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High Rankings Advisor: Meta Tags - Issue No. 112

September 8, 2004
~~~IN TODAY'S ADVISOR~~~

*Introductory Comments:
---->   Traffic Power Update

*Search Engine Marketing:
---->   Title Tags, Meta Descriptions and Keywords

*This Week's Sponsors:
---->   SmartSearch Marketing
---->   HitsLink ver. 3.0

*Guest Article:
---->   Marketing a Non-profit Organization

*Stuff You Might Like:
---->   High Rankings Boston Seminar and Workshops

*High Rankings Forum Thread of the Week:
---->   Google Rankings

*This Week's Sound Advice:
---->   Creating Directory Descriptions

*Advisor Wrap-up:
---->   Seminar Reminder
________________________________________________________

~~~Introductory Comments~~~

Hey everyone!

Just a quick update for you before we get to the meat...my friends at
SEOConsultants.com have informed me that good old Traffic Power has
changed their name to First Place or 1P.com.  So BEWARE if you get a
call from a company with either of those names. Hang up without
listening to their pitch! They're still the same spammeisters they
always were.  (If you don't know what I'm talking about, see my
"Getting Banned Due to Sp@m" article:
</issue103.htm#seo>.)

Today we're looking at Title tags and Meta tags, as well as how to
market a non-profit site.  Enjoy! - Jill


~~~Search Engine Marketing Issues~~~

++Title Tags, Meta Descriptions and Keywords++

Just when I finally stopped getting the dreaded "Do I need commas or
no commas in my Meta keyword tag" question, there's been a new stream
of Meta tag questions being asked at the forum and in my email box.
I'm not sure of the reason for the sudden interest, but it's probably
because people are starting to worry about other engines besides
Google now.  I have written articles about all of the tags, but it
seems like a brief summary is probably in order.

It's important to note that there's a big difference between Title
tags, Meta description tags and Meta keywords tags.  First of all, the
Title tag is *not* a Meta tag.  So if you see/hear me say something
about Meta tags, I'm by no means talking about the Title tag.

Title tags are extremely important towards your goal of achieving high
search engine rankings.  What you write in these tags can indeed
affect how your site ranks in all the major engines.  (See the
recently updated "All About Title Tags" here:
</allabouttitles.htm>.)  You should always
work your major phrases into the Title tags on your pages, and make
sure that each page of your site uses a unique tag.

Meta description tags, on the other hand, don't actually appear to
affect your rankings in the search engines.  Still, they are very
worthwhile to use because they allow you to control the description of
your listing in some engines for some search queries.  (See my past
newsletter article, "Getting a Great Google Description," at
</issue094.htm#seo>.)  The gist of that
article is that your Meta description will show in the search results
only *if* it happens to use the exact phrase that has been queried at
the search engine.  So use this tag for marketing purposes, i.e., to
entice people to click on *your* link as opposed to the other 10 in
the search results.

Meta keywords tags are a different animal altogether.  Google, for
one, doesn't pay any attention to it.  I've tested this myself, and am
100% positive that Google doesn't index the words placed in the Meta
keywords tag.  Yahoo (and all of its search properties) plus Teoma/Ask
Jeeves, do look at the Meta keywords tag, and do index its contents.
BUT, and this is a huge BUT, that doesn't mean that filling this tag
the same keywords you've optimized your page for will boost it in the
rankings.

Let me say that again.

Just because Yahoo knows what words you've put in the Meta keywords
tag does not mean that the words you put in there will give your page
a boost.

To me it's common sense.

Let's say you've optimized a page for "black hat SEOs."  So, you've
used that phrase in your Title tag, you've written your content about
black hat SEOs, and you've got some links pointing to the page that
use "black hat SEOs" in the clickable portion of the link.  Do you
really think that also adding "black hat SEOs"  to your Meta keywords
tag would be just the thing it needs to get it found for that phrase
in Yahoo?  I don't.  Maybe, just maybe if 2 sites were identical
except one had the phrase "black hat SEOs"  in the Meta keywords tag,
that one would show first, but 2 sites are never identical.  (Plus the
engines are always trying to put a stop to duplicate content.)

Does this mean you shouldn't use the Meta keywords tag?  No, not at
all.  You certainly don't *have to* use it, as it shouldn't affect
your rankings for the keyword phrases that matter to you most;
however, you could still use it for phrases that are somewhat obscure
and just don't belong visibly on your page.  I talked about this a
couple of years ago in this article: "No Meta Keywords"
</issue029.htm#seo>.  I really think that
misspellings and technical synonyms are the best (and possibly only)
use for this tag.

As to the age-old comma/no comma question (and I actually did get this
one asked today!), it makes no difference.  Commas are seemingly
invisible to search engines, so it's pretty much the same thing to
them whether you use them or not!

I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion about Meta tags, and
to also clarify that when I say that Meta tags are dead that I'm most
definitely not talking about Title tags, as they are not a Meta tag.
And I'm not talking about the marketing value of a Meta description
tag.  Certainly, if it makes you feel good to use your Meta keywords
tag and put your main keyword phrases in there, then more power to
you.  It won't hurt anything, and who knows...maybe that page that
fits the "all else being equal" scenario will show up one day and
you'll have them beat by a Meta keyword! ;-)

Jill


___________SmartSearch Marketing_____________________adv.

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__________________________________________________

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70 essential resources you should know about!

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market information, tools, resources, how-to guides and more.

Free download: <http://smartsearchmarketing.com/guide.asp>
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__________________________________________________


