First off, what are Meta Tags? Meta tags are lines of website code that help the search engines place your website into the correct categories. If you look at a website’s source code (Hit Apple + U in Firefox), you will generally see a few lines at the top labeled “meta” just after the title. For example our website has meta description, keywords, rating, copyright, classification, language, robots & revisit. I will not go into each type of meta description in this post.
In the early days of the internet, basically the 1990s, the meta tags helped rank your website higher in the search engines for all of the keywords you listed in the meta tags. Website designers & marketers would stuff keywords, some useful and some fluff, to make their website rank higher. It was easy to saturate the website with keywords, but the search engines like Google, Yahoo & MSN (now Bing) quickly caught on and made it less important. Today, meta tags do not rank your website any higher, but they are important still. One of the most important meta tags is the description tag which is used by the search engines for the text just below your website when searched. (See example below)
The meta text also helps position your website correctly. Design the Planet is a New Orleans Graphic Design & Web Design firm that does not work nationally. We use keywords in our meta keywords text including “New Orleans” and “Louisiana”. Design the Planet does not need to appear with someone is searching for Seattle Design or London Website Designers.
In the end, meta tags are important, but not as important as they once were in ranking your website.