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The Importance Of Description Meta Tag

Posted on : 28-06-2010 | By : stargaterich | In : Internet_Marketing

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Even though it is not necessary to be familiar with in-depth knowledge of HTML (Hyper Text Mark Up Language) nevertheless it helps to understand some of the HTML syntax for instant the meta tag.

What is the meta tag? Well, in a nutshell the Meta Tag is label that describes about the HTML document. Please refer to http://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_meta.asp for detail information of the HTML tag.

Some say that meta tags have no effect on your ranking with the search engines. Well that is nearly true except for one namely the description meta tag. Almost all search engines (including Google) do not in reality take it into account for ranking purposes ” yet ” many use it in their search results.

The content of the description tag is used more often than not by Google when it shows the results pages for a keyword. The description tag and description meta tag refers to the same thing and will be used interchangeably over here.

It uses only the first 160 characters though so make sure if you are using it to check the length of the text. If you do not check the length your text will be truncated and it will look weird.

To check the length of a piece of text just paste it into a word document and then select the text and then double click the word count box at the bottom of the screen on the status bar. The meta tags should appear in the head section of the page between the head tags.

Google is a little less transparent when it comes to using or not using the meta description tag. When it does use it you can have full control of what is displayed to potential visitors but it will often vary what it uses at will with sometimes it just plucking a piece of text from your web page.

If you want to control what Google shows then the very first 160 characters of text on a page should be highly controlled because if it does not use the description tag it will use this text.

If you have a flash site or just use pictures with a little text, you have a problem! We have seen Google pick up the alt text from an image and exhibit this when it didn’t choose to use our description tag. This will tell you to ALWAYS have some text on your page even if it is only 160 carefully selected characters (including spaces).

If you are wondering how to optimize and update the description tag easily and quickly in your self hosted WordPress blogging platform then you are in for a good treat.

There are many free WordPress plug-ins that you can install to get the job done. One of the best WordPress plug-in that I have used and strongly recommend is ‘All In One SEO Pack’. There is a free version as well as the enhanced pay version.

For a start you can try the free version by downloading it from http://semperfiwebdesign.com/portfolio/wordpress/wordpress-plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/

Once you have install the ‘All In One SEO Pack” you will be presented with the input fields as shown.
All In One SEO WordPress Plug-in
There are three fields that you ought to fill properly namely the ‘Title’, ‘Description’ and the ‘Keywords’ fields. For SEO purposes you should include the keywords in your Title and Description. Never overstuff keywords otherwise Goggle may see it as intentional keyword stuffing and penalized it. One interesting feature of this plug-in is that you can enable or disable this feature by individual post.
In summary, do not underestimate the importance of description tag. Do it right and you stand to gain every bit out of it.

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