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Stripping For Hits PDF Print E-mail
Written by Carole Nickerson   
8 Jan 2006
Getting good targeted hits to your website can be hard, so in a bold move a few years ago I decided to take my website in another direction.

I have to admit - I was very shy about doing it at first because I'd never done anything like it before. But desperate times calls for desperate measures, so I mustered up all my courage and started stripping. Little did I know just how rewarding it would be.

From top to bottom, I stripped away my description tags, keyword tags and even some that never seemed to have a purpose anyways. Hey, what did you think this article was about?

I hadn't really done much with my meta tags in a long time because I never had a reason to... until I looked around and suddenly realized I wasn't the only niche in town anymore. It was only in the past few years that I really had to start wooing the search engines and actively started building some new websites. I certainly did not look forward to using ppc advertising which I had used since the heydays of (For those who don't know - it's called Overture today)

So search engines were my target, but I needed a plan. I started researching search results looking for patterns in high rankings. Wordtracker research was another angle in terms of finding low-competing keywords and keyphrases. Three sticky-note pads and two pens later I knew what I had to do.

Title Tag & Filename
- Using Wordtracker data, I would title the page based on a few keywords or keyphrases and then give the filename either the exact same name, or a shorter version. For example: If the title tag is "Buy Web Page Templates" , then my filename would look something like "buy-web-page-templates.html". Sort of 'echoing' the title. Since the meta tags I was creating were to be used for article and product pages, I wanted to make sure I got the maximum effect.

Keywords Tag
- I only use these based on the type and amount of content on a page. For articles, I don't use this tag but will put the keywords at the bottom of the article under "article keywords" like you see in article directories. For some reason, this works better. On pages where putting that little keyword rich nugget at the bottom can be a problem, I usually use it as a blurber like what eBay does. For example, look at the bottom of this page:

Description Tag
- Gone. It's much easier just letting search engines fill in that area and if the page content changes, then it will naturally change in the search engines. I've long had the impression that description tags are something like a sales pitch you give to search engines, so that if they aren't impressed, they won't 'buy' into the content or pay much attention. After all, strippers don't make money keeping their clothes on, right?

Now some people will say, "What about the other search engines that rely on descriptions?" I say... what about them? You mean those silly little Google wannabes I tried for 5 years to lure to one perfectly good website only to get 10 hits a month? Yeah, right. Why don't I just host my website at Geocities while I'm at it (rolleyes)

Title and filename have been the most important to me. I've finally settled with the conclusion that different kinds of web pages demand different kinds of meta tags depending on the type of content, how much content there is, how often it's updated, and it's significance on the website. I use a few other tags where appropriate, but I like to keep things simple.

There are many, many meta tags to choose from, yet I still don't understand how the majority of them have any real benefit for most webmasters. Most of these tags aren't even used by the majority of top-ranking sites I've seen. Of course, stripping tags is nothing new, but when combined with the right combination of keywords and keyphrases, I believe can work very well. Imagine my surprise when one of my 'test sites' started claiming top 5 listings among thousands and often millions of other websites, with almost daily indexing - but that's really another story :)

Carole Nickerson has been a web developer and internet marketer since 1998. She now spends her days actively filling up her new blog with all she has learned. To find more free internet marketing articles, web promotion tips, and free resources like this visit:

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Last Updated ( 8 Jan 2006 )
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