<title> How To Use HTML Meta Tags so readers can find you!
Fear all your WRITINGS getting lost in CYBERSPACE and nobody finds you?
Want to get a top ranking in search engines? No problem! All you need to
do is add a few magical "meta tags" to your web pages, and you'll
skyrocket to the top of the listings. If only it were so easy. Let's make it clear:
Meta tags are not a magic solution.
THIS SITE IS: http://reference.sitepoint.com/html/meta
Read it then come back.
Meta tags have never been a guaranteed way to gain a top ranking on
crawler-based search engines. Today, the most valuable feature they
offer the web site owner is the ability to control to some degree how
their web pages are described by some search engines. They also offer
the ability to prevent pages from being indexed at all. This page
explores these and other meta tag-related features in more depth.
Meta Tag Overview
What are meta tags? They are information inserted into the "head" area
of your web pages. Other than the title tag (explained below),
information in the head area of your web pages is not seen by those
viewing your pages in browsers. Instead, meta information in this area
is used to communicate information that a human visitor may not be
concerned with. Meta tags, for example, can tell a browser what
"character set" to use or whether a web page has self-rated itself in
terms of adult content.
MOST WORD PROCESSORS create it automatically or give you a
chance to do at least the TITLE TAG. YOU NEVER SEE IT unless
you do view page source or enter it with a text editor.
HERE is what is hidden in the coding of what you write.
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
<meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage 4.0">
<meta name="ProgId" content="FrontPage.Editor.Document">
<meta NAME="AREA" CONTENT="Culture">
<meta HTTP-EQUIV="AUDIENCE" CONTENT="General">
<meta NAME="AUTHOR" CONTENT="STARPOWER WRITES ABOUT HOLISM, ACTIVISM">
<meta HTTP-EQUIV="CHARSET" CONTENT="text/html; charset=" US-ASCII">
<meta HTTP-EQUIV="Content-language" CONTENT="en-US">
<meta NAME="CONTRIBUTORS" CONTENT="ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ">
<meta NAME="COPYRIGHT" CONTENT="STARPOWER LITERARY AGENCY">
<meta NAME="CREATOR" CONTENT="ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ">
<meta NAME="DESCRIPTION" CONTENT="One Flame is the Truth that We Are. Gain
insight thru Astrology, Tarot, Numerology and Dreams and find the right tools to enhance your life. ANITA IS AN ASTROLOGER, MOTHER OF 4, LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE ACTIVIST. ">
<meta NAME="ABSTRACT" CONTENT=" THE TRUTH ABOUT HOW TO CREATE A GUERILLA CAPITALISM ONLINE BUSINESS. ">
<meta NAME="KEYWORDS" CONTENT="Progressive activism, holism, ">
<meta HTTP-EQUIV="LANGUAGE" CONTENT="English">
<meta HTTP-EQUIV="DIALECT" CONTENT="US">
<meta NAME="OWNER" CONTENTfirstname.lastname@example.org>
<meta NAME="PLACENAME" CONTENT="WE ARE ONE">
<meta NAME="PUBLISHER" CONTENT="STARPOWER ANITA SANDS">
<meta NAME="RATING" CONTENT="General">
<meta NAME="revisit-after" CONTENT="5" days>
<meta NAME="ROBOT" CONTENT="INDEX,FOLLOW">
<title>LET ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ teach you to make a living without a 'BORING, underpaid 'real' job' an important skill during a recession that will last forever more.7 BILLION people on planet earth says so.</title>
YOUR SOFTWARE may give you meta spaces, between the < and the > add your own text; You can pick some of the categories and doctor them by using a text editor. I have kind of snail paced my way into doing that. I use MY TEXT EDITOR and enter the HTM FILE and carefully insert what I want there. Of course, my radical articles on HOW TO NOT PAY TAXES, HOW TO LAUNDER MONEY, I take all traces of myself OUT!
BTW, DID YOU KNOW that your PC has a built in text editor? HIT MICROSOFT button, lower left hand side of keyboard and R. Or If that doesn't allow you to enter your htm files as SOURCE CODE which is where meta text is, download a freebie share ware one. I love one that formats margin width of text and
will do an instant paragraph justification for me.
Let's see two common types of meta tags, then we'll discuss exactly how
they are used in more depth:
In the example above, you can see the beginning of the page's "head"
area as noted by the HEAD tag -- it ends at the portion shown as /HEAD.
