One of the biggest problems with SEO is that you never know when someone is an SEO expert, or when they’re just making it up as they go. This is a problem because there are no formal qualifications with SEO. You don’t need to pass any exams, or please any governing bodies, before you can offer your search engine optimisation services to the world, claiming yourself to be an SEO guru.
This is particularly problematic for small businesses, as they’re more likely to hire the services of one of the smaller breed of SEO companies who promise a personal service for less money – even though they have no more knowledge of SEO than your average Facebook user.
In Ellesmere Port and the surrounding area for example there are a number of small ‘SEO companies’, all proclaiming to know the industry backwards and having years of experience, yet a look at some of the websites shows they don’t. Rather than being experienced in the field of SEO they have instead learned their knowledge from forums and blogs, many of which are themselves full of half truths and myths.
One such company offering SEO in Ellesmere Port features the following meta tag on their own website:
<meta name=”revisit-after” content=”30 days” />
What this meta tag is supposed to do is to tell the search engines to return to the website after 30 days in order to index it again, picking up any website updates. The ‘30’ days can be changed to whatever number you wish, depending on how often you want Google and co to visit your website.
However, there’s one small problem with this meta tag… search engines have never used it, and we mean never.
Widely used SEO myth
You see, the met tag itself is a bit of a red herring, a joke on people who claim to know SEO if you will. It has never been used by Google, Yahoo or Bing and never will be. Instead, the met tag was invented by a Canadian based website called Vancouver Webpages – and was used by their own local website called searchBC.
Even Vancouver Webpages doesn’t use the tag anymore and, even if it did, it would only be relevant to websites listed with searchBC, located in British Columbia… not Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.
Many websites claiming to offer SEO advice have posted about this tag, believing it to actually work. Here is a snippet from one such website spreading SEO myths:
“The Revisit META tag defines how often a search engine or spider should come to your website for re-indexing. Often this tag is used for websites that change their content often and on a regular basis. This tag can also be beneficial in boosting your rankings if search engines display results based on the most recent submissions.”
“The Revisit META Tag is used by search engines as a means to indicate how often a web page should be revisited for re-indexing. This tag is supported by many search engines and should be made use of if your content changes on a regular basis.”
This is of course utter nonsense, as the tag is not used, at all. Those people calling themselves SEO professionals who use this tag may even offer an excuse when confronted about saying that it can’t hurt, and some search engines may use it in the future.
This again I’m afraid is nonsense. By using the tag you are adding unnecessary code to your website, giving Google more code to scroll through and reducing the code-text ratio. Also, and most importantly, it will never be used. Why would Google return to a website to re-index it based on the content of a meta tag?
Think about it.
What does Google say about the meta name=”revisit-after” tag?
If you don’t believe us, and some people reading this may not – instead choosing to believe their friendly SEO expert who has never let them down before, then perhaps you’ll believe Google.
To our knowledge only one search engine has ever supported it, and that search engine was never widely used — at this point, it is nothing more than a good luck charm. A remarkably widely used one. More pages use the completely worthless <meta name=”revisit-after”> than use the <em> element!
Now, if you see that code in your website as a result of SEO that has been done it shows that your ‘SEO company’ is doing nothing more than groping around blindly in the dark.
This is one of a myriad of common errors and misconceptions spread by people who actually know nothing about SEO, they only think they do. Make sure when you let someone SEO your website that actually do know what they’re doing.