Friday, August 23, 2013

Further musings about Meta tags

In a recent posting, I mentioned how the Meta Keywords tag is no longer used by search engines to rank websites. Even Google now officially states that they don't bother with it... so as a search engine optimisation technique, I wouldn't spend any time on them.


This therefore raises the question of whether you should even include it in your site or if you should remove it.

So here's some thoughts on the pros and cons of keeping this tag in your site.

Remove them:
  • Your site HTML code can easily be seen by viewing the source in your browser - PC's typically. This means the keywords always on display and can therefore give your competitors insight into the keywords you are targeting.
  • Although a lot of people are now on super-fast home broadband and work connection, there are still a number of users on slower download speeds ... including those on mobile devices. Although removing a line of HTML code isn't going to make your site noticeably quicker, as one UK supermarket slogan goes... every little helps.
Keep them:
  • HTML / Accessibility standards change and evolve from time to time. Therefore there is the chance that the Meta Keyword tag could be brought back into use (although very unlikely I guess).
  • Some on-site search mechanisms might still use them to classify pages on your own web presence 
  • If you're after throwing your competition off the scent of what keywords you're actually targeting, you could always put false ones in your meta tags... but then, that might be a little too much
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