Often when building a site the Meta Tags cause us to pause and wonder ‘Am I just going through the motions’ when I add my keywords and description to these tags? Do we really need to add this information every time we build a site? Although I haven’t found a definite NO I have found that it doesn’t really help a site out if you do. The keywords tag doesn’t seem to matter much anymore but the description still helps, for now. Your Meta Description allows the search engines to provide descriptive text when you show up in SERPS(search engine results pages). So in this aspect it’s a good thing, but where does this leave us in terms of keywords? After doing some research the answers seem clear – search engines don’t really care.
So with this information in hand I turned to Search Engine Watch to see what kind of numbers they have. According to SEW the only search engines that use meta tags are Inktomi and Teoma. The ones that don’t are Alltheweb, Altavista and Google. As we see in the image above Yahoo powers Alltheweb and Altavista. Google? Do we even have to ask?
Suppose we do. Just how much market share does Google have when it comes to search engines? I went to Market Share to find out. Turns out its more than we thought. Of the top 6 search engines in the world Google owns 4, according to August 2007 tallies.
Here’s how it breaks down
- 54.50% – Google
- 11.51% – Yahoo
- 8.68% – Google UK
- 3.44% – MSN
- 3.04% – Google Canada
- 2.71% – Google AdSense for Content
- 16.08% – Other
This mean that of the top 6 Google has a nearly 69% market share. Wow!
The rest of the numbers break down to mostly other regional Google search engines so if close to 75% of the search engines don’t support it then why use it?
One effective way to use keywords in your meta tags is misspellings. Many other countries spell words differently. English speaking countries outside of the US spell words like flavor with a u. Some countries spell optimization with an s instead of a z. Adding this misspelling is a good tactic. It’s this type of tactic that won’t get you penalized by search engines.
Yes, if you stuff your keyword meta tags with words that aren’t relevant to your site or do not appear in the body copy you can be delisted from Google et al, but more on that in Part II…