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From a SEO point of view, is it wise to use exactly the same page title value and keyword/description meta tag values not only as meta information, but also as page content?

An example illustrates what I mean. Thanks for any answer, best regards.

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
        "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
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<title>Meta tags again. Good or bad to use them as page content?</title>
<meta name="DESCRIPTION" content="Why it is wise to use (or not) page title, meta tags description and keyword values as page content.">
<meta name="KEYWORDS" content="seo,meta,tags,cms,content">
</head>

<body>
<h1>Meta tags again. Good or bad to use them as page content?</h1>
<h2>Why it is wise to use (or not) page title, meta tags description and keyword values as page content.</h2>
<ul>
<li><a href="http://webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/seo">seo</a>
<li><a href="http://webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/meta">meta</a>
<li><a href="http://webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/tags">tags</a>
<li><a href="http://webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/cms">cms</a>
<li><a href="http://webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/content">content</a>
</ul>
<p>Read the discussion on <a href="#">webmasters.stackexchange.com</a>.

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</html>
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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

There are a couple of things to take into account:

  1. There is no issue with using the same phrase/sentence in your title and H1 tags. It just doubles up the SEO values you are trying to push. You can sometimes do a better SEO job by making them different but it depends on the situation.
  2. As for Meta Keywords and Meta Description, John Conde is right on. They have no SEO value but they do have value in for other things like SERPs and secondary bots. So it is good to have them. And duplicating content in you Meta Description and an H2 tag has no negative effect and will be positive because at least your H2 has should have good SEO value.
  3. Google is not concerned about duplication across tags like in your example. They are concerned with sites that tag stuff and with information repetition. So if your list had 4 items and they were identical to each other then Google might look at it negatively but that is not at all the case.

Overall, what you are suggesting in your example is probably the best starting point for doing SEO on your page. I personally have set my tags up similar to this many times. Over time you will probably tweak the page away from that but only to make the SEO even better.

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Meta keywords tag is not used when ranking websites and has no SEO value at all. But you should still use them as other bots (i.e. directory crawlers) may use them to help classify and list your website.

Meta description tag is not used when ranking websites but still has some SEO value as Google may use it when displaying your page's listing in their search results. Other bots may use it for the same purposes.

If the content placed in your meta tags are then placed inside the page content, that is they are visible to the user, then they have SEO value as any page content has value. This won't hurt you since meta information is not only ignored for ranking purposes but since meta information is supposed to summarize what's on the page by definition they should be very related and very possibly identical. Page title and h1 tags are very often the same since both are used to tell a user what the page is about. So, yo answer your question directly, this is very common and perfectly fine to do.

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The meta tags for description and keywords have no SEO value with regard to enhancing keywords.

The only tag you mention that has influence is the title tag. (It's not a meta tag, the clue is that meta tags are tags with the name "meta").

Google does still seem to let the title tag influence keywords for a page, and it will be re-enforced if the same or similar text is present on the visible page.

The description meta tag is useful for trying to control SERP snippets. Having it match content and search keywords can make it show up more/better.

The keyword meta tag has no value with Google. Other search engines may use it though.

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