~~~Guest Article~~~

++Marketing a Non-profit Organization++

Kathryn Katz writes today's guest article.  She also wrote an article
for us awhile back called "Finding Niche Directories"
</issue064.htm#guest>.  Kathryn's been a
copywriter, an Internet technical support person and an in-house SEO
as well as a member of our High Rankings forum.  Currently, she is the
director of financial education at a non-profit organization,
CreditGUARD of America, where she handles their SEO as well as
develops their financial education programs.

So without further ado, here's Kathryn! - Jill

Marketing a Non-profit Organization
By Kathryn Katz

Non-profit organizations face many challenges when transitioning onto
the Web. Working with limited budgets, many non-profits have to make
sure that they get their Web campaign right from the beginning. Some
non-profits may find that they're competing for the same "commercial"
terms as the for-profit companies. These for-profit companies have
bigger marketing budgets to throw at the search engines.

Don't get discouraged -- there are several ways non-profit
organizations can make their non-profit status work to their
advantage. Here are some ideas for your non-profit organization:

Google Grants Program (Beta) <http://www.google.com/grants/>

Google Grants Program offers 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations the
opportunity to run PSAs (public service ads) on their AdSense Network.
The AdSense Network consists of both small and large content portals,
which include big names like About.com, Forbes.com, ABC.com,
TheStreet.com and National Geographic. Automatic filters are used to
detect the topic of the content on these portals, and if there is no
AdWords ad that's appropriate, the ad space is filled with PSAs.
Google Grants picks new recipients every quarter, and right now
they're currently accepting applications at
<http://services.google.com/googlegrants/application>.

Directory Submissions

Many directories like Yahoo! Directory offer free directory
submissions to non-profit organizations. Just be sure to check on the
directory's specific requirements before submitting. For example,
Yahoo! Directory requires that non-profits submit themselves to
non-commercial categories, and it can take several weeks to be
included, if they include you at all. Non-profit organizations can use
the Yahoo! Express submission; however, like other businesses, they
will have to pay the $299 review fee. So your non-profit will have to
decide whether or not it's worth the wait.

Some directories may not post their policies on non-profit
organizations. It never hurts to ask if the directory is willing to
donate a free submission to your non-profit organization. On several
occasions, I've had directory editors waive their submission fee.

