The Keyword Tag is BACK!

24 comments

The SBA Small Business Journalist of the Year wrote SEO tips in a recent USA Today article. Good stuff. Sort of.

Know what your customers are searching for: Whatever keywords your customers would (hopefully) use to find your site must be used throughout your site, but especially in your meta tags (the title and words describing the page). Choose and use these keywords carefully. Avoid using broad terms like "skis." Instead, you want to use more specific terms like "Solomon freestyle skis."

If you want to get really geeky about this, type in the keywords you want people to use to come to your site or page and see what competitive sites come up. Then surf on over to those pages and view the source HTML code and look at their keywords in their meta tags.

Well that article may have been lacking in some areas, but it was one of the first articles on a mainstream media site that I have ever seen talk about SEO without somehow making it sound evil or deceptive.

That brings up another point. I need to look at the whole mainstream media a bit harder. If that article is good enough to publish odds are just about all TWers should be able to get some type of news coverage at least once a week.

Sorta rude for me to place a title on that SEO expert though...it is not something he would do to his home page. I think this is the first time I have ever seen Lee Odden rant. I likey :)

Comments

Well he must have heard

Well he must have heard something about keywords and stuff some years ago.... then this topic comes up... I can see that happening.

Well that article may have been lacking in some areas, but it was one of the first articles on a mainstream media site that I have ever seen talk about SEO without somehow making it sound evil or deceptive.

- yea, and the one to provide a lot of misconcepts... and we all link to it and it shws up next time some unsuspecting individual searches Google for that mysterious thing called SEO... And then you're having a hell of a job explaining your potential client that all that shite he read in USA Today has as little relation to the real SEO as his gran's favourite prayer book...

Argghhh

Quote:
but especially in your meta tags

Makes me want to scream.

more from Steve on this...

After I emailed Steve Strauss about his title tag and my other comments he had this to say:

First off, thanks for the feedback. I always appreciate hearing another point of view. FYI - I sourced the information for the article from several places, not just Alyah. For instance, the flash and frames issue was repeated a few times. Meta tags too. The Yahoo tip was given to me last year.

Part of the problem I have when I write an article like the one you are referring to is that I simply canot get too technical, nor too long. For instance, Alyah mentioned using standards issued by the World Wide Web consortium to me a few times, as well as "clean programming" but mine is a general interest small business column and not a tech column. I dont feel I can make it too technical without losing people.

and...

BTW, I don't code any of my own pages, thats for the folks at USATODAY.com, so whether the page has title tags is WAY beyond what I do there.

By looking at the USA Today website you can see they really dont care to much about the title tag for any website they control including usatoday.com and Steves' website.

My response to Steve:

Understood, but it was just humorous that you interviewed someone on SEO and yet your home page lacks the most basic SEO guidelines. Believe me USA Today's website could use some help in getting indexed in the search engines better.

seems like he didn't even

seems like he didn't even get what you were on about....

right

"Getting to technical" or misinformation? Which is worse?

promotion

Quote:
Alyah mentioned using standards issued by the World Wide Web consortium to me a few times, as well as "clean programming" but mine is a general interest small business column and not a tech column.

Which also has nothing to do with SEO.

My question is why of all the people in the world to ask SEO questions to, he chose this particular person?

It looked like for some reason he was trying to promote this particular designer, imo.

I did make a comment in my

I did make a comment in my little rant about the limitations on this type of article format:

"I do realize it could have been worse and also that space limitations in short articles like these as well as a mass audience hinders the writer's ability to be thorough."

All the same, any one of us could have done more with less I think.

Jill, I think you're on to something re: promoting the designer.

spidey sense tingling

Looking at IP's and backlinks didn't reveal any common connections, but my spidey sense is still tingling, something doesn't feel right ...

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Lee your article was right on the mark!

If it's not a tech column,

If it's not a tech column, then why write about a subject that is undeniably "techy" in the first place?

Common Sense Rules

The best linking strategy is to create content that is so compelling, that other sites will link to it.

Sadly, it's not the quick fix most people want to hear and for an ecommerce site you'll get a blank stare telling most of them to do this. They'll explain how they sell stuff and aren't writers, which always gets a rise out of me as any good salesperson should be able to spin a good yarn of BS about any product.

Clean programming

Jill, I would disagree when you say that clean programming has nothing to do with SEO, unless you're referring entirely to what happens behind the scenes and not what ends up in the page's source code.

It's not something I could prove to anyone's satisfaction except my own, but I've had the experience numerous times that reducing clutter in the source code corresponded with a rise in rankings even though no visible page content was changed.

Won't hurt, might help ...

The best linking strategy is

The best linking strategy is to create content that is so compelling, that other sites will link to it.

Just a panacea for real advice

Clean Programming

Hey Buckworks. I think you may be talking apples and oranges. W3C validated code is supposed to make no dif (according to Matt Cutts), which is what I think Jill might have been referring to. But if you're talking about designing pages so that they aren't hidden behind dynamic code I gotta agree. Anything that doesn't cause a delay in a spider's travel has to increase keyword counts. Cheers

Clean Programming

"Clean code" and "code that validates" are not necessarily the same thing, although there's often a lot of overlap in what it takes to achieve them.

Lots of code clutter validates just fine, but you're still better off without it.

I think the people who

I think the people who really push the validate stuff mainly like to validate why their own fees are so much greater than the work done by others.

And ...

... your factual basis for that comment is ... ?

Price quotes

Price quotes from getting my other site redesigned.

oh, that's justified

A price premium for valid code is clearly justified in my opinion. No doubt about it. If you are a web designer, either your code validates or you are just not doing your job properly.

Or, you could turn it around and demand a large rebate if the code does not validate. Why should you pay full price if the stuff you buy isn't 100% okay?

I might comment on the valid code in SE's at some point. I have posted about this before a few places, but I'm too tired right now to find my earlier posts.

Yeah, but...

Quote:
A price premium for valid code is clearly justified in my opinion. No doubt about it.

Agreed. But it has nothing to do with SEO.

Ah, found it

I posted this on WebmasterWorld on Sept 27, 2003:

(...) Anyway, what code validating and CSS does to your pages is to cut off some of the fat that is of no use to the SE's, as it's just formatting and not content.

Most spiders will try their best to chew through your pages no matter how many errors you have in them, and they will (try to) extract the important information as well. Validation makes it so much easier for them to do so - it's not required, but it's comparable to doing them a favour, or to peeling the banana before letting them eat it, if you prefer.

It's not the validation in itself that will improve your rankings, it's the mindset you will be forced to enter when you write valid pages, as this is very much a question of structure and consistency - plus separating content from layout. Also, you reduce the risk of critical coding errors (eg typos) greatly by validating.

Still, it's perfectly possible to write validating pages that rank very bad in the SERPS - you must combine it with your SEO knowledge to benefit. Eg. you can still have valid links that just say "Click Here", valid titles that say "NewPage1", valid body text that says "Lorem ipsum" and all kinds of other nonsense.

And here's another

Really cool post (well, I made it, so kick me) from Sept 19, 2004. More in-depth, and longer:

http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum21/8701.htm - post #5

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Might want to take a look at this thread here.

Thanks Jill :-) I did and

Thanks Jill :-)

I did and left again. Doesn't change my opinion on a single thing of what I've said in the two quotes above.

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