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Today I opened the source page of Stack Overflow' home page, but couldn't find any meta tags in the <head> section.

As meta tags are very important to SEO, and highly recommended by web designers, I just have this question: why doesn't SO use this tag?

SO is #198 in Alexa rank and, every question any user asks can be found in Google just one minute later.

Does anyone know how SO pings Google after a new page is submitted? And why it doesn't use meta tags?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jan 6 '11 at 10:48

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Why would the site need them for SEO if it's already ranking so high in Google's SERPs? –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Jan 6 '11 at 9:36
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Maybe because meta tag could be so easily abused that most popular search engine don't rely on them that much anymore, thus reducing the page size, thus giving some extra point somewhere else in SEO. –  dvhh Jan 6 '11 at 9:40
    
forget meta tags , anyone knows how to ping google after submitting –  Mac Taylor Jan 6 '11 at 9:44
    
I think Google stores information about how often page changes and when page is highly ranked it crawls the page more frequently. It is also a part of crawling optimization - when you crawl through questions (and use "special case" for SO - page preprocessing "definition") you should only look as deep as necessary to get to question which was changed last time crawling was done. –  too Jan 6 '11 at 9:52
    
there is a section Google webmaster tools to change crawl rate , but SO crawl rate is abnormally good :D –  Mac Taylor Jan 6 '11 at 9:56
    
Can't vote to close because this is a two-in-one question (grrr) but here are closely related questions: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9726/… meta.stackexchange.com/questions/20171/… meta.stackexchange.com/questions/70171/… meta.stackexchange.com/questions/72890/… –  Pops Jan 6 '11 at 13:57
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2 Answers 2

meta data has little influence over search engines and no influence on keyword placement.

Google has ignored meta keywords for ages and only uses meta description for display purposes and not keyword influence. Most other meta tags have always been ignored.

There are some meta tags now being used for semantic markup. This may be used by search engines to help them sort/categorise their data, but they won't let it influence keyword selection as it's too easy to spam.

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(This should be in Meta, but...)

Google doesn't use meta tags to determine ranking. It uses page contents and links.

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Sorry to augment - might be helpful: To better understand Google's algorithm check out: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank –  ndtreviv Jan 6 '11 at 9:42
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