What are Metatags and Their SEO Value Today
Metatags play quite significant roles in search engine optimization. Metatags are a part of the SEO equation in the past, but many webmasters today now question if metatags still provide SEO value in today’s search engine landscape.
Many experts are aware that search engines like Google are constantly revising their ranking algorithms very month. Some parameters used to have high ranking value, but today their roles in SEO have greatly diminished; while some have no more SEO value at all.
That is why it is vital for webmasters to be constantly updated with the most recent changes in Google. This is essential in keeping their search engine optimization activities fully abreast with the present algorithms, as well as in getting traffic to websites.
What are Metatags
There are many parameters used by the search engines to rank websites. One of them is the metatag. By definition, a metatags is an html code that is inserted somewhere in the header of the website. This is usually located within the open and the closing head tags. This can be manually inserted in the html page. But there are now plugins that allow blog owners to quickly insert the metatags in the dashboard, without opening the html page anymore, thereby avoiding the technicalities of the process.
In search engine optimization, metatags consist of the meta description and the meta keywords. They are inserted in the webpage to tell search engine crawlers what the site is all about, as well as what keyword terms the site is targeting to. The information is not visible to the visitors, but search engine bots can see them and use some of the information in the search results.
The meta description also helps give the search users a short overview of the blog. This is the information that appears on the search engine result pages (SERPS). Therefore, the details that you provide in the meta description can significantly affect the users’ decision on whether to check out your blog or not. The data must also be convincing enough to the users to prefer your blog over the rest in the same page.
Metatags Relevance to SEO
While metatags have beneficial use, their roles in search engine optimization have significantly diminished. In fact, the head of Google’s web spam team, Matt Cutts, clearly clarified in his blog that among Google’s hundreds of ranking parameters, metatags are no longer among them. This debunked the popular myth that metatags have pivotal roles in SEO.
In the official Google blog, the leading search engine started to exclude metatags as part of the ranking parameters due to the abuse by many webmasters in the past. Some of them have come to a point of over stuffing the metatags with keywords.
But even if metatags do not have SEO value, webmasters should not disregard metatags altogether. Search engine users will use the information provided in the meta description to assess if the website contains the information they are looking for or not.
When writing the meta description, it is important to take note of several key points. Keep track of the limit on the number of characters in the description. Google can only display the information up to a certain limit, and you should abide by the limit. Otherwise, your sentence will be cut and the search users may not be able to fully comprehend the details about your blog’s snippets in the search results. If the users don’t fully understand the description of your site, they will simply check the other sites in the same page and you will eventually lose some potential visitors in the end.
In order to create a near perfect meta description, take note of these tips. Keep the title of your meta description simple yet eye-popping enough to grab the users’ attention. Observe a limit of 70 characters including space. For the body, the limit is 165 characters. Don’t go beyond this or your sentence will be left hanging.
In addition, the body of the description must also contain your main keyword phrase. Search engine bots can capture the keyword phrase in full or in part and bold them in the snippets to tell the readers the relevancy of your site to their search queries.
Some SEO plugins like the all-in-one SEO pack for WordPress still provides a field for the meta keywords. While the meta keywords are no longer used for web ranking, some webmasters still fill out this field. In this case, you can insert several keyword phrases but you should limit them to 10 different but relevant terms. Otherwise, you will only fuel doubt that you are keyword stuffing here.
Metatags Still Matter After All
From the point of view of CTR, metatags are important. But in search engine optimization perspective, they are redundant. Metatags will not improve the ranking of your website, but they can help capture more target web traffic to your site. In fact, Matt Cutts even stated that Google still use some details of the metatags, particularly the meta description tag.
They come in handy for the search engine because if they ran out of snippets for a blog, then they can quickly use the ready-made description if it is well-written. In fact, Matt Cutts further encouraged to carefully draft the meta description tag and pay close attention to it because it could result to more clicks on your website. If the information is good and eye-catching enough, your blog can even get more clicks than the one above yours.
However, you must also avoid inserting deceptive information in the meta description. This will not only make the users unhappy but this can increase the bounce rate, which is bad for SEO. So make sure to provide accurate information in the description to enhance the user experience of the visitors. If they find your site useful and relevant to the information in the description, then some visitors would gladly refer your blog to others, thereby improving further the traffic count.
In a nutshell, metatags in general may no longer provide SEO value but some tags are still useful for the search engines. Except for the meta keyword tags, the metatags must be given due attention for improved CTR and enhanced conversion.