Out of the box, Drupal 7 is pretty good at making your site SEO friendly. However, there are a few things that it does not take care of. One of them is Meta tags and the other is pinging new content.
Why use Meta tags?
Most people know that Google does not use the Meta keywords tag anymore but that shouldn’t stop us from using them. The reason why is because there are still other search engines that use them.
The Meta description tag should still be used because search engines use this as the description in the search results. If you skip out this tag, you lose a perfect opportunity to lure the reader into clicking on your site.
Leaving Google to auto-generate the descriptions is a bad idea because it doesn’t always do a good job at it. It’s much better to have control over them and create your own.
How to create Meta tags in Drupal 7?
The default Drupal installation doesn’t create Meta tags so I have created a custom module called Auto Meta Tags that adds this functionality.
The Auto Meta Tags module will allow you to specify Meta descriptions and Meta keywords for the home page and also the option to auto-generate Meta descriptions for all other nodes. The auto-generate feature uses the first 160 characters of the summary field which allows you to control what is added to the Meta description tag for each node.
The module allows you to choose what content types are auto-generated. If no summary has been provided for a node then the first 160 characters of the body field are used instead. View the project page at Drupal.org or download the Auto Meta Tags module.
Why ping new content?
When you create a new content it can take a while to be indexed by the search engines. One way you can speed up the indexing of new content is to ping the URL to ping services. Ping services will submit the URL to different sites or search engines which will tell the crawlers to index your content.
How to ping new content in Drupal 7?
I have created a custom module called EasyPing that can be used to automatically ping new or updated content to a list of ping services that you specify.
The module can be configured so that you may add multiple ping services. You can also choose what content types to ping and when to ping them. View the project page at Drupal.org or download the EasyPing module.
This article has demonstrated the importance of using Meta tags for SEO and provided links to modules that can be used to create them for Drupal 7. It also explained the benefits of pinging websites and how this can be achieved using Drupal 7 using custom modules.