Meta tags and SEO (Part II)


Digital communication / Thursday, July 7th, 2022

We have seen in the first part, the tags necessary for correct referencing. Let’s see how the tags that can be of interest in specific conditions or search engines other than Google (like Yandex or Baïdu, for example).

Meta tags that are not very important for your SEO

Social meta tags

The tags that can be favorable for social networks (such as OpenGraph tags) will not bring anything in terms of SEO for Google and for other search engines. Indeed, this one will just allow you (and this is already good) to see your site more easily shared on social networks. They can therefore be important to generate traffic and thus increase the reputation of your site. The increase in your reputation is something seen positively by search engines. Thus, social media tags have an indirect impact on your SEO, as do any marketing actions you can take to increase the visibility of your website.

Robots meta tag

The Robots tag is only useful if you want your page not to be indexed in search engines, or even block the links on it. To keep your page from being indexed:

<meta name = "robots" content ="noindex" />

and for links not to be followed:

<meta name = "robots" content = "noindex, nofollow" />.

There is no point in using the “index” or “follow” tags because these are the default values. Thus, when nothing is specified, search engines will use them and your site will be indexed and the links followed. You can also use “none”, which is the equivalent of “noindex, nofollow”.

Specific bots tag

Your website is crawled by specific robots (“bots”) from different search engines, why not give them specific instructions? This is what these tags offer. Indeed, they give specific instructions to each bot such as noodp (forcing them not to use your DMOZ, RIP referencing information) and noydir (identical, but instead of the Yahoo Directory referencing information). In general, search engines are very good, but if you think you need them, don’t hesitate.

Language tags

Here we will talk about two tags: hreflang and meta language. Indeed, both are not used by all search engines in the same way. For the big engines, hreflang is taken into account by Google and Yandex (the Russian search engine) and on the other side, we find Bing, Baidu (the Chinese engine), Yahoo, and Naver. These tags have the same function, share with the search engine the language and location of your website.

An example of a “content-language” tag:

<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en-us">;

and an example of a hreflang tag :

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-us" href="https://en-gb.example.com/page.html" />.

If you have a site only in English (or Russian), in short in one language, these tags have little interest. On the other hand, if you have a multilingual site, they become essential. So it’s up to you to decide if you need them or not.

Geo tag

This is a tag that is no longer of much value. These meta tags are only supported by Bing, but not by Google. Indeed, for the latter, they have no impact on local SEO. There are three kinds: place name, position (latitude and longitude), and region

<meta name="geo.position" content="latitude; longitude">
<meta name="geo.placename" content="Place Name">
<meta name="geo.region" content="Country Subdivision Code">

Keyword meta tag

While no good SEO recommends spending time on this tag, there is a very small possibility that it could help you somewhere.  Adding a few tags can’t hurt if you know how to keep it in mind. Indeed, Bing takes into account this tag, but in a negative way. Beyond 13 keywords, it will impose a penalty (but nothing catastrophic either). This tag is mainly used for small and very exotic search engines, so it is useless to spend time on it, but you can always put 5 or 6 keywords that summarize your page. However, if you are specifically targeting the Czech market, the use of this tag becomes important (due to the very important use of their national search engine: Seznam).

*****

These tags are not essential, but they can allow you to develop your SEO in an intelligent way.


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