Why Use Comment Tags for SEO?

Comments tags present a wonderful opportunity for most webmasters to help increase the keyword frequency in their HTML code, all the while keeping it hidden from the average visitor. Comment tags provide a way for webmasters to make notes right on their pages. There are comments that can appear in the top, middle, or bottom of a page, and include a wide variety of information.

Comments tags present a wonderful opportunity for most webmasters to help increase the keyword frequency in their HTML code, all the while keeping it hidden from the average visitor. Comment tags provide a way for webmasters to make notes right on their pages. There are comments that can appear in the top, middle, or bottom of a page, and include a wide variety of information. Effective use of comment tags in the HTML code can help in ranking your website for your target keywords. When using keywords in the comment tags, the main mistake that is made is using generic phrases to identify a section and not taking the opportunity to use it for SEO.

Now, whether or not comment tags are really that effective I believe it comes down to how they are used on the page and what search engines factor them into rankings. Most often people take for granted the position that a comment tags holds on the page. Most SEO’s today would tell you that a comment tag in the header is the same as at the bottom of the page. I however do believe there are some distinctions that can be made when using comment tags anywhere on the page.{mospagebreak title=Look And Feel&toc=1} First off, what does a comment tag look like, and how is it used’
According to the W3C (http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/intro/sgmltut.html#h-3.2.4)

<!– this is a comment –>
<!– and so is this one,
which occupies more than one line –>

You will notice that a comment tag is basically a left arrow, an exclamation point, two hyphens, a space, then text, like this: !– place text here. It closes after the text with two more hyphens and a right arrow. Make sure you do this correctly, I have seen instances where half a page is commented out, because someone forgot to put a closing arrow at the end.
{mospagebreak title=How To Use A Comment Tag&toc=1} After you have an idea what text (your keywords) you want to place in the comment tags, its time to figure out where to place it. Now if you are using the comment tags to give you notes about general things on the page and it serves no purpose for search engine optimization, then forget this section. Use your comment tags anyway you wish on the page. BUT, if you are using comment tags to increase keyword instances on the page, or to target you favorite keywords, then pay attention. Follow these steps to determine placement.

1. As a general rule – use you comment tag in the header of your html page. The comment tag should go AFTER the robots tag, but before the tag. This way its in the header tag, but not before the title or description tag.

2. Ask your self, how far is the body text (opening text of the page when viewed) away from your HEAD (). If your opening body text is way down the page, in the middle or the page, over 30 lines away, or not present at all. Use the comment tag AFTER the HEADER tag. Place the comment tag like follows:

<head>
<title>How to Use Comment Tags</title>
</head>
<!– Place Comment Tag Here –>

The reason for using the comment tag after the header tag is for the sake of having your keywords present in the opening body of your HTML page. It would stand to reason that having something is better than nothing. If you can’t get your text higher up on the page, then consider a one line opening comment tag to identify your page. We do know that search engines rank text higher up on the page more then text at the bottom of the page. In order to get the max effectiveness of a comment tag, we use the same rule when placing tags in the html code.

3. Use Comment Tags Before Important Content Sections – Use comment tags with your keywords before an important content section. This could be images where text is limited, adult content, flash content, JavaScript, and sections of text you would like to identify for easy retrieval later. This is effective for search engine spiders as well. A small comment tag can go a long way in identifying important tools or sections, otherwise a spider would not be able to identify. From an usability standpoint as well, this is important, because certain browsers are set-up to identify comment tags as indicators of the content in a section. For example, adult content as opposed to gardening tips.

4. Don’t Overuse Comment Tags – Comment tags can be effective and important in your page, they should not be abused. Let me repeat that, should not be abused. Don’t spam your comment tags with too much information. Also, using too many comment tags can muddle the keywords you would like to focus on. Search engines don’t penalize sites using comment tags to boost keyword frequency. Penalties can be issued however for the blatant misuse of these tags. The general rule is not to repeat the same keyword more than 3-7 times in a tag. I try to follow a rule of 2-3 words just so I am too the point for SEO reasons, but use what works best for you in that range.

5. What Search Engine uses comment tags’ At one time search engines factored in comment tags more than they do today. Now at the time of this article, Inktomi is the only search engine that seems to factor comment tags into ranking, or at least index them. Although, I have seen many top 10 ten websites in AltaVista use comment tags to add a little extra push that is needed between the top positions. As far as Google goes, they are spidered by Googlebot and appear in the cache, but as a part of ranking, that will take some more tests.
{mospagebreak title=Final Note&toc=1} You can decide for yourself on how to best use comment tags for maximum SEO effectiveness on your website. I believe there is no harm in using them for ranking and for usability reasons. If at all, they should help to keep your code organized for quick editing and location, so comment away until you think otherwise.

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