Google Also Ignores Geo-Meta Tags, But Bing Lives By Them

Sep 29, 2009 • 9:07 am | comments (71) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

A Google Webmaster Help thread once again confirms that Google ignores the geo-meta tags. Those tags somewhat look like this and use to serve the purpose of telling search engines where the site is based:

<meta name="geo.placename" content="United States" />
<meta name="geo.position" content="x;x" />
<meta name="geo.region" content="usa" />
<meta name="ICBM" content="x,x" />

Google ignores them, and has for a really long time. JohnMu from Google confirmed this most recently in the thread:

We generally ignore geo-meta tags like that because we've found that they're generally incorrect (copy & pasted from a template, etc).

But we had confirmation of this when wrote that Bing relies on these geo-meta tags to determine a site's location. And time and time again, there are webmasters who find there site targeted to the wrong country because of that template issue. In that post, Google's Matt Cutts said the same thing:

Historically, meta tags for language and country have been less reliable than inferring the language or country directly. For example, lots of webmaster also just copy/paste from a friend's template without checking the meta tag values. The unreliability of the meta tags is why Google tends not to use them or give them less weight.

So three webmaster points here:

(1) Google ignore the geo-meta tag (2) Bing currently uses the geo-meta tag (3) Be careful when you copy templates or use pre-existing templates

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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Comments:

Michael

09/29/2009 08:36 pm

What is the ICBM tag for? I assume it's not intercontinental ballistic missile...

No Name

10/02/2009 11:57 am

Michael, it looks like it is indeed from the old ICBM missile address. see the history here : http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/I/ICBM-address.html -- I find it sad that we cannot use this nice way to share information just because too many people make mistakes !! Ford didn't stop to make cars because people crashed them, he added seatbelts ;)

imma

01/25/2010 09:42 am

A good seatbelt in this case could be to include the address of the file the meta tag applies to, so a copy paste would show the wrong file & be easy to detect. Kinda wasteful of space, but then seatbelts are inconvenient to put on, but worth it ;-)

Walter

03/01/2010 06:31 pm

Meta Tag ??

Nathan C.

04/13/2010 07:59 am

Which is better for SEO meta geotagging or microformat geotagging, or both?

A Guard

05/01/2010 02:34 pm

Excellent information. I had not seen anyone else talking about this before. Thank you!

mitrovici

07/25/2010 08:26 pm

is better to put geo meta-tag to your website, not for google, because google ignore this meta-tag, but for another search engine , like bing, this meta-tag metter http://mitrovici-seo.blogspot.com/2010/07/google-ignore-geo-meta-tags.html

deljob

09/28/2010 09:59 am

who can tell me,how to use that Geo meta tag

Denish

10/10/2010 03:56 am

HI. Its really very thankful to give that such important information. But i would like to know the way to insert geotagged meta ? Please give me live example if there is any Thanks Denish

Honig Schmidt

11/29/2010 10:01 am

As Denish said. Wounderful information, which is hard to find in German, but I would like to see an live example, too. Thx

John

12/18/2010 12:18 am

Thanks. The Bing vs Google summary was really useful.

Net-Telco

02/22/2011 09:55 am

There are sites available that will generate the html for you and show where the co-ordinates point to on google maps so you can't go wrong. Try mygeoposition.com.

Farhan

03/25/2011 10:07 am

really it helps me alot. i dont knw abt this thing amazing post

arjungehlot

03/31/2011 09:38 am

Great article! Thanks! I guess that Google doesn't currently rely on GeoTags but with the increase in small shops that are starting to offer services on the social web and the whole "geolocation" google might soon start doing the same. Better to be prepared... Plus its only like 4 lines of code.

PingBerry

03/31/2011 06:50 pm

great articles!!!!

hellokeykey

04/26/2011 03:53 am

Google can get it by IP

Kavita

05/19/2011 03:42 am

 Thanks for the post. Even if google does not consider geo meta tag I think it is better to add if another popular search engine Bing uses it

Morten Cms Pedersen

05/23/2011 12:12 am

 I wonder why Bing tends to use this, since they should be able to detect the target country and region by looking at the website content, domain, language and server IP. I guess Bing does a fallback check/guess, if it is not provided, since most websites dont set or use this attribute.

