One of the most important factors when it comes to influencing the ranking of your website is the correct naming of the meta elements. At the same time, addressing these basic elements correctly is an important factor in generating a higher number of users on the respective website. The metadata is therefore very important basic information in search engine optimization and should never be underestimated. Metadata optimization has been around for decades, and this factor remains valid in 2022.
Meta elements, also called meta tags, are the elements that are read out by the crawlers or search engines. The crawlers from Google, Bing, and Co. play a key role in identifying new and, of course, updating existing websites, which are then included and listed in the search engine index.
Since the crawlers cannot evaluate the entire content of the website, they rely on the meta tags. Consequently, these meta tags then also decide how relevant and “important” a website is classified and at what point in the ranking (search engine ranking) this page is placed.
The meta elements are always placed in the head area of each HTML document. It is always important for you as the site owner to know that the length of the meta tags is subject to specific requirements set by the search engines.
There are a number of meta elements that are used to pass the information and commands to the search robots. Since Google is one of the largest and most relevant search engines in the world, the specifications of this search engine serve as a guide for most webmasters. Consequently, the following meta tags apply to the Google Bot. However, they are also understandable for the crawlers of other search engines. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that many search engines are based on Google or even send queries to the largest search engine in the world in the background. On the other hand, the competition is constantly evolving, which is why there are certain standards.
In addition to the content of a website, it is above the title tag that is important for the placement in the search engine ranking. The most important keywords of the title are listed in this meta element. At the same time, the title also has an effect on how the user is addressed.
After all, the title of a text, along with the meta description, is the first point of contact a user has with a website. Consequently, the title should not only be optimized and written for the search engines, but also for the user. This is the only way to ultimately achieve a correspondingly high click rate.
Meta keywords were once one of the most important optimization options in search engines. That’s because the way search engines work 20 years ago was far more primitive than it is today. At that time, it was the ideal conditions for SEOs and website operators to achieve high rankings and good search engine results with little effort. Many went over to actual keyword spamming, also known as stuffing. This means that one or more keywords were used too often within a text – the legibility of the text was often lost. The content then had no real use for the user. Accordingly, the search engines took radical action against such keyword spamming.
Keywords, especially meta keywords, gradually became less relevant. Despite everything, some sites continue to rely on this method because they believe or claim that they can do something positive with it. However, experts agree: Meta keywords have now almost completely lost their importance. As early as 2009, Google confirmed that keywords no longer have any meaning for the placement of a website in the SERPs. Consequently, the meta tag “keywords” has lost its importance.
The meta description, along with the title of a (web)page, is the first thing users see. Nobody should really do without this, because in the case of no or inappropriately provided information, Google is also able to collect and display its own information, which can potentially backfire. As a result of the penalties for keywords, however, the description now only has limited ranking-enhancing functions.
The meta name “robots” is really important for search engine optimization:
These give the crawler of the respective search engine direct instructions and may even prevent possible penalties. In addition, there is a whole range of other meta tags that are only used occasionally due to their special range of functions. Depending on the case, their importance for search engine optimization is therefore rather low.
We have made it easy to see how many different meta elements interact, that they can still be visually important, and that they can be used for initial comprehension or an overview for users, despite their partially reduced SEO relevance. Furthermore, it should be emphasized that SEO is always an interaction of many components. The correct use of meaningful meta descriptions, meaningful title tags, appropriate keywords in the actual content of the website, and off-page and technical SEO aspects lead to the desired goal.
SEO is not a one-way street with a single path. It is an iterative process that should be repeated and optimized over and over again.