Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Internet research tip-tagging for words

Here is another somewhat less than superficial look at another internet research tool. When you read the SEO blogs and commentaries there is talk about the metatags going away; that search engines are relying less and less on them. As real as this may be, I don’t see the metatags going away altogether anytime soon. While we wait for that day, just as we did a few days ago with the Plus (+) sign , I want to explore the metatags as a research tool.

At the risk of being to simplistic, first let me say that there are different types of metatags embedded into the code of any webpage. Many of the metatag fields provide information about file attributes, as well as content.

You might have heard of some of these, some of the tags include:

Author Metatag field
Comments Metatag field
Description Metatag field
Keywords Metatag field

Metatags look something like the screen shot below.

The original purpose of metatags was to provide a search engine with information about the contents of a page. Not all web pages have metatags in them as some search engines do not rely on them, nonetheless they can still be very useful tools.

Let’s go to http://www.gigablast.com/ now to see the tags at work. Gigablast is the only search engine indexing metatags beyond just the meta description and meta keywords that some others index. It is also the only search engine that can also display metatags in the results list. It will not only display the results it can display the metatags themselves in the results list.
First let’s run a simple search, enter:

resume java beans

into the search box.
This time instead of looking for the search bar we are will be focusing on the url bar. Now the query should look like this:


In order for us to view the meta-tags lets add a command to the url bar. Add the following command to the url:

The url should now look like this:
The results will look something like this:

Notice that after the description section there is a section that starts with “keywords:” (This is the red section after the description of the contents). This is the text that is found in the Keywords metatag field. Being able to quickly review the keywords metatag will help you see any keywords that the designer of this site thought would be important for search engines to identify the content of his page. In the case of the resumes that we are interested in, this metatag contents will give us additional keywords we can use to find similar pages.
If the “keywords” metatag isn’t enough; try adding +description to the url.

Now we should be able to review not only the keywords metatag but now the description metatag as well. As long as you can find a metatag title you can insert it there and if applicable it will bring back the results.

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