Meta Tags

Although the idea of Meta tags is growing old, they are still being used to help other sites decide what to put in a link to your site, and other information about your site.

Several meta tags where introduced by the popular search engines, Infoseek and AltaVista, to help there search engines index web pages, and now use meta tags as well as other aspects of the page to index pages.

Meta tags go in the head of your web page, in-between the HTML tags, <head> and </head>.

There are a number of different Meta tags that you can use, but the most important ones are the Description and the Keywords Meta tags as well as having a title for the web page.


The title of your web page should also be in the document head, which you want to make as descriptive as possible for the search engines to index.

<title>Meta Tags Optimisation Tutorial</title>


This tag is used to give a short description of the contents of your web page, and is often used by search engines in the search results as a description of what your page contains. However, many search engines will only display the first 20 characters, so be as short and descriptive as possible.

<meta name= "description" content="Tutorial on Meta Tags optimisation.">


To help get your web site up in the ratings you can supplement the title and description with a list of keywords, separated by commas, that some one might type into a search engine when looking for a site like yours. Most search engines will index the first 64 characters in this Meta tag.

<meta name="keywords" content="meta tags, tutorial, training, HTML">


This is used to give the web page a rating for the appropriateness for kids. The ratings are, general, mature, restricted, and 14 years.

<meta name="rating" content="general">

The rest of the tags are not necessary but I shall run through them anyway.


This is used to identify the author of the web page.

<meta name="author" content="Bruce Corkhill">


This one identifies any copyright information there is for the web page.

<meta name="copyright" content="2001, Web Wiz Guide">


The revisit-after meta tag is useful for sites where the content changes often and tells the search engine how often to revisit your site. The example below will tell the search engine to revisit your site ever 31 days.

<meta name="revisit-after" content="31 Days">


This meta tag is used by responsible web masters to let the search engine know when the page expires and can be removed from the search engines directory. It can either be set to never, or a date in the format day, month, year, eg. 28 June 2002.

<meta name="expires" content="never">


Tells the search engine who the page is meant for and can be set to; global, for everyone, local, for regional sites, and UI, for Internal Use.

<meta name="distribution" content="global">


This Meta tag is used is used to tell the search engine whether you want the web page indexed or not. You only really need to use this Meta tag if you DON'T wont your web page indexed. The values for this tag are: -
index(default) Index the page
noindex Don't index the page
nofollow Don't index any pages hyper-linked to this page
none Same as "noindex, nofollow"

<meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow">

Meta Tags Example

Below is an example of the head of a document containing Meta tags for search engines and a title for the web page:


<title>Meta Tags For Search Engines</title>

<meta name="description" content="Tutorial on Meta Tags optimisation.">
<meta name="keywords" content="meta tags, tutorial, training, HTML">
<meta name="rating" content="general">
<meta name="copyright" content="2001, Web Wiz Guide">
<meta name="revisit-after" content="31 Days">
<meta name="expires" content="never">
<meta name="distribution" content="global">
<meta name="robots" content="index">


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