Z_mi7

06/12/2011 04:06 pm

Please give me live example if there is any Thanks

microadvert

07/10/2011 11:53 am

it good-thank microadvert

Ricky Strode

08/10/2011 03:25 pm

Awesome, thanks for the information. I really appreciate it.

Imraan

08/10/2011 07:43 pm

can anyone guide me what does this two tag means ?also whats the difference between 

Sasa Nikolic

08/11/2011 08:12 pm

Data on the geo location of the site is useful information and should be obligatory items when creating code. Thanks for post.

Andrew

09/04/2011 11:47 am

Hi, Cheers for the useful info. To be honest I never realised there was geo meta tags, until reading your post. I will use them for now on. Cheers

Amke Seo

09/06/2011 11:47 am

thanks for nice information... rally very helpful...

bonus pariuri

09/16/2011 11:34 am

I didn't know about this until now. thanks

Nizam

10/19/2011 05:05 pm

ok... i'm an amateur using Jooma.  ow do i set geo tags in Joomla?

Friv

10/21/2011 07:17 am

thanks for share great post. i will add this code for my site.

iezul

11/06/2011 07:24 am

thanks

Soy of the North

11/11/2011 02:34 am

I did not know this. Thanks for the information.

sehrifilm

12/28/2011 12:50 am

geo location of the site is useful information and should be obligatory items 

Francois

12/28/2011 12:01 pm

I use Typo3 and an extension called tq_seo which gives the opportunity to use easily the geo positioning option - then I realized that Google is not giving so much weight to the tags. But better to have it and not need it than the other way around. Thanks for the info.

Gerd Naschenweng

01/04/2012 03:51 pm

If you are using WordPress, the easiest way to add the tags is to use mygeoposition.com and then use the WP plugin: http://netweblogic.com/wordpress/plugins/meta-tag-manager/ to add the relevant meta-tags.

JAckdiver

02/08/2012 05:04 pm

You can get all tags from here  http://www.geo-tag.de/generator/en.html

Nkr Rakn

02/18/2012 02:13 pm

I was not sure of this. Does this is still true?? Any wordpress plugin which can set the geo-tags for my website?

R.

03/05/2012 12:06 am

Never heard off this before. Maybe this is the reason i am not getting many hits to my site from Bing. Hmmmm Learned so much from this post. Thanks mate. I will give it a try:)

Redes Nautica

03/07/2012 08:13 pm

 Hi everybody! How Could I include it in my Blog - Red guardamancebo ? In wich part of the blogger template?

Hfoplant

03/12/2012 11:07 am

what about the meta tag. Plz tell about what should be the exact length of meta tag

Hfoplant

03/12/2012 11:09 am

my site  http://hfoplant.blogspot.com/

Info

03/15/2012 01:00 pm

Anybody know the current ordering of meta tags

macseotips

03/24/2012 06:13 am

I have far too many sites where the majority or overly large percentage of my traffic comes from countries I am NOT targeting. But Google's gonna ignore, modify or rewrite whatever content it determines.. 

CampingMemoriesDotCom

03/29/2012 06:48 am

Will the geo tag actually help direct the traffic? the answer seems unclear here.

Nathan Khan

04/25/2012 03:46 pm

Interesting - thanks!

Floyd Florence

04/27/2012 11:43 pm

One thing that I would suggest for the readers of this blog is to make sure you include a "Privacy" statement or information when using geo-meta tags. Privacy used to be a concern around everything... Privacy online is still a big issue so think about it or do some research to see if it's a concern for your local.

Michelle

05/02/2012 08:09 pm

So we have to optimize for google and bing too?  Geesh does it ever end?

