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Way Back Wednesday #3 - Meta Data Keyword Stuffing

Adrian Bredeson
by Adrian Bredeson on Jun 29, 2011 11:31:00 AM

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Stuffing Keywords in Meta-Tags is Not Stuff You Should Do

In last week's Way Back Wednesday post, we discussed Magic Keyword Percentages and how achieving the perfect keyword density sometimes made content hard to read. This week, we're going to take on keyword stuffing, specifically in Meta Tags. While the majority of Website visitors don't notice the Meta Tags, some aspects of them still play a role in SEO success.

 

Title Tags

Search Engines utilize Website Title Tags for a variety of reasons. Title Tags should define the Web Page, giving users a succinct overview of the content on the page. Title Tags can appear on Search Engine Results Pages and at the top of users' browser windows.

An optimized Title Tag will have key phrases included. Title tags should be relevant and page specific, but not stuffed with keywords. Key phrases should be used responsibly and intelligently. Both search engines and online searchers use Title Tags to determine what a page is about before ever getting the chance to read the content.

Stuffed Title Tags can confuse search engines and stop searchers from clicking on your link on Search Engine Result Pages. The key phrases used in a Title Tag should be as relevant as possible to the actual content on the page.

Meta Description Tags

Another important Meta Data tag is the Meta Description tag. These tags can also be pulled by search engines, and displayed below your Title Tags on Search Engine Results Pages. These tags should include your page specific key phrases, while enticing searchers to click through to your Website. Stuffing keywords in this tag will turn searchers off and make your page look more like Spam.

When keyword density was an effective means of SEO, stuffing Meta Description tags made sense. Now that the user experience is so important, Meta Description tags need to be used to inform and persuade searchers to click through to your Website. Use the limited space wisely.

Keyword Tags

Way back when, keyword tags were another important aspect of Meta Data. Through the years, Web developers and SEO "experts" abused this tag, stuffing it with keywords, repeating key phrases over and over, and exploiting its status in search algorithms. This was especially important back when Alta Vista was an important search engine.

To combat this abuse, search engines simply ignored Keyword Meta Tags. So today it's an inconsequential piece of the SEO puzzle. Some SEO firms may still stuff the keyword tag and assure their clients it will make a difference. But in reality, it doesn't. Many times when a Website owner pays for search engine optimization, all they are receiving are worthless Meta Keyword tags stuffed with keywords. Then they wonder why they are invisible on Google after paying all that money for SEO.

In following with SEO best practices, E-Power Marketing will still develop optimized Keyword Tags for our clients, highlighting the most important phrases for each page, but it has no impact on search visibility. Any SEO firm stuffing keyword tags with redundant phrases is one to stay away from. Not only are they attempting to game the search engines, they are using an obsolete means to do so.

Using keywords in your Meta Data is still an important way to gain search visibility. Keyword research is crucial; know that you are targeting the correct phrases in your Meta Data and on page content. You have limited space when writing your Meta Data, getting the right keywords in the right spot is essential. Stuffing your Meta Data with key phrases just won't work. This will make your site look spammy to both search engines and human searchers. Meta Data Keyword Stuffing is an outdated SEO method that won't get you results. Create optimized, page specific Meta Data with your readers in mind to see any benefits on the search engines.

How do you use your Meta Data? When was the last time you revised and optimized your Page Titles and Meta Descriptions? We'd love to hear your thoughts on Meta Data and Keyword Stuffing over on Twitter, follow the @EPowerMarketing Twitter account and use the #WayBackSEM hashtag to get in on the discussion!

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Adrian Bredeson
Written by Adrian Bredeson
As Director, SEO and Social Media at E-Power Marketing, Adrian is primarily focused on the organic success of client programs through SEO, social media and content marketing. Adrian also heads up the agency's marketing initiatives. With a background in psychology and PR, her passion for telling a brand's story by understanding and engaging with their target audiences has been put to good use at E-Power!

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