“Skip the Keyword Meta Tag” Says Google

Written by Bec on January 28, 2010 – 1:21 PM -

Many of us are still asking: “Does Google use the Keywords Metatag in deciding site ranking?”

At least for now, the answer is no. Google doesn’t use the “keywords” meta tag in assigning web search ranking. This video explains more, or see the questions and answers posted to Webmaster Central.


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Google Engineer Discusses Duplicate Content Myth

Written by Bec on September 17, 2009 – 6:43 PM -

Just received this timely notice from the Video Secrets Sales Team:

Greg Grothaus,¬† Software Engineer in Google’s Search Quality team, has posted a video to discuss the duplicate content myth that many webmasters worry about. (The duplicate content issue is one that comes up often on the webmaster boards, usually in conjunction with the pros and cons of using RSS feeds on multiple websites. The general belief is that sites are penalized by Google for having the same exact post as another website, and penalized for having the same content within the site itself.)

What Google wants is diversity in their search results, so they will omit certain results to get the most unique results. The only penalty in place is for spam sites that do a disservice to the searcher (i.e. a site strictly to manipulate rankings). When Google talks about duplicate content as an issue, they are really referring to sites with multiple URLs to the same page, that just get repeated, such as:

site.com/
site.com/?
site.com/index.html
site.com/Home.aspx

There is no penalty for this, but you do lose your link popularity, your most popular link will show up in search results while the other versions of your URLs will not, and it also makes it less efficient to crawl your site thoroughly.

How to fix the issue –

– Reduce your canonical to the simplest form possible.
– Make a permanent (301) HTTP redirect to your preferred canonical.
Use Google’s webmaster tools to specify your preferred canonical.
– Use the rel=canonical HTML tag, that you put in the HEAD of your site to specify your preferred link.

Taking some of these measures to optimize your links, and get better search results, will help bring in more SE traffic to your sites.

Sincerely,

Video Secrets Sales Team

More Information

Specify your canonical:¬† Google now supports a format that allows you to publicly specify your preferred version of a URL. If your site has identical or vastly similar content that’s accessible through multiple URLs, this format provides you with more control over the URL returned in search results. It also helps to make sure that properties such as link popularity are consolidated to your preferred version.

Read More about the video at WebProNews


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Google PageRank Toolbar Explained

Written by Bec on February 2, 2009 – 9:18 AM -

This article from Mainstream Webmasters, by Lory Sargu, will guide you through the importance of the toolbar, and its accuracy at reporting PageRank.

I will also discuss the feature about it that most people, including many SEOs are not aware of. If you have an existing site, use this as a reference to ensure that you are using the toolbar properly. I am going to review the key 5 areas.

The toolbar is not accurate, and it has limitations.
If you visit a page that is not in the index, but Google has a very similar page indexed that is very close to yours, then the toolbar will estimate its PageRank. Also, Google represents PageRank through the toolbar, but since the nature of PageRank is linear (a multiplier) and the toolbar is not, there are limitations.Note: Please read “A few more words on PageRank” in my Google Best SEO Practices- Part 4 article to find out more about this subject.

The information the toolbar displays is outdated.
There is a big difference between toolbar PageRank and actual PageRank. The data you see in the toolbar is 4 to 6 months old. Google tracks and assigns PageRank in real-time, but does not update the toolbar in the same fashion. There are multiple tools that estimate future PR, but they are just that, estimates. Keep this in mind.

Best SEO features: highlighting & backlinks.
You can highlight all instances of the search term on the page returned from your search. This helps you see how many times your competitors use these keywords on their pages, so you can adjust your SEO campaign accordingly. Also, the backlinks feature displays all the pages that link to yours, which Google counts towards your PageRank. Like I said above, remember this is outdated information.

The toolbar’s most hidden feature: indexing.
Ever wondered how can Google index pages with no links to them? Well, here is how it’s done: if you are browsing the web with the toolbar installed, (I am not saying just visible or enabled), Google is recording every page you visit and simultaneously checking to see if the address to it is in the index or not. So what if its not? It will be indexed on the next schedule. If you don’t want a page to get indexed yet, the make sure you don?t have the toolbar installed in your browser while getting it ready.

Demystifying the “pagerank dependency”.
PageRank is only one of the 100+ algo components of Google, and it is overrated. Don’t rely solely on the toolbar to determine your link partners. You want links from related pages with high traffic, not high PageRank alone. And my final advice: Make sure you have at least 2 browsers, one with the toolbar (if you need it) and one without (to visit your not-ready pages).


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