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The myth of meta tags and search engine rankings

by Christine Collie Rowland, Blue Cat Design

Meta tags are the it buzz words. Almost every website owner has heard of meta tags. Either they think they have meta tags or that they'd better get some. The myth is that just adding some killer meta tags crammed with keywords will skyrocket your website into the top ranking positions in search engines.

In reality, meta tags have little or no effect on your site's search engine ranking position. In fact, - the world's most popular search engine - ignores meta keyword tags altogether.

Once upon a time, Google did pay attention to meta keyword tags - but that was before meta keyword tags were rendered an unreliable information source by spammers and unethical marketers who shovelled in keywords unrelated to the site content, names of competitor companies or trademarked products, and repetitive keywords.

Now not only does "keyword spamming" not result in high rankings in Google and many other search engines, it can actually get your site's position lowered or get your site removed from a search engine's database.

It does however still make sense to include meta tags in your HTML programming since some minor search engines do include meta tag keyword data in their databases. And by all means do include a well-written, keyword rich description of the page's content in the meta description tag. The information in the meta description tag often appears under your title on the search engine results pages, especially if the keyword phrase that was searched for in the search engine appears in your description tag.

But don't waste time obssessing over meta tags or endlessly tinkering with your meta tags. Instead concentrate on what really can have an impact on your search engine rankings - ethical search engine optimization and SEO copywriting.

Content fuels search engines. Your site needs to be content-rich with descriptive text that incorporates words (keywords) that are relevant to your site's topic or theme.

Your site needs to be written for both its users and for search engines. Each page of your site needs visible text which is copywritten with clarity for the site visitor and with keyword fuel for the search engines. Sites with pages that are primarily graphics with little or no visible text simply don't perform well in search engines. Note that search engines do not see text that is in part of a graphic or logo file; the type of text that search engines consume is the body text on a web page that can be selected with a cursor/mouse.

The power of of effective search engine optimization (SEO) copywriting (writing for search engines) can be awesome. Sites that before optimization were not on the search engine radar at all, can land in the top results pages and the effect that has on traffic - and sales - can be dramatic. But it takes much more than the addition of meta tags to achieve top positions - it takes a comprehensive optimization that includes keyword research to discover the most relevant and searched for keywords, copywriting of the visible text to incorporate targeted keywords, and optimizing of the HTML code (non-visible) of each targeted web page file.

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    About Blue Cat Design

    We've had a 100% success rate at getting high rankings for client sites in search engine results since 1995.

    During the past nine years of promoting client's sites on Internet, Blue Cat Design's Internet marketing specialists have learned the search engine optimization techniques that work. We've had ongoing success generating website traffic to client websites through SEO copywriting and ethical search engine optimization services for a complete search engine positioning and sales conversion strategy.

    View detailed SEO Search Engine Optimization case studies with examples of high search engine rankings that can be achieved with ethical optimization techniques.

    We invite you to contact Blue Cat Design for a free initial consultation to discuss your SEO Search Engine Optimization goals.

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