Web Usability & Website Optimization

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Improve Title and Meta Tags for users

Are the Title tag and Meta tags in every HTML page made only for search engines?
The answer to this question is Yes as well as No.
‘Yes’ because many search engines still rely on the text inside these tags while ranking pages but the major search engines (the most popular like Google, Yahoo, MSN) are getting smarter & smarter and gives lower priority to at least the Meta tags when it comes to their ranking algorithm.
‘No’ because if you write these tags keeping in mind only the search engines and don’t consider your users then you are probably risking the search engine traffic.

No matter what algorithm these search engines use for ranking web pages, what you see on the search result page is Title tag text linked to the site and small description about the site that most probably comes from the Meta Description tag. So when the search result appears, visitors just glance through the different listings, compare them and click on the result that satisfies their needs.

Google search result for web usability

If the title and description tags are just stuffed with keywords and key phrases the same may appear on the search result page, but because the title and description does not provide a brief idea about the target page, many of the searchers may just ignore such listings.

So make a point to write Title tag that should provide the theme of the page and the description inside the Meta Description tag should be short description of the page.
As far as other tags are concerned, you shouldn’t worry about them, search engines just ignore them and so you can.


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