SEO

Worthless Meta Tags used by SEO Companies

Everyday I am amazed by the countless number of pointless tags that are inserted into the header of a website. The largest issue with such tags is that they push a website’s content further down within the source code of the page. I will freely admit that Google and the other search engines are looking deeper into pages to find a page’s actual content, but why make the search engines work that hard? Included below are a few of the most common worthless tags inserted into the header information of a webpage and why they carry no value in a SEO campaign.

<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="INDEX, FOLLOW">

The reason this value carries such little weight is that a search engine will spider a page without regardless of whether a webmaster includes such header information. As long as there are links pointing to the page, from pages that have PR, then the Google will find the pages. The only time this header tag is of value is when a webmaster wishes to stop the search engine from following a page and even in this circumstance the search engine may ignore the instructions provided. A robots.txt file is always the preferred method to exclude pages and also the method that most search engines will heed.

<META NAME="REVISIT-AFTER">

This is yet another tag that is commonly ignored by the search engines. The search spiders have their own schedules and frequency upon which they decide to visit webpages. Telling a spider to visit a site more frequently simply does not work.

<META NAME="COPYRIGHT">

Yet another meaningless tag to insert into the header information of a webpage. While I can certainly understand why a web designer or possibly even an SEO company might want to place their contact information in such a field, my advice is to resist the urge. First if the idea behind adding such a tag is to prevent others from copying the source code, then it is a waste of time, since unique content posted on a website is already copyrighted by existing U.S. and international laws. Now if the idea is to use this space as an advertisement then a company should still resist the urge. Rarely will people look at the copyright information in the source and then contact the respective web design or SEO company. This tag, as the others above simply move the page’s content further down in the source code.

There are many other worthless tags that webmasters add to a site’s pages. Next time you visit a webpage take a look at the source code and more often than not, the header information will contain unneeded tags. Please take advantage of the comment section to post tags you deem as worthless.

Brent Yorzinski is the owner of the SEO Company Agilis Marketing. Despite his young age and even younger appearance he has successfully helped hundreds of companies achieve top search rankings on Google, Yahoo, and the other major search engines.

photo Worthless Meta Tags used by SEO Companies

Brent Yorzinski

Brent Yorzinski founded the SEO Company Agilis Marketing. He has successfully assisted countless companies achieve top search results on the other major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN.
photo Worthless Meta Tags used by SEO Companies
photo Worthless Meta Tags used by SEO Companies

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24 thoughts on “Worthless Meta Tags used by SEO Companies

  1. Meta keywords works for Yahoo and (I think) MSN.

    I still use it not just for the niche directories that often ask for a separate list of keywords, but also as a constant reminder of which keyphrases are being used for for each page.

  2. I put misspellings in meta keyword tags and a physical address if it is relevant to the website. Google will index information in the meta keyword tag, though it will not necessarily rank any pages for what it finds there. I have seen Google point to a business address that was only listed in the meta keyword tag.

    I have never been a believer that the keyword tag is completely useless. Until it is declared useless, I will use it. I think anyone who does not use it is cutting corners.

  3. I agree with Deb, many clients wish to rank on multiple key phrases and the only way to do this is through the meta tag(s). Of course the content is going to help dictate this as well, but the search engines still use meta tags – just look at the SERPs.

  4. I think the meta keyword tag is still valuable – Bruce Clay did some tests a while back (sorry I couldn’t find the link) ‘proving’ that at least a few of the engines still rely on the tag for ranking purposes.

    I use it – regardless. If nothing else it serves as a personal reminder. When I revisit the optimization or content I know exactly which keywords I was targeting when I optimized the page originally.

  5. I recently got back from the Bruce Clay workshop and he does advise the use of the meta keywords. He also mentioned the testing he had done with that tag. I have also done some testing on my own. Personal experience will always clarify the rumors and misinformation that spreads so quickly in SEO.

  6. Adding damaging code to a page would be worse than just useless tags. It does speak of the “quality” of the respective SEOs though.

  7. I have never seen any of my web-pages crawled or indexed if I instruct them not to do so (no-index no-follow)

  8. Alfkin, the noindex/nofollow tags are not rules for search engines. As a matter of fact some SEs ignore them. However they are guidelines which we hope will allow us to control our content and how it’s indexed. But a guideline is very different from a rule.

    As for tag vs. robots.txt. The tag is depreciated. It’s the same as using versus . While both may achieve a bolder text is the preferred method as it gives credence to the text. Same thing as using tables for design vs. divs. Both may give you the same appearance but divs are valued more highly as it is lighter and allows greater control.

  9. “I have seen a meta-tag name=”PageRank” content=”4″ sometimes, that is funny :)

    “Now that is what I call wishful thinking!”

    Some people really believe in will it into reality. I guess this is just another example. ;)

  10. What our author here is trying to bring across is meta tags that has of no value. For example, if you are asking the robots NOT to index your site, you then place the . But if you aren’t, then what is the point of placing

    I have done a simple experiment in the past by reducing my page size to less than 15k which was ranked #4. And in just 4-5 days, it over-ranked the #3 site which was weighted 46k and took its position at #3.

    By reducing useless tags, you are reducing the loading time and also allows the spiders to crawl your site easily. It helps in SEO.

  11. Our local directories in South Africa rely on the keywords tag. Thus leaving them out guarantees lower positioning.

    “I have seen a meta-tag name=”PageRank” content=”4″ sometimes, that is funny :)”

    Now that is funny, but why a 4 and not a 8 or even 10.

    Have an exSeollent 2008

  12. good post, i was really searching for post regarding Meta tag, to gain more knowledge about using tags for seo. thanks for doing a good job.

  13. I was browsing my source codes and noticed on every page my SEO company had inputted their name and url in a meta name tag. Is this normal? The <title> and my meta name “description” and “keywords” is right above this section.

    <meta name=”robots” content=”index,follow”>
    <meta name=”Web Design and Search Engine Optimization by” content=”Xxxx xxxx http://www.xxxxxxxxx.com“>
    <meta content=”General” name=”rating”>
    <meta content=”document” name=”resource-type”>
    <meta content=”global” name=”distribution”>

  14. I was browsing my source codes and noticed on every page my SEO company had inputted their name and url in a meta name tag. Is this normal? The <title> and my meta name “description” and “keywords” is right above this section.

    <meta name=”robots” content=”index,follow”>
    <meta name=”Web Design and Search Engine Optimization by” content=”Xxxx xxxx http://www.xxxxxxxxx.com“>
    <meta content=”General” name=”rating”>
    <meta content=”document” name=”resource-type”>
    <meta content=”global” name=”distribution”>