Online Press Releases

PRWeb.com offers a free press release distribution service to the
public. Your non-profit organization can use this service to inform
the public about things you're doing in the community and provide
education. Because journalists read the newswire, you may get
additional media opportunities from the press releases. Our
organization has had several media responses from the work we've done
on PRWeb.com.

SEO Consultants

If your non-profit organization doesn't have anyone on staff that's
familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), you may want to
consider contracting with a professional SEO consultant. A good SEO
can be invaluable to the success of your Web campaign. Some SEO
consultants will provide discounts to non-profit organizations. I
recommend using SEOConsultants.com to find your consultant, because
when I did a search for "non-profit" I got excellent results. Plus,
SEOConsultants.com does review the SEOs listed in their directory
through their Peer Review Network and Editorial Staff for their search
engine marketing practices.

As you can see, there are several online opportunities available for
non-profit organizations. I'm sure if you sit down and brainstorm, you
can come up with even more ideas on how to use your non-profit status
to your advantage. Just be sure to inform any company you're seeking
to receive free/discounted services from that you are a 501(c)(3)
organization and that their donation is tax-deductible.

Additionally, there are other ways you can use the Web to work for
you. Here are some wonderful resources that can help your non-profit
organization:

* Grants.gov -- find and electronically apply for federally sponsored
grants online.
* GuideStar.org -- create or update your profile on GuideStar, and
gain access to donors and grant-makers.
* Idealist.org -- post job openings, volunteer opportunities, events,
internships, campaigns, and resources.

So what are you waiting for? Get your valuable message out there by
making the World Wide Web work for your non-profit organization.

Kathryn Katz
CreditGUARD of America
http://www.creditguard.org/


_________Free 30-day Trial of Website Statistics___________adv.

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__________________________________________________

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__________________________________________________


~~~Stuff You Might Like~~~

++High Rankings Boston Seminar and Workshops++

Meet Jill and the gang in Boston on September 23 and 24.  Time's
running out, but we still have some spots left, so please register
today!

Learn search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, SEO
copywriting, link popularity, usability and how to measure the success
of your search marketing campaigns.

Plus, we've got new hands-on training workshops on day 2!

Here's a brief rundown of what you can expect in the workshops:

I'll personally show you how to do some keyword research for your
sites, as well as teach you how to apply the best phrases to your
Titles and Meta descriptions.

Karon will help you do some actual target audience research, create a
plan for keyphrase use, and write a page of SEO copy designed to boost
search engine rankings and improve conversions.

Debra will be helping you to find the best sites to link to, as well
as showing you how to correctly use anchor text to support your
on-the-page optimization efforts.   Plus, she'll even show you how to
create viral link promotions.

Scottie will show you common usability traps to look for on your site
that might be preventing your users from converting into buyers.

Christine plans to cover common PPC account set-up mistakes, good PPC
practices and how to detect click fraud.

Matt will show you practical examples of how to interpret your Website
stats and teach you how you can apply what you learn to improving your
Website.

If you're looking for the most cost-effective way to learn how to
market your site with the search engines, you need to come to this
event!

Reserve your seat now: </112seminar>

Meet us for dinner on Thursday the 23rd -- open to all!

High Rankings Forum members save 10% on registration.  Learn how you
can take advantage of this discount here:
</forum/index.php?showtopic=9191>.


~~~High Rankings Forum Thread of the Week~~~

++Google Rankings++

New forum member "Evanness" asks, "What is known and unknown about
Google rankings?"
Read the thread and share your own comments here:
</forum/index.php?showtopic=9222>.


~~~Sound Advice~~~

++Creating Directory Descriptions++

</soundadvice>
(This audio recording changes each week.)


~~~Advisor Wrap-up~~~

I almost forgot to mention that my new company, Search Creative, LLC,
is in need of a Web developer/programmer willing to work at our
Cambridge, MA office.  If you fit the bill and would like more
details, please email me.  We're still looking to fill that in-house
copywriter position too.

That's it for today!  Don't forget to sign up for the seminar, as the
clock is ticking </112seminar>.

Catch you next week! - Jill

 
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