Meta Tags and their Impact on SEO in 2012

Does Google still use Meta tags to rank webpages on their result pages? This is a question lots of people ask these days. Some webmasters say that Meta tags no longer have an impact on SEO. Is it really true? Can you ignore Meta Tags? Continue reading.

What are Meta Tags?

Here’s a short interdiction to those who are not familiar with Meta Tags. Meta tags are short texts that describe content of a web page. These tags are only visible to Search engines and considered very important when it comes to ranking a webpage higher on search results.

Back to the Topic,

I lately seen lots of people publishing articles about usage of Meta tags in 2012. Especially after Google Panda and Penguin updates. Some webmasters think that Google no longer use it to rank pages. But this is a big mistake. Google still uses it. And it’s very important to use it to optimize your pages.

You may be thinking how I’m so sure about this. I know it from experience. Earlier this year, my site was under a penalty by Google. Suddenly all my traffic went down. When I checked my webmaster tools account, Google reported a duplicate Meta description tag, which was caused by WordPress page break. You can read full case at WordPress Page Break and Duplicate Meta Tags. It’s clear that I was penalized due to miss use of Meta tags. This confirms Google still put some weight on Meta tags. My whole site was penalized for a single duplicate description tag. It took me more than 2 weeks to recover. My site won’t be penalized if Google started to ignore Meta tags.

So my point is you can’t ignore Meta tags. You should carefully write your Meta tags, especially description tag. Google puts more weight on it. Title tag (Not a Meta tag) is also important. And Google has confirmed that they no longer use keyword tag due to spamming. Here’s a video of Google official talking about Meta tags.

[youtube id=”jK7IPbnmvVU” width=”620″ height=”360″]

So now we know it’s used to rank pages. Then why is my site not ranking higher on Google? Answer is simple. Almost all webmasters use Meta tags to optimize their pages. So it’s not likely have an impact on results. But it sure does when you get it wrong. And search engines also use many other facts to estimate importance of a webpage. Meta tag is a little part of a big pie.

Tharindu

Hey!! I'm Tharindu. I'm from Sri Lanka. I'm a part time freelancer and this is my blog where I write about everything I think might be useful to readers. If you read a tutorial here and want to hire me, contact me here.

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4 Comments

  1. Interesting article. I became very confused about the use of those descriptions since the latest updates.Any chance you know what the effect is when using a pagebreak in Joomla? Since you got penalized when using WordPress.

    1. Hello Pieter,
      I don’t know if Joomla supports pagebreak. I haven’t tested it yet. But if Joomla support it, meta description and title tag must include page number on them. But not limited. Theory is to avoid duplicate tags. It doesn’t matter WordPress or Joomla. If Google detect same title or description on more than one pages of your site, they may ban you from search results.

  2. Interesting article. I became very confused about the use of those descriptions since the latest updates.Any chance you know what the effect is when using a pagebreak in Joomla? Since you got penalized when using WordPress.

    1. Hello Pieter,
      I don’t know if Joomla supports pagebreak. I haven’t tested it yet. But if Joomla support it, meta description and title tag must include page number on them. But not limited. Theory is to avoid duplicate tags. It doesn’t matter WordPress or Joomla. If Google detect same title or description on more than one pages of your site, they may ban you from search results.

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