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Guest Post Author:

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to background checks. She gives advice to entrepreneurs for the leading business directory, Business.com.


Photo Credit lyntonweb.com

To get straight to the point, I think Meta Keywords are annoying. For those who are unfamiliar, as you create and design your website you will be prompted to insert Meta Keywords. These keywords, words that are most relevant to describing your site, are hidden from the public because of what we call Meta Tags, or pieces of code seen only by search engines. The keywords are generally placed between the HEAD tags in your HTML code, and each keyword is separated with a comma. The idea is that these keywords will help your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

Believe it or not, most people I talk to also find these keywords annoying, and many are now saying that they are completely useless. However, these Meta Keywords are easy to type into your website or your article, so businesses have been filling in these blanks since search engines become popular ten years ago. Although it only takes two minutes, there is no sense in bothering, even for two minutes, with something useless. If you are going to do something for your website, it is important to know what the benefit is (if there is a benefit at all), regardless how long it may take. Consider the history of these Meta Keywords and how their role has evolved over the last ten years:

Meta Keywords Then and Now

In the 1990’s, it worked like this:
1. A website would place these keywords on their site to signify its main and relevant topics
2. Search Engines would then use meta data to classify and index a website
3. A website with correct meta elements would then rank highly in search engine results

Today, the Meta Keywords work very similarly, but with one major difference:
1. Business owners place these keywords on their site to signify its main topics
2. Businesses began to take advantage of meta keywords, and sites then began to appear in unrelated search engine results
3. Major search engines no longer use keywords to classify or index a website

Now that the biggest factor, Google and other search engine page rankings, is no longer, many businesses are wondering whether or not Meta Keywords are worth their time. Although it is simple to add in Meta Keywords, the whole concept can be a bit confusing to a startup company or employees new to the SEO world. At first glance, most would say these keywords have lost their value. After all, Google is the end goal for an SEO director. However, there are a few reasons that these annoying little words are still worth your time:

Google Doesn’t Want Them, but Meta Keywords Are Here to Stay

• Smaller search engines still use Meta Keywords

It may seem like Google and Bing rankings are the only way to get ahead, but many companies are realizing that local search engines also bring in business. After all, creating dishonest keywords was worth it for companies looking to rank on Google, but now that this is no longer available, smaller search engines have nothing to worry about.

• Directory sites still use Meta Keywords

Directory sites often use these Meta Keyword tags to help categorize your website. These sites will need to know where to index your site, and they are more likely to do so if you make it easy on them through Meta Keywords. Think of it as a document management tactic for directory sites. In other words, your site will appear much more often in directories when compared to sites without Meta Keywords.

• Meta Keywords work well for internal uses

Tagging specific keywords works well when it comes to documenting each page. As your company grows, your pages and your team will likely expand. If you have a Meta Keyword in place, future employees looking to develop pages will know the goal of each page exactly.

• Preparation if major search engines ever go back to the Meta Keyword system

This is unlikely to happen with Google simply because they have new algorithms for ranking pages, but it could very well happen with other major search engines. If done correctly, this system is an easy way to help index a page. It only takes a few seconds to set up a keyword tag, so it can’t hurt to get ready for the unexpected.

As I said before, I will be the first to admit that worrying about Meta Keywords is a bit annoying. However, once you know that this habit has positive effects, you can begin to think of these keywords as just another way to increase popularity in your company. Although they may not yield quite as obvious results, they cannot hurt your company. In other words, they are still worth the extra two minutes.

From  Marketing Pilgrim: Under 1 Percent of Web Visits Comes from Social Media

In yet another attempt to measure social media ROI, ForeSee developed their “Social Media Value Benchmark,” which ranks web visitors based on how the customer came to the site, how much they spent, how they felt about the experience and whether they’re likely to return.

ForeSee’s initial results, after surveying nearly 300,000 consumers, is that people who were influenced by social media spend more and are more satisfied and loyal customers than those who aren’t influenced by social media.

 

 

Interesting report, a few thoughts I have about it are:

1. 300,000 survey results are not an accurate enough number when you have over 1,9 Billion internet users world wild. Also to put the  300,000 number in prospective, it has been reported that 300,000 people join twitter everyday.

2.  Regardless of the number, I could see some part of the results being accurate with so many companies marketing their Facebook.com url or twitter profile vs a companies businessname.com url.

Basically if you’re not seeing an increase in web site visits/traffic from using social media, you’re doing it wrong especially if that’s your goal.

 

 

How Can You Improve Your SEO With Social Media Links? [INFOGRAPHIC]
via
designbysoap

Want more to learn more about SEO and Social Media see, An infographic guide to getting started with SEO

Looking for some information on search engine optimization (SEO), keyword research, site architecture, page optimization, link building, link baiting, social media, and SEO vs PPC? If so datadial has a great infographic called SEO FAQs – A guide. Take a look.

seo faq guideline infographic
Click to enlarge. via datadial

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More Google search algorithm changes announced from Google today. This time its about finding more high-quality  sites from search results as the search engine war vs content farms continues. They also mention what roll the Google Chrome Personal Blocklist Chrome extension played in making changes to the search algorithm. Here’s an excerpt from Google’s official blog.

 

It’s worth noting that this update does not rely on the feedback we’ve received from the Personal Blocklist Chrome extension, which we launched last week. However, we did compare the Blocklist data we gathered with the sites identified by our algorithm, and we were very pleased that the preferences our users expressed by using the extension are well represented. If you take the top several dozen or so most-blocked domains from the Chrome extension, then this algorithmic change addresses 84% of them, which is strong independent confirmation of the user benefits.

So, we’re very excited about this new ranking improvement because we believe it’s a big step in the right direction of helping people find ever higher quality in our results. We’ve been tackling these issues for more than a year, and working on this specific change for the past few months. And we’re working on many more updates that we believe will substantially improve the quality of the pages in our results.

via Official Google Blog: Finding more high-quality sites in search.

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Yesterday Matt Cutts posted that Google has changed their search algorithm to focus more on original content. Below is an excerpt from his post:

My post mentioned that “we’re evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content.” That change was approved at our weekly quality launch meeting last Thursday and launched earlier this week.

This was a pretty targeted launch: slightly over 2% of queries change in some way, but less than half a percent of search results change enough that someone might really notice. The net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content rather than a site that scraped or copied the original site’s content.

Matt’s post summary is the short version from his post on Google’s offical blog entitled “Google search and search engine spam“. This is great news as it seems like the beginning of Google trying to remain the #1 search enginge and fight off what seems like a series of attacks and competition from new search engines and startups such as Wolframalpha, Blekko and the continue traffic increase of Microsoft Bing.

Note, Matt stated that the Google search algorithm change will only affect 2% of search queries but don’t let the small number fool you. Google is under fire about providing relevant content to the answers of search quires and startups like Quora does.

My recommendation for you is to keep providing good, original content and for Google to keep updating their search algorithm or keep buying startups that are answering the questions that people use to search Google for.

Understanding Google PageRank: A Graphical Guide
Via: zippycart