Meta Tags

Meta tags are HTML tags that help with the search engine optimisation of your page when search engines index your page. Meta Tags also help browsers render your page, for example with the Title tag which is used in the title of the browser.

Some of the Meta Tags are used by search engines within rankings so it can be a good idea to write them for humans as well as search engines. For example the Title tag is often the link and title within the rankings and the description will be the summary. Other meta tags have lost value with the major search engines due to abuse by spammers such as the Keywords tag.

Title:

<title>Your Title Here<title>

Description:

<meta name="description" content="Summary of your page." />

Keywords:

<meta name="keywords" content="your, keywords, here." />

Robots:

<meta name="robots" content="index,follow" />

The robots tag is designed to allow you to give instructions to Search Engines such as whether they should add the page to their index and whether links should be followed by Search Engines.

The Robots meta tag accepts the following combinations of values:

  • index,follow
  • noindex,follow
  • index,nofollow
  • noindex,nofollow

"index" and "noindex" will tell the search engines to index the page or not to index the page, Search Engines will index the page by default so you do not need to tell them they can index the page. If the Robots Meta Tag conflicts with the Robots.txt file then the Search Engines will generally give priority to the most restrictive commend (e.g. if the meta tag says Index and Robots.txt file disallows the search engine then it will not index the page).

"follow" and "nofollow" will tel the Search Engines whether they should follow links on the page or not. As with "index" the Search Engines will follow links by default.

Note: Not all Search Engines recognise the Nofollow tag and some Search Engines that do support it will still follow links and even index the linked page, but these Search Engines the links will not influence the ranking of those pages.

Example:

<html>
<head>
  <title>Your Title Here<title>
  <meta name="description" content="Summary of your page." />
  <meta name="keywords" content="your, keywords, here." />
</head>
<body>

Written By: S2H, 9th November 2007

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