Meta Tags allow you to pass information about the page to other servers, search engines and the user's browser. There are a lot of different purposes for Meta Tags. Following are a few of the more commonly used.
- Up to a 25 word description of the page. This is the description many search engines use for your page if it is present. If not present, most search engines will use the first 25 words of the page.
- Keywords - You can specify the keywords to be used to index this page. The keywords used in this tag should receive more weight than the keywords the search engines identify when they index the page. Separate each keyword or keyword phrase with commas. To maximize the effect, use only lower case.
- Author - This is the tag where you can take credit for creating the page.
- Robots - Do you want your page re-indexed each time a search engine robot visits it? Then use the following tag. This should keep it higher in the listings of the search engine results. Other options are: NOINDEX - which tells robots not to index this page, NOFOLLOW - which tells robots not to follow the links on this page and ALL - which tells it to do both index and follow the links.
- Refresh - This is a very useful tag when you move a page and wish to redirect someone to the new page. This allows you to move a page and still have all of the links to it that you haven't fixed yet continue to work. If you would like for the page containing this tag to stay up for a few moments, before moving on to the new page, specify the number of seconds you want the page to remain in the CONTENT value. In the example below, the page containing this tag will display for 10 seconds before it refreshes (or redirects) to the URL indicated. This would be useful if you wanted to have a note requesting that the visitor update their links. Another use of this tag would be an automated slide show with each page refreshing to the next page. *Content-Type - Specify exactly which character set you are using. In most cases this is not necessary.
- Generator - Most all HTML editors will automatically insert this tag indicating that their program was used to create this page. You shouldn't need to manually insert this tag.
By: John Dorner, IV, Area Specialized Agent, Information Management