Simple Things You can Do to Keep Your Web Site Out of Search Engine Hell!

Are Meta Tags Really Dead?

In their guidelines Yahoo tells you that Meta-Tags are not totally dead and buried

(The below Information was taken directly from the Yahoo help file )

Pages Yahoo! wants included in its Index…

  • Original and unique content of genuine value
  • Pages designed primarily for humans, with search engine considerations secondary
  • Hyperlinks intended to help people find interesting, related content, when applicable
  • Metadata (including title and description) that accurately describes the contents of a web page
  • Good web design in general

In their guidelines Yahoo states “Metadata (including title and description ) that accurately describes the contents of a web page.” By Title Metadata they mean the text between the and tags in the header section of your HTML Page. By Description Yahoo mean the actual Meta tag Name=”Description” in the same header section. So Meta data at least as far as Yahoo is concerned is not dead.

Let’s examine some of the key points that Yahoo states are important in their help file and see how we can employ some simple methods to meet Yahoo’s guideline.

Original and Unique Content of Genuine Value

Yahoo is looking for well written keyword rich content that has useful information. Concentrate on 1 keyword or Keyword phrase per web page. If your web page is less then 500 words use a keyword density of about 2-3%. If your web page is above 500 words Use a keyword density of About 5%. Try to keep your web pages under 750 words.

Pages Designed Primarily for Humans, with Search Engine Considerations Secondary

Yahoo and Google are working hard to get rid of those robotic page writers. Your pages should be fairly well written, It is OK to optimise for search engines as long as your content is human engineered well.

Hyperlinks Intended to Help People Find Interesting, Related Content, When Applicable

Try and have 3 or 4 Links to closely related content. It is ok to link to other web Pages within in your site but 1 or 2 external links should be mixed in when Possible. Make sure you use your keyword or phrase in the anchor text for the links.

Metadata (including Title and Description) That Accurately Describes The Contents of a Web Page

Your Title and Description Meta Data should accurately reflect your web page content. Every web page from your site should have unique Title and Description Meta data. Both title and description Meta data should use your target keywords and keyword phrases for the web page. Don’t use the same keyword or keyword phrase directly next to each other in your Title or Description Metadata.

Title Meta Data

Keep your title less then 80 characters if at all possible. Place your title Meta data first (directly below the tag. Place the exact same title at the very top of your web page preferably inside an H1 /H1 Tag.

Description Meta Data

The description Meta tag should appear directly under the title Meta data. Keep your descriptions between 100 and 150 Characters if possible. Your keyword sensity in your description should be about 10%. Make sure your description accurately reflects your web page. Where possible the text in your description Meta data should actually appear word for word near the top of your web page.

Power User Super Tip Where it fits use your description within h2 tags as a sub page header directly under your title

Good web design in general

Books have been written about web design, some key points is to make sure your web sites is thematic and pages are related to each other. For every page you create to target a keyword phrase have 3 or more (as many as 10) related pages. Add new pages once or more a week or significantly change current pages. Make your web pages easy to crawl. Have a well organised drill down site map. As an example if your web page is about real estate your sitemap may look something like this

  • Real Estate Topics
    • Buying a Home
      • Your Perfect Neighborhood
      • Finding a Lender
      • Hidden Deals in those FSBOs (For Sale by Owner)
    • Selling a Home
      • Picking n Estate Agent
      • Pricing your Home
    • Investment Property

Yahoo in it’s guidelines is telling you exactly what you need to do to get a better page rank. If you give Yahoo what they want by following these suggestions then Yahoo will reward you with what you want – A better page rank.

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