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Meta Tags... What are they?
Sun June 22, 2008, 8:08 am

HTML <meta> tag

What are meta tags and do I need them?

 Meta tags are HTML codes that are embeded into a web page.  These codes are not seen by the average human visitor - they exist to provide web crawlers (employed by search engines) more informaiton about the page they are looking at.  Meta tags usually contain the following:

1. Keywords - usually a comma separated list of terms and phrases that reflect what is on that page.
2. Description - a human readable sentence describing the information found on that page.

The general rule behind meta tags these days is this:  You need to have them, but nobody is all that certain how much they help.

That being said, I know that Google frowns upon using the same set of meta tags on every page.  So it is necessary to have different meta tags for each page.

I see a lot of people making the mistake of including keywords and descriptions that are too general.  It's best to craft a set of meta tags that reflect the content on that page. 

As a priority, I'd put meta tags in the middle of the list.  I'd first concentrate on generating good content and good valid code on each page. I have found that Google is like a child, repetition is best..

 


Examples

Define keywords for search engines:
<meta name="keywords" content="HTML, DHTML, CSS, XML, XHTML, JavaScript, VBScript" />

 

Define a description of your web page:
<meta name="description" content="Free Web tutorials on HTML, CSS, XML, and XHTML" />

 


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