Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Meta tag theft

Author:Jakob Nielsen
Posted:8/20/1999; 11:22:54 AM
Topic:Today's scriptingNews Outline
Msg #:9735 (In response to 9715)
Prev/Next:9734 / 9736

I am a strong proponent of META tags. Keywords help more precise indexing, but Descriptions are particularly valuable: a human editor (or maybe the original author) can write a much better 150-character abstract of a page than any AI system.

Thus, META tags are great for intranet searches as well as searches of your own website or a collection of trusted sites. The problem occurs when searching the public Internet where many sites are not to be trusted, to say the least. Sites often lie or exhibit other unethical behavior such as META tag theft. Therefore, a search engine that covers the full Internet needs to take steps to protect itself against unethical sites. Google has some such technology (they take advantage of what other sites say about a page), but we need much more.

Remember the classic list of "top lies about computer networking"? It includes items like "the net will always be up" and "latency is zero".

We need a similar list of "top lies about the Internet". One item on the list is surely "all sites speak the truth."

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