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Old 31st October 2005, 01:00 PM   #1
thejenn
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Default Meta Keywords Advice

Authored by: Richard Ball

Full Text: http://www.searchengineguide.com/ball/006037.html

A Snippet:

"Most people agree that the Meta tag is useless. I'll take it a step further and argue that it's hazardous. There is more risk than reward in using the meta keywords tag because your competitors can view the meta keywords tag and can steal your keywords. "

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Old 1st November 2005, 09:41 PM   #2
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Wow! That is a really interesting article. I've been working hard on my keywords on all my pages. But truefully, I'm a little afraid of deleting my keywords in my Meta tags.

I find it difficult to assume that the keyword meta tags is totally useless, mainly because I'm beginning to see a difference, after I adjusted my keywords. Am I hallucinating?

I'd try the deletion -- but -- I need a little reassurance here. Has anyone else deleted their keywords from there meta tags.

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Old 2nd November 2005, 05:48 AM   #3
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Yes, the keyword tag is useless. Has been for a long time now. Two of my sites have no keyword tag and are ranked in the top 5.

Well, let me add to that that the keyword tag is OK if you want to put misspellings, etc. But it won't hurt you a bit with the major engines not to have a keyword tag. It won't hurt you TO have a keyword tag, either so if you're more comfortable with it there, leave it.

As for your competition stealing your keywords by viewing your tag, they could just as easily steal them 5 or 6 other ways. Plus, if they are your competition, chances are they are targeting the same keywords anyway. I wouldn't worry too much about it

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Old 2nd November 2005, 10:26 AM   #4
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Interesting, well then, that does mean that the keywords are generated within the content or body of the webpage by the search engines -- and the copy has to be planned around your keywords specifically.

I believe I will be doing some experimenting.

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Old 2nd November 2005, 09:11 PM   #5
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Yes, exactly. That's where the keywords should be put.

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Old 4th November 2005, 11:58 AM   #6
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Default A couple of questions in response to the keyword tag issue.

If I remove all of my meta keyword tags (which have 15 keywords in them), then my most important keywords (5 of them) will still be listed in my title and description tags. What's to stop my competitors from copying those? Also, is there no way to "hide" the meta tags so no one else other than the search engines can see them?

Furthermore, I am optimizing each page for 5 keywords, which does cause my content to be somewhat awkward. Is this hurting my chances of success or am I just sacrificing a nice flow to my marketing message?

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Old 4th November 2005, 01:02 PM   #7
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Trust me, if your competition is worth it's salt, they already have researched and found the same keyphrases you're using. They already know which ones are best so you have nothing to worry about when it comes to someone else stealing your keyphrase.

As for using 5 keyphrases per page, "just" sacrificing a nice flow to your marketing message should be your primary concern. Ranking high with the engines should be your 2nd concern. There are tons of ways to drive traffic to your site. However, once visitors arrive (by whatever means) you only have words and images to convince them to take action. IMO, you should place a premium on the flow of your marketing message.

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Old 8th November 2005, 09:54 AM   #8
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Listen to Karon, she says good things.

I'll back up her in saying that I see no harm in the keyword tag. I see no benefit to it, but I don't see any harm either.

I think the types of competitors that decide which phrases to target by checking out other people's sites are not likely to be skilled enough to give you serious competition anyway. If a company isn't doing their own independent keyword research, it's a sign that they don't really know how to do proper search marketing.

Also, I seem to recall seeing the number five up there...

I'll just throw in my two cents that I don't ever suggest actively optimizing a page for more than say two phrases. I just don't think that you can effectively target more phrases than that per page.

That said, by writing good copy and having good link structure and site structure, each page will attract traffic for WAY MORE than two phrases. That's because you'll have tons of little variations that might only draw one or two visitors to the site, but those start to add up. That's part of why natural language is so important.

As Karon says, you can optimize your copy for certain phrases, but if you don't keep it natural and flowing and have it foremost aimed at the readers, you're not only going to miss out on converting visitors to buyers, you're also going to miss out on that incidental traffic that really starts to add up.

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Old 11th November 2005, 10:05 AM   #9
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I have to agree with both Karon and Jenn. I have three sites and, while I started the first one with targeting the keywords I needed, I have since switched to just writing a conversation to my customers. I tell them what they can expect to find on my sites, how to navigate it, and what they can expect from shopping with me. I rank high in all the catagories that I want and even find it funny that I rank high in other catagories I never even thought of.

As for metatags...they are on some of my pages and not on others...I don't think they hurt, but I don't spend my time typing them all in if I'm busy.

~ Lisa

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Old 11th November 2005, 11:11 AM   #10
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Thanks Jenn and Lisa. Don't get me wrong, now. I am not saying all META tags are useless. Just the keyword tag. The title tag, in fact, is extremely important. The description tag is somewhat important. But the keyword tag could be left off with no worries at all.

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