Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How Does Site Tagging Work?

Site tagging, as you already know, is about putting the right HTML commands in the right place. However, the big question from our point of view, is there an SEO benefit to be got from tagging? Well, on face value, the answer is...Yes. The difficulties come in knowing what types of tags to use and what to include in those tags. The basic tags — title, heading, body, and meta tags — should be included in every page that you want a search engine to find. But to make these tags readable to the search engine crawlers, they should be formatted properly. For example, with container tags, you should have both an opening and a closing tag. The opening tag is usually bracketed with two sharp brackets (). The closing tag is also bracketed, but it includes a slash before the tag to indicate that the container is closing ().

Notice that the tag name is repeated in both the opening and closing tags. This just tells the crawler or web browser where a specific type of formatting or attribute should begin and end. So, when you use the Bold tag, only the words between the opening and closing tags will be formatted with a bold-faced font, instead of the entire page being bold. There’s another element of web-site design that you should know and use. It’s called cascading style sheets (CSS) and it’s not a tagging method, but rather a formatting method. You should use CSS so that formatting tags are effective strictly in formatting, while the other tags actually do the work needed to get your site listed naturally by a search crawler. Think of cascading style sheets as boxes, one stacked on top of another. Each box contains something different, with the most important elements being in the top box and decreasing to the least important element in the bottom box. With cascading style sheets, you can set one attribute or format to override another under the right circumstances.

When you’re using an attribute from a CSS, however, it’s easy enough to incorporate it into your web page. The following is a snippet of HTML that uses a cascading style sheet to define the heading colors for a web page:

Looking at this bit of code more closely, you see:

HTML - (This tag indicates that HTML is the language used to create this web page (were this part
of an entire web page).
TITLE - SEO Blog - Heading TITLE indicates the title of the page.
STYLE - This is the beginning of a CSS indicator for the style of the web page. In this case the style applies only to the headings.
H1, H2 { color: green } is the indicator that heading styles one and two should be colored in purple.
STYLE - is the closing CSS indicator.
BODY - indicates the beginning of the body text.
H1 - First Heading H1 is the first header. In the live view of this page on the web, this heading would be purple
P - Enter any text that you would like to paragraph of text.
UL - is the opening tag for an unordered list.
LI - List item one is the first item in your list.
LI - List item two is the next item in your list.
LI - List item three is the last item in your list.
UL - is the closing tag for the unordered list.
H2 - First subheading H2 This is the first subheading. In the live view of this page on the Web, this heading would be purple.
P - Another paragraph of text can go here. Add whatever you like. Again, another paragraph of text.
BODY - is the closing body tag. This indicates that the body text of the web page is complete.
HTML - is the closing HTML tag, which indicates the end of the web page.

It’s not difficult to use CSS for the stylistic aspects of your web site. It does take a little time to get used to using it, but once you do it’s easy. And, when you’re using CSS to control the style of you site, you don’t need to use HTML tags, which means those tags will be much more efficient.

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