Metatags Best Practice – Yandex, Baidu and Yahoo Japan

by oskarokupa on March 30, 2009

There are tons of articles on the net about meta tags optimisation best practices and the concepts have been repeated ad nauseam. In a Google centric world as Internet market is,  a westernised approach is usually taken, overlooking the algorithmic or linguistic differences of optimising for other languages/search engines in countries where Google hasn’t got the lead in share market. Baidu in China, Yandex in Russia or Yahoo Japan are examples of search engines where meta tags optimisation guidelines are tailored to the linguistic and cultural characteristics of those respective countries.

As we all should know the most relevant meta tags for search engines are the title tag, the description tag and the keywords tag. Although the value of this last one is bar to none for Google, other search engines might take it into account to determine relevancy for specific queries so it is always a good idea to include it, with the only  reservation of not spamming the hell out of it and focus on a few relevant keywords per page.

There are different best practices for international search engines than for Google. Some of them recommend a specific maximum title and description tag length, whereas others give you additional recommendations:

  • Yandex.  Yandex ignores meta tags Revisit-After & Content. It is best practice not to use more than 25 words in the title tag and the maximum characters recommended for Meta Description are 200. For meta keywords & meta description tags  we should use only words that can be found in the body of the document. Like for Google, the most relevant HTML mark up tags are: keywords in <title>, (headings <h1> – <h6>), image signs (alt) and text of the document
  • Baidu. Since one Chinese character accounts for 2 Latin letters the meta description characters maximum is half Google limit. Baidu explicitly recommends to restrain the count to  100 characters tops. The same character restriction is applicable for the other tags.
  • For Yahoo Japan the recommended meta description tag length seems to be 150 characters.

Optimising for International Search Engines has different rules than optimising for Google. Although information retrieval science is based on very solid concepts, different algorithms and linguistic factors come into place when it comes down to different search engines. Be sure that you are aware of these differences before planning to expand your business in other country markets online.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

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stmtaccnt February 1, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Your meta description tag shouldn’t run to more than 155 characters. You can use a tool, such as the one found at http://www.metadescriptiontag.com/ to check your description length falls within the recommended limit. Any more than 155 characters and it’s likely to be cut off in search engines.

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