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Meta Tag


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4 replies to this topic

#1 shimlad

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 06:11 AM

I am a bit confused to the relevance of this tag, i have read conflicting articles about its use. I remember reading one article suggesting not to even bother with it anymore.

If i do continue to use it...

I have a page about bird watching which is 3 paragraphs long, is it ok to take a nice snippet from the article to use in the meta tag or should the meta tag text be unique Vs the page content?

#2 Mikl

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 06:16 AM

There are several different types of meta tag, with different attributes.

I suspect you're thinking of a meta tag with a keyword attribute. It's true that these don't have any effect on search results in the main search engines (it's possible that other minor search tools might use them).

But there are other uses of the meta tag, for example, with a description attribute. My understanding is that these don't affect search results either, but the main engines do use them for snippet text.




#3 shimlad

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 07:06 AM

QUOTE(Mikl @ Oct 6 2011, 12:16 PM) View Post
There are several different types of meta tag, with different attributes.

I suspect you're thinking of a meta tag with a keyword attribute. It's true that these don't have any effect on search results in the main search engines (it's possible that other minor search tools might use them).

But there are other uses of the meta tag, for example, with a description attribute. My understanding is that these don't affect search results either, but the main engines do use them for snippet text.


sorry i meant the Description Meta Tag - yes the engines do use as a snippet, but they can also quite happily get there own snippet from text on the page, so im wondering wether there is any point writing a short sentence specific foe this tag or not.

#4 Jill

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 08:59 AM

If people might be submitting your URLs to social media sites such as Facebook, it's worth creating a good Meta description, because that gets used as the default description. Otherwise they'll take the first bunch of words, which doesn't always make sense.

#5 Mikl

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 01:57 PM

QUOTE(shimlad @ Oct 6 2011, 07:06 AM) View Post
yes the engines do use as a snippet, but they can also quite happily get there own snippet from text on the page, so im wondering wether there is any point writing a short sentence specific foe this tag or not.


Yes, you should definitely write your own description tag. The whole point is that it gives some measure of control over the text in the snippet. It's in your interest to make the snippet as interesting and persuasive as possible. After all, it's one of only two bits of information (the other is the page title) that the visitor will see to help them decide whether to click through.

If you leave it to Google to derive its own snippet from the page text, you'll save yourself an iota of effort, but you won't have any control over what that text will be.




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