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Category: SEO (page 1 of 2)

Meta Tags Make Up

Meta tags were originally intended as a proxy for information about a website’s content. Several of the basic meta tags are listed below, along with a description of their use.

Meta Robots

The Meta Robots tag can be used to control search engine crawler activity (for all of the major engines) on a per-page level. There are several ways to use Meta Robots to control how search engines treat a page:

  • index/noindex tells the engines whether the page should be crawled and kept in the engines’ index for retrieval. If you opt to use “noindex,” the page will be excluded from the index. By default, search engines assume they can index all pages, so using the “index” value is generally unnecessary.
  • follow/nofollow tells the engines whether links on the page should be crawled. If you elect to employ “nofollow,” the engines will disregard the links on the page for discovery, ranking purposes, or both. By default, all pages are assumed to have the “follow” attribute.
    Example: <META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”>
  • noarchive is used to restrict search engines from saving a cached copy of the page. By default, the engines will maintain visible copies of all pages they have indexed, accessible to searchers through the cached link in the search results.
  • nosnippet informs the engines that they should refrain from displaying a descriptive block of text next to the page’s title and URL in the search results.
  • noodp/noydir are specialized tags telling the engines not to grab a descriptive snippet about a page from the Open Directory Project (DMOZ) or the Yahoo! Directory for display in the search results.

The X-Robots-Tag HTTP header directive also accomplishes these same objectives. This technique works especially well for content within non-HTML files, like images.

Keyword Research

Where do we get all of this knowledge about keyword demand and keyword referrals? From research sources like these:

  • Moz Keyword Explorer
  • Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool
  • Google Trends
  • Microsoft Bing Ads Intelligence
  • Wordtracker’s Free Basic Keyword Demand

We at Webcraft custom-built the Keyword Explorer tool from the ground up to help streamline and improve how you discover and prioritize keywords. Keyword Explorer provides accurate monthly search volume data, an idea of how difficult it will be to rank for your keyword, estimated click-through rate, and a score representing your potential to rank. It also suggests related keywords for you to research. Because it cuts out a great deal of manual work and is free to try, we recommend starting there.

Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner tool is another common starting point for SEO keyword research. It not only suggests keywords and provides estimated search volume, but also predicts the cost of running paid campaigns for these terms. To determine volume for a particular keyword, be sure to set the Match Type to [Exact] and look under Local Monthly Searches. Remember that these represent total searches. Depending on your ranking and click-through rate, the actual number of visitors you achieve for these keywords will usually be much lower.

Other sources for keyword information exist, as do tools with more advanced data. The Webcraft blog category on Keyword Research is an excellent place to start. If you’re looking for more hands-on instruction, you can also check out Webcraft premium Keyword Research Workshop.

Trustworthiness

Websites that have earned trusted status are often treated differently from those that have not.

SEO’s have commented on the double standards that exist for judging big brand, high-importance sites compared to newer, independent sites. For the search engines, trust most likely has to do with the links your domain has earned. If you publish low-quality, duplicate content on your personal blog, then buy several links from spammy directories, you’re likely to encounter considerable ranking problems. However, if you post that same content on Wikipedia, even with the same spammy links pointing to the URL, it would likely still rank tremendously well. Such is the power of domain trust and authority.

Trust can also be established through inbound links. A little duplicate content and a few suspicious links are far more likely to be overlooked if your site has earned hundreds of links from high-quality, editorial sources like CNN.com or Cornell.edu.

Crafting Website Content

For search engine success

“Develop great content” may be the most oft-repeated suggestion in the SEO world. Despite its clichéd status, though, this is sound advice. Appealing, useful content is crucial to search engine optimization. Every search performed at the engines comes with an intent—to find, learn, solve, buy, fix, treat, or understand. Search engines place web pages in their results in order to satisfy that intent in the best possible way. Crafting fulfilling, thorough content that addresses searchers’ needs improved your chance to earn top rankings.

As mentioned, original content goes a long way with Google and your visitors. Copying other people’s content will result in a punishment from Google, which can crush your bottom line.

Want proof?

Remember when you used to find ezine articles in top Google rankings? You don’t see them anymore, and it’s no accident. They were one of the hardest hit by Google’s algorithm update, which aimed to prevent bad content from ranking highly.

Mahalo was a content farm that updated every day with new content, but it wasn’t original content. Google punished them for it, and that resulted in Mahalo needing to pivot their business.

But let’s take this a little further. Original also means originality. Your ideas should be original! Rehashing the same concepts or other posts over and over again is not original. If your content is played out, no one will link to it – and that defeats the purpose of writing content in the first place.

Here’s the train of thought that most website owners have (thinking that gets them in trouble):

“So it says here that we need to create a lot of content…OK…well how can we do this as easily and cheaply as possible?”

“Can we make a bot to scrape content and re-combine it into some form of gibberish that at least the search engines will read?”

“Can we outsource cheap, near slave labor priced, content writers to write filler content?”

“Can we collect articles from around the web and just get permission to re-post them?”

STOP THINKING THIS WAY!

Remember these two rules in life:

You get what you pay for.

If you don’t have anything useful to say, then don’t say it at all.

These two simple points will keep you on the path of making quality content that will yield returns for years to come. They can also help in other aspects of your life.

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