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Its official Meta Tags mean nothing to Google

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Matt Smith
Its official Meta Tags mean nothing to Google
on Oct 2, 2009 at 9:45:22 pm

A while back I responded to a question that meta tags could still be important to Google. However, about a week ago Google announced they mean nothing to their search engine algorithm.

I know for most people this means absolutely nothing but for those doing seo on their own site don't waste your time with the tags. Here is the official announcement from Matt Cutts

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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Its official Meta Tags mean nothing to Google
on Oct 2, 2009 at 10:36:43 pm

They haven't used them for a long time. They are just finally getting around to making it official, and as they state, there are over 200 factors that are considered by their algorithm and meta tags aren't one of them. Here at the COW, we've known that they haven't been for years. Their algorithm is far more sophisticated than using metas. We still use metas but they are more for us as a way to grab and build things on the fly.


Ron Lindeboom

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grinner hester
Re: Its official Meta Tags mean nothing to Google
on Oct 2, 2009 at 11:06:36 pm

well that explains alot.
I can't tell ya how many times I've added and tested with a wtf. lol

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Brendan Coots
Re: Its official Meta Tags mean nothing to Google
on Oct 4, 2009 at 6:07:41 am

No one should take this to mean that it's okay to delete or otherwise ignore the meta tags on their web pages, though. Google has 70% market share in searches, not 100%. The remaining 30% absolutely respect keyword and other meta tags.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

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Tim Wilson
The COW means something to Google Re: Its official Meta Tags mean nothing to Google
on Oct 4, 2009 at 10:49:34 am

To be a little more specific, that GOOGer said that Google doesn't use *keyword* metas to affect rankings. This is indeed a pretty big deal...although if you read the comments to the article, this has been well known - at least among the SEO crowd - for years.

Even for search engines, like Bing, that acknowledge keyword metas, they're down the list of things to do, after things like !DOCTYPE and title tags. They also acknowledge, however, that keywords aren't particularly effective for SEO.

On one level, there's no need to overthink this. Keyword metas don't hurt anyone, but other tags are more important.

But the big takeaway from all of this is that no search engines pay more attention to tags than they do to the content of the pages. If you want to appear relevant to search engines, BE relevant.

Pirates are always looking for shortcuts. In the years since keywords have been useful, using links to increase relevance has turned into its own brand of monkeyshines. We're still in the days when SEO pirates are throwing random links all over the place, although the time will come when irrelevant links are as useless as irrelevant tags.

In the meantime, relevant links are VERY relevant. I know you know this Brendan, so if I may turn to the rest of the class to make an observation: a quick Google check for Brendan has the Cow as the top returns, followed by (in order) LinkedIn, Facebook,, and IMDb.

So maybe THAT's the real takeaway. If you want to be visible to the world, post in the Cow. No kidding.

More notes:

1) Brendan's top return is for an article he wrote for us. We're always looking for writers, and will happily help anyone get started.

2) Forum leader Walter Biscardi's top return is his company site, Biscardi Creative Media. Hmmm, notice anything about THAT?

Number 2 is his Cow blog. If you have a Cow membership, you have a Cow blog. Go to, and start writing stuff in it that you want the world to see...because they WILL.

Walter's next result, btw, is for an article in the library. Seriously, if you want to be seen in this industry, write for the Cow.

Needless to say, both Walter and Brendan also have plenty of links to posts. I'm just saying.

3) Most of the rest of us across the top of the page here in the Business & Marketing forum have relatively common names. But adding the words "video production" vault Nick Griffin ahead of the comedian and US football player, and just behind the very controversial BMP of the same name (speaking in a VIDEO about food PRODUCTION...sigh) to the top of the ranks.

---------Note that for many people, their highest Goog ranked page is their Cow profile page. Please take the time to fill this out in a way that will tell people what you want them to know about you.

4) That's using search, of course, for something you know to search for. My point is that if people are searching for YOU, they will find you HERE, long before they find you at LinkedIn or Facebook.

What about browsing? What if you were to search for, say, "Bellingham, WA 3D Animation." The top return? Hand Crank Animation. The site they're listed at? Not their own. Not Production Hub. The Cow. That's right -

If you try this search for yourself, you'll note that a general WA directory listing comes up in Production Hub at the top - not shocking, since they've been listing services for 10 years. We've been doing it for around a year. We'll pass them soon enough. In the meantime, the top return for a specific company is still at

I hope you're starting to see the pattern. You can spend a lot of time finessing keywords and metas, or you can get visible in the Cow. Or you can do both. But keywords and metas alone won't do the trick. The Cow WILL. If you're serious about being visible to the world, get visible in the Cow.

5) How is this possible? Because Google says that we're getting just under 1.9 million unique visitors a month. That's pretty relevant.

6) So what about Bing? Well, putting in Brendan Coots returns IMDb first (bastards!), followed by his Cow Profile page (told ya), his listing of Tagged posts (the posts marked most helpful by other folks visiting the Cow), and his articles page in the library - that's 3 separate listings - before we get to Facebook, LinkedIn, and then another Cow article.

Walter at Bing: 1) His profile page (I'm telling ya, fill out your profile pages!), 2) Another Walter Biscardi (wtf?), 3) OUR Walter's Cow library listing, 4) Walter's Cow blog, 5), 6) IMDb.

So, while not identical, the pattern holds: visibility@Cow = visibility@world.

7) Last but not least, here was the front page of Bing when I went to make these searches just now:

That's right. Cows. I'm not making this up.

See you at the top of the rankings, kids.

Yr pal,

Tim Wilson
Creative Cow Magazine!

My Blog: "Is this thing on? Oh it's on!"

Don't forget to rate your favorite posts!

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