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Dont use meta tags? :/

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I was doing a refresher on meta tags, well specifically keywords and W3 is saying that search engines are moving away from them due to spam? Maybe an alternative is escaping me as I am up far earlier than usual. Maybe you guys can help me out.


Quote:
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.
Code:
http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_meta.asp

Edited by A-E-I-Owned-You - 8/1/11 at 8:57am
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post #2 of 8
Generally search engines use page content rather than meta tags, as people can lie in the meta tags, as where on-page content is shown to the user, so it's harder to 'lie' using it.
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Have any good resources on ways to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness?
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post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by A-E-I-Owned-You View Post
Have any good resources on ways to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness?
Um, you don't need to worry about meta tags and their "efficiency". Just design your site so the content is the first thing (above the header and navigation) in the code. Obviously, that wouldn't look great visually, so use relative positioning (not absolute!) to place it under the header and navigation.

I read up on Google's SEO and it mentioned that they are transitioning away from any meta tags and that the best thing is to get the content as close to the top (near body tag) as possible.
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post #5 of 8
Generally just do what you should be doing anyway, that is create good, readable and descriptive (X)HTML. The easier it is for a search engine to index your site and pull what is important from the page, the better your rankings will be. Separate your style from content, stay away from old layout methods like frames and tables, depreciated elements like <b> or <i> in place of <em> and the like. Use the <abbr> tag to give accronyms their full name.

As I say, it's all basically stuff you'd be doing anyway. Making your content descriptive and making it easy for the search engines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoop View Post
Um, you don't need to worry about meta tags and their "efficiency". Just design your site so the content is the first thing (above the header and navigation) in the code. Obviously, that wouldn't look great visually, so use relative positioning (not absolute!) to place it under the header and navigation.

I read up on Google's SEO and it mentioned that they are transitioning away from any meta tags and that the best thing is to get the content as close to the top (near body tag) as possible.
Actually, what you are better off doing is using HTML5 and the <header> and <nav> tags for headers and navigation. Crawlers will then understand the page, without having to hack around the flow of the page, so it still shows correctly in browsers without styling support, and work well with screen readers et al.
Edited by lattyware - 8/1/11 at 9:30am
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post #6 of 8
Meta keywords are completely irrelevant towards rankings, as Google themselves has said so. You can certainly go ahead and put keywords there, but don't expect rankings as a direct result of them.

As for the Meta title and description, those do seem to have influence on rankings still (first-hand experience). However, don't go out of your way to stuff them with keywords. Keeping them short, relevant, and to the point is generally the most effective use of them.
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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by lattyware View Post
Actually, what you are better off doing is using HTML5 and the <header> and <nav> tags for headers and navigation. Crawlers will then understand the page, without having to hack around the flow of the page, so it still shows correctly in browsers without styling support, and work well with screen readers et al.
You sure about that? IE 8 and below don't even render the page correctly (obviously). For instance, using Web Developer Tools in IE, I checked to see how html5 tags were coming out, and was shocked to see that my HTML code

Code:
<header>
  <h1>Title of Page</h1>
</header>
came out looking like

Code:
<header></header>
<h1>Title of Page</h1>
in non-HTML5 supporting browsers (so 50+ percent of browsers?), which makes me uncomfortable using html5.
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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoop View Post
You sure about that? IE 8 and below don't even render the page correctly (obviously). For instance, using Web Developer Tools in IE, I checked to see how html5 tags were coming out, and was shocked to see that my HTML code

Code:
<header>
  <h1>Title of Page</h1>
</header>
came out looking like

Code:
<header></header>
<h1>Title of Page</h1>
in non-HTML5 supporting browsers (so 50+ percent of browsers?), which makes me uncomfortable using html5.
If you feel it's likely that enough of your users will be using browsers with poor support, then don't use the newer standards, naturally. However, those standards are there and with time you will want to use them as they gain support. If you don't feel many users are going to have problems, then just go for the newer standards. Obviously - different sites have different needs and users. For one site HTML5 might be the right choice, while for others, not so much.

This said, even if you don't use HTML5, I still don't agree with reflowing the page. I always keep it my intent that my sites will work, be readable, and have all the content in the correct order and state given no javascript or CSS. That is the best way to ensure your code is easily parsed by search engines and other automated systems, and rendered right. Not to mention that it degrades gracefully and works well. Obviously I style all my sites, and I use Javascript to enhance the experience where I can, but I always make sure that it's still the website I want users to see without those tools.
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