Next we talk about 3 different tags. The Title tag, the Description tag and the Keyword tag. These ‘tags’ are housed in the source code and if you right click on any website and ‘view source’ you will see these tags towards the top of the document.
Title tags are what the user will see at the top of the browser window above the (File Edit View, etc). For example, go to www.rimrockauto.com and you will see Rimrock Auto Group | New and Used Cars in Billings Montana. Search engines will grab any or all of those words and index them. When a person types in ‘New Cars Billings’ a search engine will know that rimrockauto.com has those words indexed and it will catapult your search engine rankings towards the top based on relevance. Relevance meaning: all of those words were in the title tag. This is overly generalized, but a nice illustration. Title tags are currently considered the most important Meta tag from a search engine perspective, the Title tag is a MUST. Getting it right can take a little time and research, but it is worth the effort. And, as with all Meta tags, place the most important keywords at the start and the lesser ones at the end of the tag.
Recommended length varies by search engine and directory. The average accepted length is about 70 characters (this includes letters and spaces). One major engine considers 60 the right length, where several of the other major players prefer 70 characters. Some larger and more moderate size engines and directories allow up to 130 characters. What if your tag is too long? Most engines will simply truncate (or chop off) whatever characters go over their limits, which is why it is very important to place the best
keywords at the front of the tag. If you submit your site to a large variety of search indexes and engines, remember that anything over 60-70 characters could be removed, and plan accordingly.
Best way to start? Figure out the best keywords for your Web page. Go through and list search terms you would like new visitors to use to find your page, check the search popularity of the words/terms, and look at your competitor’s sites and see what their tags
say, and how they rank in the search engines. This will all help you build a short list of highly relevant keywords and search phrases. Once you have the list, prioritize them by importance, whether it is your importance or by search popularity is up to you. Use the
very best ones in your title tag. You no longer need to include your Website name or domain in a title tag, unless you have a highly recognizable name or domain. You want to focus on describing the page and its products in your Title tag. Write it like a title, with
each word capitalized, but do not write the title in all caps. It is also not recommended to use punctuation in the Title tag.
Not considered as important as it used to be, the description tag still has a valid purpose. Even though it has less value to a spider or “bot” driven search engine these days, it is still highly useful for search directories and various online listings. Think of it as a short,
keyword-rich “classified ad.” In just a few words you want to convey your Web page’s message and do it with as many rich keywords as possible. Write it in a basic sentence structure, beginning with a capital letter and ending with a period. (A couple short sentences are fine, too, as long as the character count stays good.)
Recommended length varies by search engine and directory. The average accepted length is about 200 characters (this includes letters and spaces). One major engine considers 170 the right length, where several of the other major players prefer 200 characters. Some larger and more moderate size engines and directories allow up to 250 characters, with one having no limits. Keep in mind that there are a growing number of search engines that do not use Description tags, and it is mostly valued by search indexes and directories.
Currently considered less important than the Title and Description Meta tags, it is debated whether Keyword tags are of much use at all anymore. However, right now it does not hurt to have them, and there are still some engines and directories that do take them into account to some degree.
Recommended length varies by search engine and directory. The average accepted length is approximately 800 – 900 characters (this includes letters and spaces). Some allow 1000 characters, where others prefer under 800. It is best to use the right keywords, not over use them, and stay relevant for the page. If only two or three words fit that guideline, then use them. Do not worry about trying to fill the Keywords tag to make it longer. The key is relevance, not length. You do not want to waste any opportunity to use relevant keywords, but if you do not need the space, you will not be penalized for it.
What is the best way to format this tag? There are two accepted ways to format the keywords. They both agree to separate each keyword and keyword phrase with a comma. Where they differ is, some advocate to use a comma and space (keyword, word, word2),
and others prefer commas and no spaces (keyword,word,word2). Either format is accepted by the majority of search engines that use Keyword tags.
Why are Keyword tags losing their value? Search engines are always adjusting and changing their algorithms, methodology and criteria, always seeking to improve search technology and eliminate unfair ranking and cheating. The current trend is leaning away
from a Keywords Meta tag and putting higher value on keywords used in the copywriting of a Web page’s textual content. The desire of the search industry is to bring a closer match to what the site visitor sees and what a search engine uses to rank a site, all in the
goal of making the search experience more precise for the Internet user.
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