Meta Tags

What are meta tags, what do they do, and which ones are essential to a web page?  These are some of the things that we will discuss here.

Do you need meta tags?  Yes, you do need them if you want to help search engines to find you.  They are not perhaps the complete answer to a high ranking page, but they do help.  The content on your page, and how many other people are linking to your page are other factors that increase your ranking.  A good meta tag is a piece of code that describes your web site, and keys in the search engines to the content of your page, so that they can index it, and when someone is searching for a page, optimally the search engine will call it up, and you will get more visitors.

Where do you find meta tags?  Meta tags go in your <head> section of your page, directly under the <title> </title> tag and before the </head> tag.

What are the essentials of meta tags?  A meta tag will come in two parts.  First you will see the “name” attribute, that describes what the tag is, whether it is a description tag, keywords, or other.  The second attribute is the “content”, and this will describe the content of your site, in regards to this meta tag.

The first essential meta tag is the “description”.  The important thing to remember is to include a good descriptive sentence, that accurately and clearly describes your page.  This is an example of a description meta tag, for a page made on “how to create a web page”:

<meta name=”description” content=”How to create a web page.”>

The next essential tag in the meta section will be “keywords”.  In the key words content section, you will insert any and every keyword that you can think of that pertains to the content of your page, and separate the keywords with commas.  Do not repeat the keywords more than once, if possible.  It is acceptable to also include phrases in your keywords tag.  The following is an example of the keywords tag.

<meta name=”keywords” content=”web page design, tutorials, internet, web, design, images, sound, links, tags, fonts, color”>

Other helpful meta tags.  Some tags that you might want to include in your page that are helpful, but not essential are the authorcopyritesubject, and language tags.  Examples:

<meta name=”author” content=”Mickey Mouse”>
<meta name=”copyright” content=”2002 Mickey”>
<meta name=”subject” content=”web page design”>
<meta name=”language” content=”English”>

One other tag that you might want to include in your page circumvents one of the glitches in programming that Microsoft came up with.  When they created the XP program, they had their operating system parse the text in a web page, so that it would highlight certain words on the page, and turn them into links.  For instance, if on your page you mentioned the word “golf” it would index that word, and make it into a link, and when you clicked on that word, it would bring you to a site about golf.  That is fine in theory, and could be really cool for everyone except the person with the original page.  It takes your visitors off of your site, and they are gone.  To prevent that, you can put this code in your <head> section, and no more parsing.

<meta name=”MSSmartTagsPreventParsing” content=”TRUE”>

On a lot of pages, you have seen the “no right click” code.  In Windows ME and other operation systems, when you hover the mouse over an image, you get an image tool bar.  If you use the tool bar, you do not have to “right click” in order to save the images.  The following code will disable the image tool bar, and make it a little harder for people to “borrow” your images.

<META HTTP-EQUIV=”imagetoolbar” CONTENT=”no”>

But what if for some unknown reason you do not want search engines spidering your page?  Can you prevent this?  Just add this code to your page (not recommended if you want visitors):

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>

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