Meta Tags
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Meta Tags

Meta Tags are HTML elements that can optionally be included within web pages, and contain information about the document such as the author, keywords describing the document, a description of the document, etc.

Some search engines will use the content of the meta tags as part of their search and/or ranking algorithms, but other search engines ignore them.

Creating correct and optimal meta tags is an important part of search engine positioning strategies, but it may not be enough by itself: There is a lot more to successful search engine promotion than simply incorporating meta tags in your pages.

HTML Coding for Meta Tags

There are several meta tags which are relevant to search engines. Each tag goes within the <HEAD> </HEAD> section of the page, and should be placed after the <TITLE> </TITLE> tag.

The most important meta tags are:-
  • Description Tag

    This tag is used to describe the content of the page and some search engines will use this tag to generate the description of the page which appears in the search results. Therefore it is a good idea if this tag contains an enticing description.

    Here is an example of how to use this tag:-

    <META NAME="description" CONTENT="Joe's Western store selling clothing, cowboy boots and more">

  • The Keywords Tag

    The Keywords tag provides a summary of the search terms which apply to the page. Each keyword should be separated by a command, and it is usually best to place the most important keywords first.

    Here is an example of how to use this tag:

    <META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="western clothing,cowboy boots,">
Not all search engines will take any notice whatsoever of these metatags, but some will. It is always a good idea for meta tags to describe the content of the page rather than attempt to define it! For example, ideally, the keywords tag should contain keywords that actually appear within the text of the page.

Over and above the two key meta tags, there are many additional meta tags which can be used for various purposes such as specifying the author of the document, etc. The most important of the rest are the tags, which at least in theory, can be used to modify the search engines indexing behaviour.
  • Robots Tag

    This tag specifies which search engine robots, if any, should index the page. Many search engines simply ignore this tag - and if you are trying to exclude a page from search engine indexes, most of the same goals may be more successfully achieved by creating a robots.txt file.

    Here are some examples:-

    <META name="Robots" content="ALL"> - all search engine robots should index the page


    <META name="Robots" content="NOINDEX"> - search engine robots should not index the page


    <META name="Robots" content="NOINDEX,FOLLOW"> - search engine robots should not index the page but they may traverse it to find additional pages to index

    Some search engines do take note of the Robots Metatag, (and some might even have extensions), but many other search engines simply ignore it. If this is important to you, you need to study the behaviour of whichever search engines matters to you.

  • Revisit Tag

    This tag specifies how often the search engine robot should revisit your site. Again, many search engines will ignore it completely. If you use this tag, you should not specify a very short interval - once or twice per month is sufficient.

    Here is an example:-

    <META name="Revisit-after" content="30 days">
Again, not every search engine will make use of this tag.

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Search Engine Basics

How Search Engines Work
 Ranking and Results
 Types of Search Engines

Search Engine Promotion
 An Introduction To

Search Engine Issues
 One Million Search Engines?
 The Meta Tags Are It

 Keyword Density
 Link Popularity
 Meta Tags
 Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
 Search Terms

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