In the early days of Search Engine Optimization, you could get away with simply altering the meta data within your website and you could then consider you website ‘Optimized’. The days of one stop SEO are long gone – but unfortunately many SEO companies still sell clients on techniques that simply don’t work anymore.
It is good to note that meta data/tags aren’t necessarily part of SEO or website architecture at all. At times they can simply be lines of information within a website’s coding that denote what CMS is being used or be used to house information to be used at a later date as a reminder for future coding.
The major meta tags that traditionally are associated with SEO specifically are: title, description, keywords and robot tags.
For many years now, the keyword meta tag have had ZERO effect on SEO. They are a legacy from a time where a website could simply ‘fool’ search engines into believing the webpage was about something different than what the on-page content actually represented. Does Advanced Web Solutions (AWS) use meta keywords for our Kitchener/Waterloo SEO clients? Sometimes. Sort of. I usually insert them into at least a website’s first level navigation strictly from the point of view that even though no search engines currently utilize them, they may leverage them at some point for a purpose not yet thought of. If you run into an SEO company who as part of their sales pitch, brags about the fact that they do your meta keywords – run away as fast as you can! Read this to educate yourself on some of the other poor SEO ideas to stay away from.
SEO does take into consideration the title and description meta tags to differing degrees. Since these can be easily manipulated, and have been by those who either don’t know what they’re doing or by grey/black hat SEO practitioners (which is yet another point to note when choosing how to proceed with a proper SEO program/project), I can easily surmise that the value they bring will continue to diminish throughout time.
Advanced Web Solutions generally looks at the description tag specifically as having more impact on improving your conversion rate than it does in relation to how much it impacts your search engine rankings.
As far as the robot meta tag, these are essentially instructions to the search engines as to where to send, or not send, their spiders. The biggest issue here is the fact that most website designers don’t have an appreciation for just how harmful poor robot tags will have in regards to negatively effecting your SEO rankings. I’ve seen where one of my Kitchener SEO clients mistakenly allowed his website designer to run his SEO program. Generally a BAD idea. This designer had actually told the search engine spiders to not index a lot of his boss’ extremely valuable content. Terrible. Like I say, website designers are so worried about pretty, they don’t concern themselves with whether or not a website actually works as a tool to improve a business. If prospective customers don’t locate your various products/services via search engines (Google, Bing, etc.), it simply doesn’t matter how pretty your website is.
Search Engine Optimization is an ever changing discipline that requires a professional approach by someone who knows what they are doing in order to not only maximize the success of your local (Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph) business, but to ensure that you do not get penalized for poor SEO practices. Advanced Web Solutions is an SEO company in the Kitchener area who can educate and demonstrate what is required in order for you to outperform your competition in regards to search engine rankings. Let us make a difference to your business