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What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO is improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site or page from the search engines using natural organic and algorithmic search results (SERPs).

SEO is actually a component of SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Which encompasses many avenues with which to promote a web site or page.
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September 17, 2007

The Meta Keyword Debate


Many of you have very passionate opinions on this subject, and I respect that. I am going to give you some some very common sense reasons to use a Meta keyword tag. First of all I will totally agree that Google does not use this tag in it's intended fashion, however is does add to the page's overall relevancy score. There are still many engines out making some use of this tag. Yahoo and MSN have been known to use this tag, and I strongly suspect Ask is making some use of it also. Additionally, there are many smaller engines using it....Some even making full use of it, like the Meta engines. Meta Crawler for example, Mamma.com, or Vivisimo(Clusty). Dogpile is also a Meta engine, but the uses results from Google, Yahoo, Live, and Ask. Agreed, these types of platforms individually are not going to amount to much...But why would you screw yourself out of any qualified traffic source and together all of these engines as your site ages could amount to a great deal of traffic.

There are some things I see people do with this tag however, that are actually counter productive. Some webmasters think this is a cool place to stick words you failed to include in your content, but would really like to rank for......Ummmm no. What you want here is 10 or so keywords or short phrases separated by commas, that amount to way less than 256 characters and are relevant to your content.....100% relevant if you really want to make the best use of the tag. I have heard, from some folks that I trust, that you might consider sticking 1 non contextual keyword in there and once in awhile Yahoo will pick it up and rank it. Note this though, even though its only one word, it is diluting your relevancy...And it's a long shot, I would advocate adding that keyword and its supporting information to your text. I have an easy system I sometimes use for really big pages to help me get the keywords, and for all pages when I started. It will at least help you decide if your page sends the message you intended when you wrote the copy. Ideally you would want your keyword tag to be 100% relevant. The order is title, description the keywords...Some editors will mess this up, so check it.

Never use any variation of a word more than 3 times or next to each other. I suggest you avoid the capitol letters and any punctuation (except your separating commas). I have not found it necessary to include both the plural and non-plural versions of MOST words. It really depends on the search volume, if it is a very low searched term you may need to. Every page's keywords should be somewhat different.

Some points to make here. A 500 foot illegal keyword tag is spam, it WILL NOT help you...It may in fact harm you. It is not helpful to try misspellings in your keyword tag if they are not supported textually. Would you really like to be ranked in the Meta engines for misspellings? Get it out of your head, the whole world is not Google...There are many other places you will get traffic from, do not shut them out. I picked one of my better ranking sites and did a quick count and it gathers roughly 500 visits of Meta engine traffic a week, yes I want those 500 visits and more...You? I have many sites of my own and other peoples, and if I am checking serps I find it very helpful to view the source and see the Meta information to help me recall what exactly I am trying to hit for that particular page. Additionally, this is just one more step in clarifying uniqueness for those cookie cutter pages.....Remember duplication is bad!

So take 10 minutes, create some keyword tags, optimize your title tags and then submit your sites to some Meta engines. Traffic is traffic, and Meta engines are a far greater source for the work involved than many others. Here is a handful to get you started.

Peace and SEO

Melanie Prough
"Baby"

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2 Comments:

North Carolina Mortgage said...

this is true, but it's hard not to stuff the keywords! :(

how many words do you recommend having?

Melanie Prough "Baby" said...

Hi NC,
I shoot for 10 word/phrases. Try not to repeat any, especially variations right next to each other. And yes, its very hard..

--Melanie =-)