What are meta tags and How important are they?

First off what are meta tags? Anyone who has a site or is exploring having one has probably heard this term before. Meta tags are used in html page headers. These tags contain information about specific keywords and descriptions of a web page. The search engines rely on meta tags so that they can properly catalogue your site. This allows users who are doing a search to easily find your site based on the keywords they enter into the search engine.

So, how important are these meta tags anyways?

They’re not as important as they used to be, but they do still have some importance. From a Google perspective – Yahoo, they actually still do work on Yahoo. But I will tell you, it does work better with Yahoo. Meta tags are fairly easy to do. Just go to your website, log in, go to your editor or website editor, whatever you’re using and right-click on the page. A lot of times it’ll pop up and say, “page properties.” Just click on the page properties. You can change your meta tags there. But it’s in that area when you right-click it. Actually, when you right-click on a web page and select page properties, you will see the title tag and a keyword tag. Those are meta-tags.

Meta tags were great back in the day because they helped search engines determine how to rank a certain site. When the engines’ databases were small, this meta tag was a quick, easy way to help decide which keywords might be important on a site. However, certain people and especially spammers began to abuse meta tags by putting keywords into their tags that had nothing to do with a site’s content. You may have noticed this in the past when you inadvertently clicked on a link and were redirected to an unrelated site. This is commonly used by porn sites. You have no idea you’re entering one because there were unrelated keywords placed in there that leads to these types of sites. While manipulating the meta tags brought these sites more traffic, it also caused outrage among internet users.

So, in time meta tags lost their popularity and more of the search engines focus was placed on the actual content of a site. Meta tags are still used to index pages today, but more as a supplement to the copy on a page.

However, although they play a very minor role and many people don’t use them at all, it is not going to hurt you to use them on your own site if you so choose.

Warmest regards,

Matt Bacak

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