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Does Google use Meta Tags?

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#1 dimensionindia


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Posted 18 May 2007 - 02:04 AM

Does google has changed his algorithm about the meta tags, because my website has good number of the meta tags but when my website come in the search then it display description that is not exact that, that i have put in the description tag, see my website come here http://www.google.ie...n...rt=200&sa=N wby the Web designing Ireland but the description is not exactly that, that i have give in the meta description tag, can you tell me about the algo updation of the google

#2 Black_Knight


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Posted 18 May 2007 - 02:55 AM

Google came along after the science of Information Retrieval (particularly large-scale search engines) had moved away from feeling any trust in author-asigned descriptive data. In other words, by the time Google was really starting to become known in 1999, but before most of the public were aware of it, it had already incorporated h learnings of earlier search engines that most Meta Tags are useless and if not dishonest, then certainly too biased to have real value.

As a result, the only use for meta tags for the search engines are to determine what language is being used, and sometimes a source of a quick synopsis of what a page is about from the Meta Description.

Google will only use a meta description as a snippet of text for a search listing on a case-by-case basis of the search query terms. Google looks at the words used in a query, and when displaying the results may use some or all of the content of the Description meta tag to create the 'snippet' of text if the search words appear within the description content reasonably exactly and prominently.

If a search for Irish Web Designers were made, a description meta tag that said "Company X are leading Irish Web Designers working from County Y" is likely to be used as the snippet. But if the Description meta tag had instead said "Web Design across Ireland by Company X" then there is no precise match, and the snippet is likely to be drawn instead from the main body text of the page.

This is not a recent change. It has been this way for some considerable time (years).

#3 JohnMu


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Posted 18 May 2007 - 04:45 AM

... also keep in mind that sometimes Google will take information from the DMOZ and display that instead. You can avoid that by adding "noodp" to the robots meta-tag.


PS good to see you around here, BK :wave: - we missed you :P

#4 lee.n3o


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Posted 18 May 2007 - 06:21 AM

PS good to see you around here, BK- we missed you

Second that... Was going to post up last week to ask if you had been snapped up by google or someone... But guess your just busy B)

#5 TheManBehindTheCurtain


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Posted 18 May 2007 - 03:30 PM

That's a really concise and elegant answer. I know the pinned topics are meant to collect info on topics, but this particular question gets asked so frequently in just this way, it might be useful to pin this one. I know I'll certainly be pointing clients here they next they ask this question ... and they will!

#6 affiliates


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Posted 18 May 2007 - 04:34 PM

Google combine the url, the title , the description and the web page content to display results related to the "query" used by internet users.
More Google used the anchor text to display results.
for that reason: it is better to get focus web page with title, url, description metatg and anchor text rich in keywords.

#7 dimensionindia


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Posted 31 May 2007 - 01:37 AM

Thanks all of you for this, but my website is not lited in the dmoz.org so their is no chance that the search engine ia taked thedescription from the dmoz, and secondly is meta tags are dead then why the those website is come on the top that has keyword rich meta tags in their page, really its looks very confusiong that meta tags are dead, one group is saying that meta tags are dead and other is saying that meta tags are the life of a website in theterms of search engine promotion.

Removed self-promotional link as per forum rules - moderator

Edited by AbleReach, 31 May 2007 - 01:58 AM.

#8 Black_Knight


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Posted 31 May 2007 - 07:58 AM

other is saying that meta tags are the life of a website in theterms of search engine promotion.

Not here.

is meta tags are dead why the those website is come on the top that has keyword rich meta tags in their page

Try searching more widely. Also, try to understand the difference between common events and causes. Most serial killers in the US have eaten peanut butter, but that doesn't mean that eating peanut butter increases the chance someone will become a serial killer.

If most pages across the entire internet include meta tags, then obviously, most of the ones that happen to rank well will have meta tags in. So will most of the ones that rank at the bottom. Simply because most pages in any cross-section will have them.

This is why doing your own testing and experimentation is so important. It is an exercise in futility to just ask people, and still have no idea whether what they answer is correct. You must either have a strong foundation of trust already in the people you ask, or you need to do your own testing.

Take 2 of your pages from any site where those pages each rank well for a search term. They should both be from the same site so that the same outside influences apply. On one of those pages, completely remove the keywords meta tag. The other page gets left alone as your control group sample. If the page without the keywords meta tag suddenly declines significantly in ranking, but the control page does not then you have some evidence that the keywords meta tag makes a difference. If both pages decline in rankings, then it is something else in play, and the keywords meta has no significant effect.

Other people have done precisely that kind of testing, across sample groups much larger than just one page in each group.

#9 john928


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Posted 22 June 2007 - 05:29 AM

Google still uses the title and description metatags. It just also uses the on page information aswell when deciding what description should be used for your sites listing.

