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There are two major components to a web page's code. The top or Head, is the machine readable portion of the page that provides additional information called Meta tags to search engines. The rest of the page, or the body is the part seen by us humans. The importance of meta tags is often overstated when optimizing a website for search engines. As a result, there are a lot of myths regarding meta tags. Below are five important meta tags truths.
  1. Google has ignored the keywords meta tag for years. It's possible that Google could use this information in the future, but it's unlikely.
  2. The title tag is the new keywords tag. Bing and Google both consider a page's title to be its primary keywords.
  3. The description tag is often (but not always) used as the snippet shown in a search. It will not impact your ranking in Google's search results.
  4. Most new meta tags are proprietary tags used by one or two third search engines. We've even seen cases where a meta tag was invented on the spot by a developer. This is not helpful in anyway.
  5. Bing relies on geo-meta tags to determine a site's location, but Google ignores them because they're too often improperly implemented.
All of our websites include complete meta tag information because it is helpful, but we never charge our clients for keyword stuffing disguised as Search Engine Marketing. Google's Matt Cutts states that, "Lots of webmaster just copy/paste from a template without checking the meta tag values. The unreliability of the meta tags is why Google tends not to use them or give them less weight."