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Earn 1 CEU With Free Webinar on Leveraging Data to Promote Informed Career Decisions

FREE webinar for AMHCA members: Everyone knows job changes and job searches can be stressful. To better assist your clients in making sound decisions about their careers and future directions, take advantage of a webinar on April 4, 2012, that’s free to AMHCA members.
Join your colleagues from AMHCA and the American School Counselors Association (ASCA) on April 4, from noon to 1 p.m. EDT for an interactive presentation from Janet Wall, EdD, president of Sage Solutions. By completing the webinar, "Leveraging Data to Promote Informed Career Decision-Making" you'll
 earn 1 CE contact hour from NBCC.

Webinar learning outcomes: 

  • Identify three criteria to help clients make data-informed career decisions.
  • Discover three tools useful for finding information about occupational 
  • Find occupations with a bright outlook in the U.S. economy, and be able to match those to clients’ interests.
  • Reserve your Webinar seat now.

Janet Wall’s consulting firm specializes in assessment, career and workforce development, labor market information, occupations, and training. She authored the ASVAB Career Exploration Program for the Department of Defense and is a certified career development facilitator for the National Career Development Association.

”We are pleased to partner with ASCA to give our members access to this new educational tool and valuable knowledge for assisting their clients,” said W. Mark Hamilton, PhD, AMHCA executive director and CEO.

Participants may access the webinar via telephone or a Voice Over IP connection, and will be able to ask questions during the hour-long session.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System requirements:

  • PC-based attendees: Windows®7, Vista, XP, or 2003 server
  • Macintosh®-based attendees: Mac OS X 10.5 or newer

AMHCA’s Board Convenes in March

During a dinner break at its two-day annual spring meeting, members AMHCA’s board of directors dine together at a restaurant in Alexandria, Va., not far from AMHCA headquarters. 

The board members are (from left), Midwest Region Director Erik Oostenink, LMHC; Director-at-Large Judith Bertenthal–Smith, LPC, ALPS; Southern Region Director Keith Mobley, PhD, LPC, NCC, ACS; President-Elect Karen Langer, LMHC; North Atlantic Region Director Camille Clay, EdD; Past President Tom J. Ferro, LCPC; and Treasurer Gale Macke.


Nominate Yourself, a Peer, or a State Chapter for a 2012 Award

Every year, AMHCA bestows awards on several individuals and AMHCA state chapters at the Annual Conference in July. Award nominations are due on Friday, May 18.


Promoting Your Practice Online, Tip #10: The Importance of Meta Keywords

By Sara K. Sims, Director of Business Development

This is your chance to learn about “meta keywords” and the impact they have on a website with search engines, as well as what we here at TherapySites have learned about meta keyword behavior.

There are several kinds of “meta” tags. A meta tag is part of the website, without necessarily being visible on the page or affecting how the page functions. There are meta keywords, meta descriptions, meta titles, and meta robots, all of which tend to fill a different role in search-engine visibility and have very different standards for usefulness. I will focus here only on meta keywords.

Meta keywords are literally just a list of words that describe the site succinctly for a search engine’s robots. They were created in the early days of the modern Internet as a means of helping the rather primitive search engines of the time identify relevant aspects of a search. Search engines such as Infoseek and AltaVista depended so heavily on meta data to rank sites that people began entering commonly searched words into the meta keywords section of the site as a means of driving user traffic. Meta keywords remained important because the crawler robots—a kind of computer program that examined websites for relevancy—weren’t sophisticated enough to go without them.

All of that changed with Google. Google introduced crawlers that were complicated and “smart” enough to ignore meta-data and still get everything they needed to produce a complete sense of a website’s relevancy to a search. By 2002, Google’s success at producing search results that didn’t contain the level of spam previously found had earned them a large market share and forced everyone else to respond. With the end of AltaVista’s use of meta keywords in generating search results, the death of the meta tag was declared. While the declaration of the death of all meta tags was a tad hasty, it really was the death of the meta keyword.

The fact of the matter is that meta keywords just don’t hold the level of relevancy that they used to. Most major search engines don’t appear to use them at all. Despite the fact that most studies around this have confirmed that Google largely ignores meta keywords, many people, including some full-time SEO (search-engine optimization) companies, continue to put a lot of stock in them, likely because of their former usefulness.  

Other meta tags remain important. Meta description, are still used to describe a site when listing the search results, and meta robots tags are still read to allow for no indexing of the page. Meta titles, often called the “search engine title tags,” are still very important and, to some extent, have become what meta keywords once were in terms of importance and usefulness.  

Does this mean you should just delete the meta keywords section in your site? Not really. In fact these are still useful, even if they don’t seem to matter for Bing and Google. An experiment conducted in 2010 by a British SEO firm seems to confirm the secretly harbored notion that Yahoo! is still using meta keywords. While the experiment conducted was not the most rigorous test possible, it does a good job showing that Google and Bing don’t rely on meta keywords and that Yahoo! probably does. Of course, with the Yahoo!–Bing search partnership, even this could be changing so that either Bing uses meta keywords or Yahoo! doesn’t, but as yet it stills seems to be worth it to continue using them.

So although the importance of meta keywords has diminished, it is still worthwhile to organize this section of your website to include a few key phrases related to your practice. But there’s no need to obsess over it; just don’t ignore it. 

If you have any more questions about this or any other SEO issue just call us at TherapySites at 866/597–2674 and choose SEO from the phone options to speak to a specialist today.

AMHCA’s partnership with lets members to create an easy-to-edit, affordable, and effective website in less than an hour. Plus, AMHCA has negotiated a special deal for you to receive your First Month Free with TherapySites. Just enter promo code “AMHCA” at sign up.
If you have any questions, please email me at