With me sometimes it uses my sites metatag description and sometimes it will be the metatag description and some of the site content and then sometimes it will just be the site content.

#10 EGOL



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Posted 22 June 2007 - 07:17 AM

People say that "Google uses this, doesn't use that". I am not intelligent enough to say exactly what they use it. But I see my description and title tag replicated in the SERPs. So I use these tags. I use the KW and a couple other tags too... you never know for sure what google really looks at. Don't kid yourself into thinking that you know that Google doesn't use the KW tag.

You don't know.

#11 Ron Carnell

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 08:11 AM

I also don't know the sun is going to rise again, Egol. The preponderance of evidence, however, suggests I should probably still pay my bills today just in case I need electricity and food tomorrow. :(

You can't know much of anything, but you can be pretty sure about some things, I think. When Yahoo started making limited use of the keywords meta-tag a few years back, many of us ran tests to help establish what those limits were. The same test pages, of course, were equally applicable to Google and MSN. It's one of the few things about search engines that is still very easily tested.

#12 Respree


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Posted 22 June 2007 - 08:40 AM

Isn't it really a little like chicken soup, though?

If nobody uses it, by having it there, what have you hurt?

One might argue, you've wasted your time creating it (likely, not a lot), a couple of nano-seconds added to the page load a few bytes of bandwidth, but other than that, is it really all that bad?

#13 Ron Carnell

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 08:56 AM

Nope, it's not bad at all, Garrick. I use them, too, as an easy reminder of what I wanted to emphasis on that page. I just don't recommend any hopes or expectations beyond that of a simple reminder. :(

#14 Webnauts


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Posted 11 December 2009 - 08:04 PM

First I fully agree with the post of Egol above.

By the way, I posted on my own forums some search engine optimization tips. Here is what I wrote about the description and keywords meta tags:

“Description Meta tags” – The Meta tag provides a brief description of a Web page. Its important that the description clearly describes the purpose of the page, because its not just for the search engine spiders, but also for humans to read.

* The importance of the Description tag as an element of the ranking algorithm has decreased significantly over years, but there are still search engines that support this tag.
* The descriptions of the indexed pages are logged and often display them with the Title in their results.

The length of a displayed description varies per search engine. Therefore, place the most important keywords at the beginning of the first sentence and this will guarantee that both search results and search engines will see the most important information about that page. But only where possible.

Keep all descriptions larger than 50 characters, and no more than 149 characters, including spaces, Google displays 154 characters, but other search engines display even less. Longer descriptions are completely worthless as most search engines do not consider this tag to be very important, if at all. If you really think must be longer, it will be fine, as long as the final copy is not longer than 200 characters including spaces.

Be aware that if you are adding irrelevant words into the description it can possibly trigger search engine spam filters. Make certain the tag is relevant to the page theme. Avoid adding text that is not found within the visible text of the page.

To recap, Description Meta tags are not made for search engines, they are made for humans. So write a text that sells to convert the searcher into a buyer, and achieve the best "Return On Your Search Engine Marketing Campaign Investment”.

“Keyword Meta tag” - Lists the words or phrases about the contents of the Web page. This tag provides some additional text for crawler-based search engines. However because of frequent attempts to abuse their system, most search engines ignore this tag.

Note: None of the major crawler-based search engines, except Inktomi, provide support for the Keywords Meta tag.

Similar to the Meta Description tag, there is a limit in the number of captured characters within the Keywords Meta tag. Keep the tag to between 4 and 8 keywords or keyword phrases, to separate the different key phrases and keywords simply place a comma between the terms.

Syntax: Keyword1,Keyword2,Keyword3,Keyword4

Make sure that the keywords appear at least once in your content (body). If not, the keywords can be considered as irrelevant spam. Avoid repetitions as some search engines can penalize your rankings. Move the most important keywords to the beginning to increase their prominence for the search engines that still take this tag into consideration when determining rankings.

Side Note: I am certain that for Yahoo there was some value associated with the keywords meta tag up to a year ago. I did not test if that is still valid, but it won't hurt to use it, as long as you do it right.

Edited by Webnauts, 11 December 2009 - 08:06 PM.

#15 cre8pc


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Posted 12 December 2009 - 10:39 PM

None of the major crawler-based search engines, except Inktomi, provide support for the Keywords Meta tag.

Where is Inktomi these days?

#16 Webnauts


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Posted 12 December 2009 - 11:15 PM

If I remember well, Yahoo bought Iktomi.

#17 jonbey


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Posted 13 December 2009 - 05:37 AM

Funny. The Inktomi team were probably really excited when they were bought by Yahoo. They are probably now wishing Google got hold of them first! Such is life.

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