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Pre-historic SEO: The Myths and Legends

July 24th, 2012, by

There are a number of lingering myths about the mechanisms of search engines. In this blog, we deal with a few extinct and endangered concepts.

Meta Tags
Legend has it that, in prehistoric SEO times, Meta Tags were the single most important part of the Optimisation process. However, many people don’t realise that their effectiveness has been reduced, over time – in no small part, due to abuse.
Perhaps, the most spam-damaged Meta Tag category would be Meta Keywords.

Simply put, the philosophy behind Meta Keywords has always been to list key words and phrases, that you would expect your site to rank well for, and waiting for users to type those terms into search engines. Although it is still useful to have a Meta Keywords tag in your code, standalone keywords are much less potent than they were in years gone by. Header Tags have experienced a similar downturn in fortunes.

Those Meta Tags that still do serve a significant, modern-day purpose include:
– Title Tag
– Meta Description
– Meta Robots Tag

Submission Forms
Once upon a time, the earth was roamed by a species of great beasts known as submission forms.

Up until the late 1990s, search engines used submission forms as a major part of the optimisation process. Website owners would tag their webpages with keyword information and then submit their sites to the engines. The search companies, originally, employed staff to manually rank pages. This process evolved, as the first automated bots were implemented – programmed to crawl and to automatically consider websites.

Unfortunately, the submission form system was (much like Meta Keywords) extremely prone to spam. Gradually, it has been phased-out, in favour of purely crawl-based engines.

The closest useful equivalent, today, would be the process of link-building. Earning links, from related sites, exposes your content to search engines in a natural, organic manner.

Keyword Density
At one point in history, it was common for content writers to pack their written copy with keywords, in the hope of achieving increased online exposure. SEO professionals should now be aware that these methods have become outdated. Most major search engines currently use a mathematical formula to divide the number of keyword instances by the number of words on a page.
As such, in modern day content writing, you should use keywords, but should do so intelligibly, with user-friendliness being a primary concern.

In contemporary SEO, the value of multiple keywords is outweighed by the value of earning one good editorial link from a human being that likes what they see. Major search engines now penalise non-organic SEO practices.

Takeaway Points:
– Less time should be spent on Meta Tag development, than in years gone by.
– Applying for links on relevant business directories can increase exposure.
– Content should be written with user engagement in mind.

Heading into our 17th business year, we at BF Internet are committed to moving with the times. We don’t plan on going the way of the dinosaurs!