Meta tag

A special HTML tag that provides information about a Web page. Unlike normal HTML tags, meta tags do not affect how the page is displayed.

See Also:

SEO, Page Rank, Deep Linking, Linkage

Meta tag

A Meta Tag is a coding statement written in Hypertext Markup Language HTML. This describes some aspects of the content of a Web Page. The information on Meta tag is used by search engines to allow them to accurately list your site in their indexes. The Meta tag is placed at the top of the HTML in any Web page as part of the heading. There are various types of Meta tags but the keywords Meta tag and the description Meta tag are the most important for search engine indexing. In the keyword Meta tag, there are words and phrases that best describe the content of the page. The description Meta tag contains a very brief one- or two-sentence description of the page. Both these keywords and the description Meta tags are used by search engines in adding a page to their index. For example Google search engines use the description to show the searcher a summary of the page's contents.

Well-written Meta tags can help in making the page rank higher in search results. So, it is necessary for the creator of a Web page to include Meta tags with appropriate keywords and description. Meta Tag is not always required in web pages but it makes more sense to take the advantage of it than to leave them out.

At one point of time, Meta tags were considered as a relatively important factor by search engines. AltaVista and some older search engines used Meta tag to determine a site's theme. Now search engines rely on much more advanced techniques. Meta tags are sometimes used as the summary of a site's content in search engine result pages by Google and also in other search engines.

Types of Meta tag : Tag Name

Example

Author
<meta name="author" content="tex texin">

Cache-Control
<meta http-equiv="cache-control" content="no-cache">

Content-Language
<meta http-equiv="content-language"  content="en-us,fr">

Content-Type
<meta http-equiv="content-type"  content="text/html; charset=utf-8">

Copyright
<meta name="copyright" content="&copy; 2004 tex texin">

Description
<meta name="description"  content="...summary of web page...">

Expires
<meta http-equiv="expires"  content="mon, 22 jul 2002 11:12:01 gmt">

Keywords
<meta name="keywords"  content="sex, drugs, rock & roll">

Pragma No-Cache
<meta http-equiv="pragma" content="no-cache">

An Example describing metadata within an HTML document:
<head>
<meta name="description" content="Free Web tutorials" />
<meta name="keywords" content=" meta, meta tags, meta tag, HTML and meta tags, tags, SEO " />
<meta name="author" content="Hege Refsnes" />
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1" />
</head>

The main purpose of Meta tags is to inform web crawlers about the web page. However, today, it is primarily used in terms of search engine optimization (SEO). They may help web crawlers to easily index the web pages in search engines but this is not necessary that all web crawlers or robots pay attention to these tags anymore.

However, some web crawlers may ignore a Meta description tag. Smaller search engines may particularly use your description Meta tag as the page description, so be certain about what you put in there.

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