Meta tags go in between the "opening" and "closing" HEAD tags. Shown in
the example is a TITLE tag, then a META DESCRIPTION tag, then a META
KEYWORDS tag. Let's talk about what these do.
The Title Tag
The HTML title tag isn't really a meta tag, but it's worth discussing in
relation to them. Whatever text you place in the title tag (between the
TITLE and /TITLE portions as shown in the example) will appear in the
reverse bar of someone's browser when they view the web page. For
instance, within the title tag of this page that you are reading is this
How To Use HTML Meta Tags
If you look at the reverse bar in your browser, then you should see that
text being used, similar to this:
Some browsers also supplement whatever you put in the title tag by
adding their own name, as you can see Microsoft's Internet Explorer
doing in the picture above.
The title tag is also used as the words to describe your page when
someone adds it to their "Favorites" or "Bookmarks" lists. For instance,
if you added this page to your Favorites in Internet Explorer, it would
show up like this:
How did that little Search Engine Watch logo also show up? Everyone
always asks. The article below provides more help:
Creating Your Own Favicon.ico Icon For IE5 Web Developer's Journal,
March 7, 2000
But what about search engines! The title tag is crucial for them. The
text you use in the title tag is one of the most important factors in
how a search engine may decide to rank your web page (see the Search
Engine Placement Tips section for more details). In addition, all major
crawlers will use the text of your title tag as the text they use for
the title of your page in your listings.
For example, this is how Teoma lists the page you are reading:
You can see that the text "How To Use HTML Meta Tags" is used as the
hyperlinked title of this page's listed in Teoma's results.
In review, think about the key terms you'd like your page to be found
for in crawler-based search engines, then incorporate those terms into
your title tag in a short, descriptive fashion. That text will then be
used as your title in crawler-based search engines, as well as the title
in bookmarks and in browser reverse bars.
The Meta Description Tag
The meta description tag allows you to influence the description of your
page in the crawlers that support the tag (these are listed on the
Search Engine Features page).
Look back at the example of a meta tag. See the first meta tag shown,
the one that says "name=description"? That's the meta description tag.
The text you want to be shown as your description goes between the
quotation marks after the "content=" portion of the tag (generally, 200
to 250 characters may be indexed, though only a smaller portion of this
amount may be displayed).
For this page you are reading, I would like it described in a search
engine's listings like this:
This tutorial explains how to use HTML meta tags, with links to meta tag
generators and builders. From SearchEngineWatch.com, a guide to search
engine submission and registration.
Will this happen? Not with every search engine. For example, Google
ignores the meta description tag and instead will automatically generate
its own description for this page. Others may support it partially. For
instance, let's see again how this page is listed in Teoma:
You can see that the first portion of the page's description comes from
the meta description tag, then there's an ellipse (.), and the remaining
portion is drawn from the body copy of the page itself.
In review, it is worthwhile to use the meta description tag for your
pages, because it gives you some degree of control with various
crawlers. An easy way to do this often is to take the first sentence or
two of body copy from your web page and use that for the meta
The Meta Keywords Tag
The meta keywords tag allows you to provide additional text for
crawler-based search engines to index along with your body copy. How
does this help you? Well, for most major crawlers, it doesn't. That's
because most crawlers now ignore the tag. The few supporting it can be
found on the Search Engine Features page).
The meta keywords tag is sometimes useful as a way to reinforce the
terms you think a page is important for ON THE FEW CRAWLERS THAT SUPPORT
IT. For instance, if you had a page about stamp collecting -- AND you
say the words stamp collecting at various places in your body copy --
then mentioning the words "stamp collecting" in the meta keywords tag
MIGHT help boost your page a bit higher for those words.
Remember, if you don't use the words "stamp collecting" on the page at
all, then just adding them to the meta keywords tag is extremely
unlikely to help the page do well for the term. The text in the meta
keywords tag, FOR THE FEW CRAWLERS THAT SUPPORT IT, works in conjunction
with the text in your body copy.
The meta keyword tag is also sometimes useful as a way to help your page
come up for synonyms or unusual words that don't appear on the page
itself. For instance, let's say you had a page all about the "Penny
Black" stamp. You never actually say the word "collecting" on this page.
By having the word in your meta keywords tag, then you may help increase
the odds of coming up if someone searched for "penny black stamp
collecting." Of course you would greater increase the odds if you just
used the word "collecting" in the body copy of the page itself.
Here's another example. Let's say you have a page about horseback
riding, and you've written your page using "horseback" as a single word.
