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Meta Tag Tutorial

 

This tutorial describes the common meta tags you should place in each of your HTML documents.

Meta-Tags go inside the <HEAD> and </HEAD> tags of your HTML document.

Title (Strongly Recommended)
Format:
<TITLE>Your title here</TITLE>
Your documents title will appear in user's hotlists, the banner of most browsers, and robot-generated lists. It should be a concise, one-line summary of what the page is about. Bear in mind that users may not reach your document through your homepage, but directly using a search engine or link at another site, so the title should ideally be self-sufficient. If this is a company web site, try to include the name of your company here also. Instead of Tools and Supplies, make it Joes Hardware - Tools and Supplies.

Keywords (Strongly Recommended)
Format:
<META NAME="KEYWORDS" CONTENT="separate, keywords, with, commas">
Comma-separated list of key words for indexing your document.
Some robots look at keywords in context, so it is best to preserve word order and case, e.g. pizza, Vancouver, British Columbia rather than british vancouver columbia pizza. Try to use plurals for your keywords, search engines will process both singular and plural form.  DO NOT REPEAT KEYWORDS!

Description (Strongly Recommended)
Format:
<META NAME="DESCRIPTION" CONTENT="A description of your page">
The description is presented to the user along with the document's title as the result of a search.
Many robots use the first few lines of text as a description if the Description tag is not present. For documents using frames, it is possible that there is no such text present. Try to include your company name or web site name here also. Use keywords in your description. Try to avoid superlatives (such as "best", "biggest", "coolest").

Author (Recommended)
Format:
<META NAME="AUTHOR" CONTENT="Your Name">
This tag names the author or creator of the page. This is useful if a searcher would like to find more pages created by you.

Redirect
Format:
<META HTTP-EQUIV="refresh" CONTENT="XX; url=http://www.yourname.com/">
This tag will let you redirect your visitors to another URL after a specified amount of time. This is useful if your site changes URLs. Replace XX with the number of seconds to wait before redirecting.

Robots
Format:
<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="ALL | NONE | NOINDEX | NOFOLLOW">
default = empty = "ALL"
"NONE" = "NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW"

The filler is a comma separated list of terms:
ALL, NONE, INDEX, NOINDEX, FOLLOW, NOFOLLOW.

Discussion: This tag is meant to provide users who cannot control the robots.txt file at their sites. It provides a last chance to keep their content out of search services. It was decided not to add syntax to allow robot specific permissions within the meta-tag.

INDEX means that robots are welcome to include this page in search services.
FOLLOW means that robots are welcome to follow links from this page to find other pages.

So a value of "NOINDEX" allows the subsidiary links to be explored, even though the page is not indexed. A value of "NOFOLLOW" allows the page to be indexed, but no links from the page are explored (this may be useful if the page is a free entry point into pay-per-view content, for example. A value of "NONE" tells the robot to ignore the page.
 


 

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