Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Keyword Meta Tag and Being Flamboozled

OK I finally found a good use for my Blog. A rantarena or ventorama a way of ridding what's bugging you and return to a productive state without insulting one of your clients. What I'm talking about is the long dead Meta Tag "Keyword". It looks like this in the head of html page.

META NAME="keywords" content=","

I had a client early this week who after talking to a SEO specialist determined his meditages, (his spelling), was low density, it had his domain name in the "keyword" meta tag twice, and it would be better if there were more keywords and they matched the content of his page.

So lets dive into this a bit. I thought we should go back in time, to the previous century actually. In 1996, I was the director of Customer Response Department for Diamond Electronics, in Carroll, Ohio. I had many responsibilities, QA, Training, Field Service including installations, and an in-house Repair Depot.

I thought it would be a great idea to have a Website to reflect the status of all of our internal repairs, field installations, and training schedules to help our staff cope with telephone inquiries and to improve our customer service. And so we dove into the Web.

Back in those days I had a Macintosh loaded with Microsoft Front Page, version 1.0. It barely functioned. One thing we learned right away was a Website needs to be found to be useful. It was fairly easy in those days, there wasn't any competition, rather there wasn't any online competition.

But even then, this was 2 or 3 years before Google existed, by the way, Alta Vista was the big horse Search Engine, and they were frustrated by the misuse of the Meta Tag "Keyword", They actually started to penalize sites whose keywords didn't match the content, or so they said. We were a company and played it square.

By the end of the century, none of the main search engines used the keyword meta tag and it become obsolete and was not useful in any way. Google came online shortly afterwards and Google always ignored the keyword meta tag and still does.

Well in 2000, I got into the Web design business, and in those days, even though the keyword meta tag wasn't meaningful, Web designers still loaded their customers pages with keywords. Why? Well after awhile you grew tired of your clients calling about their keyword density, structure, what words were used and on and on and on. But the real reason was competitors would call your clients and CON them into believing the reason why they were 5th in the organic ranking and not third, like their competition, was because of the keywords.

Sooooooo to all my SEO challenged clients if you received information about bad keyword tags from someone claiming to be a SEO specialist, purporting to help you update your site for a fee be very very wary. If only it was that easy to run a tool, change a few words and then zoom to the top of the search engines.

The fact that anyone these days is still talking about using keywords meta tags should tell you something about that person ethics and skillset. They are incompetent, outdated, and are trying to flamboozle and take advantage of your limited knowledge of the process.

I use the keyword meta tag, usually I'll put the domain name of the page in the meta tag, both ways, as the example of above. Why, well so I can remember the domain name of course.

Most clients get overly carried away about page ranking. There are complex algorithms in place to formulate page rankings. Briefly as I don't believe in training my competition, the client should focus on what's important selling rooms, widgets, bowling balls whatever, not necessarily getting to the top of every search engine query. There is a difference between traffic and quality traffic. And you need to pick your queries to champion.

Here is my clients traffic, the guy who was concerned about his keyword meta tags, presented as unique visitors per day, since his site came online in February. The traffic is actually very good. Some folks would love those stats. You should have your optimization tweaked every three months or so, and it hasn't been done since launch, so it's overdue.

Back to my example I started out with, go to, type in this phrase "southeastern ohio web design" you'll see Romance Ohio below ranked on the first page. This site breaks all the rules, domain name doesn't match the title tag and description, has hardly any content, no images, few links, no keywords, duplicate header tags etc. yet it ranks pretty well.

OK now enter the phrase "southeastern ohio web design" in or search engines, it does well in all of them. Obviously there's more to ranking than keywords!
Choose a modern web developer with clean compliant code, style, and search engine friendly technique, choose 22.


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