You realize that some people may instead search for "horse back riding,"
with "horse back" in their searches being two separate words. If you
listed these words separately in your meta keywords tag, THEN MAYBE FOR
THE FEW CRAWLERS THAT SUPPORT IT, your page might rank better for "horse
back" riding. Sadly, the best way to ensure this would be to write your
pages using both "horseback riding" and "horse back riding" in the text
-- or perhaps on some of your pages, use the single word version and on
others, the two word version.
I'm using all these capital letters on purpose. Far too many people new
to search engine optimization obsess with the meta keywords tag. FEW
crawlers support it. For those that do, it MIGHT! MAYBE! PERHAPS!
POSSIBLY! BUT WITH NO GUARANTEE! help improve the ranking of your page.
It also may very well do nothing for your page at all. In fact, repeat a
particular word too often in a meta keywords tag and you could actually
harm your page's chances of ranking well. Because of this, I strongly
suggest that those new to search engine optimization not even worry
about the tag at all.
Even those who are experienced in search engine optimization may decide
it is no longer worth using the tags. Search Engine Watch doesn't. Any
meta keywords tags you find in the site were written in the past, when
the keywords tag was more important. There's no harm in leaving up
existing tags you may have written, but going forward, writing new tags
probably isn't worth the trouble. The articles below explores this in
Death Of A Meta Tag The Search Engine Report, Oct. 1, 2002
Meta Tags Revisited The Search Engine Report, Dec. 5, 2002
Still want to use the meta keywords tag? OK. Look back at the opening
example. See the second meta tag shown, the one that says
"name=keywords"? That's the meta keywords tag. The keywords you want
associated with your page go between the quotation marks after the
"content=" portion of the tag.
Inktomi says that you should include up to 25 words or phrases, with
each word or phrase separated by commas. More advice from Inktomi can be
found on its Content Policy FAQ.
FYI, in the past, when the tag was supported by other search engines,
they generally indexed up to 1,000 characters of text and commas were
Meta Robots Tag
One other meta tag worth mentioning is the robots tag. This lets you
specify that a particular page should NOT be indexed by a search engine.
To keep spiders out, simply add this text between your head tags on each
page you don't want indexed. The format is shown below (click on the
picture if you want to copy and past the HTML for your own use):
You do NOT need to use variations of the meta robots tag to help your
pages get indexed. They are unnecessary. By default, a crawler will try
to index all your web pages and will try to follow links from one page
Most major search engines support the meta robots tag. However, the
robots.txt convention of blocking indexing is more efficient, as you
don't need to add tags to each and every page. See the Search Engines
Features page for more about the robots.txt file. If you use do a
robots.txt file to block indexing, there is no need to also use meta
The meta robots tag also has some extensions offered by particular
search engines to prevent indexing of multimedia content. The article
below talks about this in more depth and provides some links to help
files. Search Engine Watch members should follow the link from the
article to the members-only edition for extended help on the subject.
Other Meta Tags
There are many other meta tags that exist beyond those explored in this
article. For example, if you were to view the source code of this web
page, you would find "author," "channel" and "date" meta tags. These
mean nothing to web-wide crawlers such as Google. They are specifically
for an internal search engine used by Search Engine Watch to index its
There are also "Dublin Core" meta tags. The intent is that these can be
used for both "internal" search engines and web-wide ones. However, no
major web-wide search engine supports these tags. More about them can be
How about the meta revisit tag? This tag is not recognized by the major
search engines as a method of telling them how often to automatically
return. They have never supported it.
Overall, just remember this. Of all the meta tags you may see out there:
Meta Robots: This tag enjoys full support, but you only need it if you
DO NOT want your pages indexed. Meta Description: This tag enjoys much
support, and it is well worth using. Meta Keywords: This tag is only
supported by some major crawlers and probably isn't worth the time to
implement. Meta Everything Else: Any other meta tag you see is ignored
by the major crawlers, though they may be used by specialized search
engines." Written by Danny Sullivan
YOUR AUTHOR and sometimes only researcher and POSTER of the 7,001 ARTICLES "BLISS AND WEALTH" SEMINAR is ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ. Hollywood California Career Astrloger ( astrology at earthlink dot net.) Click on the above URL ^ and you will be simultaneously AMUSED, amazed AND INFORMED and soon be blogging and publishing. Anita invites you to post the whole 7k pages of seminar online and MONETIZE it for yourself! CREATIVE COMMONS REPUBLISHING RIGHTS ARE INCLUDED.
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