A geotag is geographical information metadata embedded into an object. Many people know that you can geotag a photo, but how do you geotag a website?
Geotagging a website is not only possible, but quite easy to do. The web loves metadata embedded in
meta tags. Meta tags allow you to add all sorts of information such as rules for web robots, author information, and page descriptions. With the rise of mobile devices it does not surprise to anyone that business owners want to make it easier for search engines to associate their website with their physical location.
Geotag Meta Tags
The GeoURL standard requires the ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) meta tag. This is a fancy way of saying your latitude and longitude. It’s pretty easy to get the latitude and longitude from Google Maps. Let’s use my favorite comic book shop as an example. If you visit that page in Google Maps you will notice a marker. If you right-click on that marker and select What’s here? you will see that the place was replaced by “43.251306,-77.613646”. With this information the ICBM tag would be:
<meta name="ICBM" content="43.251306,-77.613646" />
Additionally, there is another geotag format that uses more tags, but is also required for complete GeoTag support.
<meta name="geo.position" content="43.251306;-77.613646" />
<meta name="geo.placename" content="4410 Lake Ave, Rochester, NY 14612, USA" />
<meta name="geo.region" content="US-NY" />
Lastly, there is one other meta tag that is actually not a geotab, but there is some software out there that uses it in conjunction with the meta tag to list the site name. This would look like.
<meta name="DC.title" content="All Heroes Comics" />
Geotag Support From Search Engines
Meta GeoTags are only supported by Bing and Yahoo. Google assumes that there are too many web developers out there that get a template from some where and never edit this information and thus the information is worthless. I honestly have never seen any template on the web that contained said information, so this seems like an odd statement to make to me. I cannot change Google’s stance. That being said, if Bing supports it then it is still worth doing for SEO benefits.
Additionally, for those interested in how to geotag your images to associate them with your site you must edit the image to add geotag information to the file.. This cannot be done through special markup. Google Maps does use geotag information with a jpg to enhance a local listing.
Applying geotag information is very beneficial to improving your local SEO. If you have experimented with geotagging please let us know.