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SEO + Meta Tags - any point using them anymore?


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Hi all, I'm wondering about bothering including meta tags and maybe getting one of the SEO add ons for it because I keep reading that search engines don't use meta tags for page ranking anymore. For example, W3C schools says:

 

Note: A lot of webmasters have used <meta> tags for spamming, like repeating keywords (or using wrong keywords) for higher ranking. Therefore, most search engines have stopped using <meta> tags to index/rank pages.

 

and even the oscommerce knowledge base says:

 

Including meta tags in the header of the HTML page can help improve the page ranking in search engine search results, although most search engines today ignore the meta tags.

 

So should I really go through the trouble of installing an add on, maybe having to solve tweaking problems etc etc if they are not even going to be much use (and it seems more daunting having to sort out inclusion of meta tags in php pages than in plain old html pages)?

 

What do you think? Any feedback/opinions would be greatly appreciated :)

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You should include them because Google search results can include the Page Title and the Meta Description for the sites listed which gives you a great way to target your message to potential customers.

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You should include them because Google search results can include the Page Title and the Meta Description for the sites listed which gives you a great way to target your message to potential customers.

 

Thanks Java, that is a very good point.

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Yes, Google puts less weight on things you can manipulate yourself like metatags, esp keywords when it comes to relevance in search results. However, to add to Java Roasters, I am finding that the meta-description in my header tag I use in my pages is the snippet Google uses in the search results. That's good because I can refine what people see in the search results. I assume Google uses my meta-description because I take pains to make sure the page content matches the text in my meta-description.

Oscommerce site:

 

 

OSC to CSS, http://addons.oscommerce.com/info/7263 -Mail Manager, http://addons.oscommerce.com/info/8120

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I think where people are getting confused is that there are no more "quick fixes" SEO is now a slow and laborious and time consuming process.

 

That does not mean that each SEO method has no value .. it just means that each individual one has LESS value than it used to.

 

Title tags remain absolutely essential.

Description tags less so.

Keywords not used by many but the current thoughts are to keep them.

 

SEO urls are still well worth keeping, the jury is out on pure bot SEO benefit but the other 50% of SEO ( that most forget ) the user .. there is still great benefit.

 

If you were looking for a red Ferrari .. which link would you click?

 

index.php?cPath=47

 

or ..

 

my-fantastic-red-ferrari-c-47.html

 

Obviously the above hardly scratches the surface of SEO but discount nothing and do all where there is even the slightest benefit.

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<meta keywords> is pretty much ignored for ranking/search results. It shouldn't hurt to have it, at least as long as it's honest (e.g., you're not keyword stuffing in an attempt to grab visitors by listing irrelevant keywords).

 

<meta description> isn't used for ranking/search results, but is used to display something about your site when listed in a search engine results. Again, be honest in your description.

 

<title> is necessary for reasonable page display and appears in the ranking calculations. It should have something relevant to the page contents, but not go overboard.

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Thanks very much for the help everyone!:)

 

So, if say I don't then need to worry too much about header tags, but do still need to ensure I have the meta description, could anyone say which add on might be the most appropriate? Or can I easily just insert that myself (but then wouldn't that mean inserting it on each page?.. :blink: )

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