Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on 11/8/2012 and updated 7/30/2015
If you were ever going to tell a “back in the day” story about SEO, it would have to include a discussion of meta tags. Long before links were built, before content was king and before social was sharable, meta tags were optimized. Meta tag optimization is the original SEO.
But gone are the days when throwing long lists of keywords into a meta tag could move your site to the first page of Alta Vista, Excite or Webcrawler. For that matter, gone are Alta Vista, Excite and WebCrawler. Today’s SEO isn’t the SEO of, well, your slightly older sibling. While there is still some value to optimizing your meta tags, it just isn’t what it used to be.