PART II: WEB DESIGN
1. Search Engines and Search Engine Optimization (Continued)
Now that you understand better how search engines work, we will cover part of search engine optimization, SEO. It is important to use SEO to create better websites and not to use techniques and strategies solely to have your website rank high. Google has written much about this aspect of SEO.
To Meta or Not To Meta
Meta tags are in the coding of your website. With the exception of the title of the webpage, you will not see them when viewing the webpage. To view the code, either click on a website where there is no image or flash and check under the hood, so to speak, to see what is there running the page like an engine for your car. You should see a meta tag for the title. You should also see other meta tags, but they are not present in every website.
Some of the less experienced search engine optimizers and web designers feel and write that it is unnecessary to use meta tags, with the belief that Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engine companies will find their website without this effort. While that can be true, a large part of why a customer wants their website optimized is to have their website rank higher on search engines.
As such, they are not mindful of these three things:
- Robots as members of your audience
- Traditional types of information that are collected by search engines
- Classic elements of a website
As discussed earlier, a website has two audiences: people and robots. The robots collect information including those contained in the meta tags and report back to their respective search engines with these golden nuggets. These data nuggets are, in turn, evaluated in the search engine algorithm and compared with other data, such as the content of your website. This evaluation ranks your website according to that particular algorithm and other criteria. The weight or importance put on the meta tags and comparison with the content can shift, depending on the algorithm or the version. The current search engine algorithm used by Google has been called Panda or Farmer.
The use of meta tags is an important strategy to be incorporated into any web design and is an integral part of search engine optimization. To meta or not to meta should not be the question. It should be a standard practice for those wanting to build good solid websites that are search engine optimized.
Our next segment of our series, “Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts,” will cover the different types of meta tags.
All rights reserved. This article, all articles, images, etc., are copyright Little Mountain Web Design.