Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Declining Importance of Meta Keywords, Description Tags, Alt Tags, etc.

Meta description tags are used on web pages, usually at the top of the page, and are hidden from view of everyone except the search engines. They used to hold quite a bit of weight in the search engine ranking process of websites, but are not used as much anymore. This is because people would pack as many keywords as they felt necessary into this hidden code on the webpage, and soon the ranking system used by the search engines was no longer as valid as it had been in the past.

So, the question is now raised, should I include Meta description tags, alt tags, title tags and Meta keywords in my webpage? The simple answer is yes, why not; every little bit helps when it comes to improving the likelihood of positioning your website into the top search results. If you break down the importance of each of the Meta description tags, different search engines will put more weight into some of them then others. Google� for example ignores most of these Meta description and Meta keyword tags, and puts more focus on the keywords that are used in the actual content of a webpage. Some search engines, that still use keyword description tags in their search engine crawls, will often verify whether or not the keywords used in the keyword description are in fact mentioned throughout the webpage.

Alt tags still remain an important addition to your webpage, as they describe the images which are used throughout your site. It's important to include alt tags so that search engines can recognize all of the images that have been used throughout and where they came from. Alt tags that also contain keywords, can also help to improve your keyword frequency, which in turn will improve your search engine rankings.

Although many of these Meta description tags no longer carry as much weight in the process of determining search engine positioning, they do still carry benefits among some of the search engines. It's important to remember that if you include keywords in any description tag, particularly the alt tags, that you also include them often throughout the body of the actual webpage. This way, when the search engine crawler compares these Meta tags to the content throughout the rest of the page, they will match up, leaving your site with higher credibility, which will hopefully result in higher page and search result rankings.

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