Having worked in SEO for a while now, I’ve gotten pretty good at distinguishing good SEO from bad SEO. It’s no wonder the search engine optimization industry as a whole doesn’t have the greatest of reputations as being a useful marketing tool, most of the “marketers” engaging in SEO tactics for their clients have absolutely no idea what they’re doing and are unintentionally, or intentionally, ripping off their clients. You can easily guess by the tone of this introduction that this entry has rant written all over it, so let me just state for the record that the title tag is not a meta tag.
A recent Entireweb Newsletter dated November 14, 2006 contained an article by an SEO entitled “More pointers for a good search engine listing.” Before I get into this I should state for the record that Entireweb is not the only SEO newsletter guilty of distributing erroneous information, just the source of the most recent newsletter sitting in my inbox. Now, the author, who is supposedly “award-winning,” begins by saying that because his previous article on search engine optimization received such a great response, he decided to go a bit deeper into SEO methodologies.
The author begins the article with a discussion of web page titles, a seemingly logical starting point given its importance in the grand scheme of search engine optimization. However, the presentation of the material is utterly misleading. The following in an excerpt from the article:
The Title meta tag:
To start with, let’s take a look at your website’s Title meta tag (you can find yours by opening your site, clicking View, then Source – the meta tags are placed between the HEAD delineations).
Now, I have been writing HTML code for over 5 years since I took a class on it back in 2001, and to this day never have I used or even heard of the “title meta tag.” There is a title tag, and there is a meta tag, of which multiple variations are possible. But nowhere is there a title meta tag, and the W3C seems to agree. Granted, most SEOs are not programmers I understand that, but if you’re going to be published in an SEO newsletter which Entireweb claims to send out to over 500,000 subscribers, the least you could do is get your facts straight.
I don’t mean to sound condescending in my critique of the article, I just think that if you’re writing essentially a how-to on SEO to a large audience, you should take the time you make sure you get it right. It’s safe to assume that a fair percentage of subscribers to the Entireweb Newsletter are new to SEO, and with all the bad SEO already out there, why feed the fire by teaching wrong information to new students of the craft. I would hope that the author chooses his words more carefully next time, and if he or she does in fact not know any better, to stop disseminating false information. Furthermore, I think there needs to be a stricter review process for content up for submission in the Entireweb Newsletter.