Scott

05/22/2012 02:56 pm

It seems that the future of meta data is become less used by search engines, especially Google. Eventually, all meta tags will be determined by the SE's by page content. Scott Hugo Affiliate Blogger

camap

06/03/2012 01:09 pm

how can I fill this paramete with this meta tags on my website Studio Tada

NARESH KUMAR

07/03/2012 06:18 am

does geo tag effect the ranking of site? if yes ,then how ?

jabed

07/05/2012 11:08 am

How can I add this meta tag in my site. my site is-- Bangla Newspaper how can i get money

KG Karaoke

07/21/2012 01:12 am

The geo-meta tags aren't needed for Google anyway, because you can target your audience by country in Google Webmaster Tools. Bing/Yahoo doesn't have this feature in Bing Webmaster Tools, so the geo-meta tag is important if the ip address of your server is outside the country that you wish to target.

Umer Sohail

09/24/2012 11:04 am

Even though Gogole ignores geo meta tags, but if we use them properly, then would it be a good practice? And what is the proper way to do it? not like the copied template

Whatbolly Wood

10/10/2012 08:27 pm

Its not easy to understand the necessity of the Meta Tag, anybody can explain it to me, please.

sope

10/31/2012 05:14 pm

Useful info for sure. Meta tags are becoming harder to validate and some are simply ignored by all it seems. I am trying a group on one of my pages http://www.schoolofpe.com/register.html . One big question I have is at the end of the tags... Does one really need to place the "..." />" slash at the end of the tags?

Mario Bruneau

01/21/2013 06:44 pm

Yes it is! But it is used to localize too. We just kept the same protocol

Mario Bruneau

01/21/2013 06:49 pm

Hi, please go to http://arrangementsfuneraires.com/ and then press CTRL and the letter U to see the code. Once the code visible, scroll down to line #95 to see an example of geo localisation meta tags.

Mario Bruneau

01/21/2013 06:50 pm

Enter them manually

Mario Bruneau

01/21/2013 06:51 pm

The meta tags are used to give special instruction to the bots (robots like Google, Bing, etc.) visiting your site. Those meta tags are not visible to your visitors, only bots can read them.

Mario Bruneau

01/21/2013 06:54 pm

Using meta tags gives your site authority. When bots see meta tags on your site they say "Hey, this guy is serious about his online presence. He have gone to the trouble of fine tuning his web pages. We'll give him a good note for that" Plain simple!

Mario Bruneau

01/21/2013 06:55 pm

I see you already implemented those meta tags in your site as I can see them in the code.

Mario Bruneau

01/21/2013 06:59 pm

Don't be too frightened about Google slapping the meta tags. Google have the tendencies to give big warnings over the webmasters community like "Google DONT use the Keywords meta tag anymore" Guest what? They do consider them. I have proof of this. Too many InfoMarketers exploited this in the past and Google try to discourage keyword spamming by saying they don't use them anymore. Same goes for the recent panda update in 2012 about Exact Match Domain Names. They will still consider them, they just want to slow down the use of it.

Mario Bruneau

01/21/2013 07:02 pm

Not so. IP is no good for geo targeting. Reason is that a person from Canada may very well get his hosting from a cheaper USA hosting provider.

Vladi

01/29/2013 03:20 pm

True. It would also be nice to know if Bing still looks at these or not today.

SOlsonIII

02/22/2013 06:56 pm

Could this be covered by micro formatting?

ismail

04/25/2013 08:52 pm

thanks

Peter

07/14/2013 04:32 pm

You can use these link to generate geo meta tag http://www.geo-tag.pw/

Dubai food Reviews

09/26/2013 10:46 am

Goes geo meta tags benefit our site ?

PinoyWebSeo

09/26/2013 03:41 pm

What you mean enter them manually? Do you have tutorial how to do this?

Mario Bruneau

09/27/2013 02:28 am

@PinoyWebSeo if you are using Wordpress (like everybody else) just add the meta tags between the and in the header.php file in your template folder. If you are using regular html, then just trow them between the same and of ALL your pages and articles.

Rye PG

12/25/2013 05:30 am

nice! now i can complete my meta tag xD thx you so much

ForumIncontri.eu

01/14/2014 05:46 pm

tank you!

Chinna Botla

01/20/2014 12:54 pm

How to setup these Geo Meta Tags in DotNetNuke DNN website

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