Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Oh you're meta tagging now…

I was recently discussing with a colleague the increasing popularity of company spokespeople overloading their statements with positioning.

Here’s a made up example:

“We look forward to extending ACME’s leadership in providing fresh, cost-effective, products to consumers of hamburgers, producers of sandwiches and companies who sometimes purchase food stuffs for meetings.  We’ll deliver those products in a timely manner, where they want them, when they want them, indoors or even outdoors.”

The quote is clearly mind-numbing. Rather than focus on a clear message it focuses on trying to get a firm in as many market segments as possible and ends up losing the point.

I call this meta tagging. Meta Tags are the pieces of text in your webpage that describe what your site does.  Most people put a whole range of terms in there in an effort to get high rankings from the search engines.

[Note: Meta Tags are hidden from browsers (you can see them in Internet Explorer by clicking on “View” and then “Source”]

I think Sun’s Meta tags are a good example:

<title> Sun Microsystems </title>
<meta name=”keywords” content=”sun microsystems, sun, java, java computing, solaris, sparc, unix, jini, computer systems, server, mission critical, RAS, high availability, cluster, workgroup server, desktop, workstation, storage, backup solutions, network computer, network computing, hardware, software, service, consulting, support, training, compiler, jdk, technical computing, scientific computing, high performance, enterprise computing, staroffice, starportal, sun ray”>
<meta name=”description” content=”Sun Microsystems, Inc. The Network Is The Computer[tm].”>

So next time you hear your spokesperson come out with something similar, tell them to stop “meta-tagging”.

Written by Tom Murphy

September 30, 2003 at 1:24 pm

Posted in General

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