engines can be pivotal in the ranking of your website. Here are the top meta tags and how to include them:
• Meta title tags
These are the titles that will be shown at the top of the browser and are what search engines bots use to identify the title of the webpage.
• Meta descriptions
These are a summary of the webpage, usually under 300 characters. They are displayed under the title and link in search results to give users an insight of what to expect on the page.
• Meta robots tag
This is used to show crawlers what to do on the page, where it is to index it or not, which is known as noindex. These can also include the follow/nofollow attribute which tells crawlers how to responds to links on the page, such as hyperlinks or images.

 

When making a webpage, it is important to include optimised, relevant meta tags. They not only affect ranking results from search engine bots but can engage with users and get them to the website

 

 

So, although meta keywords are pretty much out of the picture, the other meta tag attributes can be essential factors in the SEO of your site.

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