Search Engine Metadata

Meta data is one of the areas where you can make a better site then your competitors. There is a lot of discussion about meta data and whether or not you should use them, but in my opinion it is definitely worth the time you spend on them.

If you look at the search result pages from Google, you will see a snippet below the title of each page in the list of results.

Google creates these snippets from the content of your page unless you have provided a short but most likely description for that page. This description is what you have written into the META tag description fields.

Using the description tag effectively

Based on what you just read, you can imagine that you have some influence on what is shown by the search engines.

Using a description is a great way .to get people to click oft your link that is shown. All you have to do is write a good short summary of the content of your page and make sure that your keywords are there.

Look at the description as a short advertisement for you page, and write keeping the potential visitors in mind. For example “building a pond in your landscape garden is not that difficult if you follow the right steeps to make it, and choose the best place within your garden, read more here…”

You don’t have a lot of space to write this description, as Google will limit the length to about 160 characters in two lines. in the above example, you will find keywords relevant to the site such as pond landscape, garden, and building. If those words are also used in the title, Google will show them in bold if they are used in the search term.

Try it yourself run a search and look at what is below the link you are most likely to you will see that it’s going to be the best description that catches your click.


Using the keywords tag effectively

Some webmasters and SEO specialists still use the keywords tag to stuff all the keywords they can find into that field. It is a great way to make sure that your rankings will drop like flies. Don’t do that!

What you should do is, look at the content of your page/articles and choose somewhere between four to maximum ten keywords that you want to-include in that field. You can write them as keywords or keyword phrases of two or three words, and separate them with a comma. You can write each word once and don’t separate them with commas. It does not make a difference for the search engines because they use them as indicators for the content’ relevance only.

And here is the catch that most are still missing, make sure those words are used in your content! If the word is not there, don’t use it!

How to avoid duplicate meta tag descriptions and keywords

Search engines don’t like duplicate content, so you want to minimize any possibility to have duplicate content on your site.

Similar to the menu items issue mentioned before, Joomla! articles in which you did not fill the meta tag fields such as META tag description and META tag keywords could end up having duplicate content issues. You should always use the META tag description and META tag keywords fields on the pages you write.

If you haven’t filled those fields, the default Joomla! installation will put the descriptions from the Global Configuration in each and every page you have created.

Of course it is best to use those fields in every article you create on your site, but sometimes you forget. The Joomla! SEF patch will prevent the Global Configuration fields from being attached to the content pages. In the normal Joomla! installation the Global META tag description and META tag keywords are used if there is no metadata article created. The SEF patch will prevent this from happening and will not show any metadata if you did not put it there.

Normal installation:
Global metadata is present on every page, unless the metadata fields are used.

Patched installation:
Global metadata is present only on the front page and not on the pages that follow, unless written in the metadata fields.

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