Types of HTML Meta Tags
On-page website optimization process helps website owners to rank higher in search results. It is a good idea to optimized web page components such as keywords optimization, meta tags, robots.txt, website URLs, formatting, internal linking and keywords. Properly developed optimization can improve website visibility, it’s content relevance in keywords terms and obtain organic website placement in search results.
A meta tag is an HTML or XHTML type of label (metadata) or data tags about specific web page. This code snipped is placed between the open and closing head tags in HTML code file. There are multiple labels with different attributes that could be used on the same page. The main purpose of meta tags is to specify page description or keywords related to a web page theme and to help search engines to display and to index the web page accordingly.
Google uses meta tags to ensure consistency of results and page rank validation. So it is essential to make sure that meta tags are accurate and up-to-date.
Here is an example of meta tag syntax placed within the following HTML tags in <head> section:
<head><title>…</title><meta name = “Description” content = “Content description”><meta http-equiv=”content-type” content=”text/html; charset=UTF – 8″><meta name = “Robots” content = “all”></head>
Title Tag is not a meta tag, but a required element in code according to the W3C. Meta description should be no longer than 155 characters with spaces. If the description is missing or inaccurate, Google can replace that description with it’s own version of what is on the page. Meta Tags description is optional and should not be duplicated because repetition can hurt web page ranking calculations.
Search engines will use page title to read and process the information about the main theme of the site. It is best to make page title no longer than seven (7) words and less than sixty five (65) characters, including spaces. Each keyword will be analyzed for importance (weight) by search engines. The more words page title has, the less weight is applied to each word.
The best section to place important keywords is a title tag. When people do a search, relevant website keywords will make the process easier for the searchers to get a perfect match and find your website. Page title keywords can be combined, mixed and matched to achieve first placement in Google search results.
Meta Description tags snippet in search results help to increase click-though rates and user experience such as giving information about the web page.
- Don’t repeat keywords more than two times.
- Try to generate a complete and descriptive tags that will point to your website from search results pages.
Keywords tag used to be a required component in meta tags, but search engines are no longer place value on keyword tag due to search engine algorithm updates.
<meta name = “Keywords” content = “keywords, search engine optimization, keywords listing”>
The Charset Tag
This tag is necessary to validate charset on the website and to make sure a page is using proper English characters.
<meta http-equiv=”content-type” content=”text/html;charset=UTF – 8″>
Robots Meta Tags
Robots meta tags are used to signal the Googlebot (search engine spider) to start crawling a website. There is a special HTML tag to tell robots to index the content of a page, and scan it for links to follow. In order to index everything properly and to include all web pages, spiders are sent every two or three days to scan the website on a regular basis.
When meta tags are set to “all” option, spiders are accessing meta tags and then start crawling.
<meta name = “Robots” content = “all”>
This meta tag is added to improve crawling process with guided direction, since search engine spiders will crawl majority of the site without the tag anyway.
Types of Robots Meta Tag
Below are few examples of Robots Meta Tag:
<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”>
This means: “Do not Index this page. Do not follow the links on the page.” Your page will drop OUT of the search index AND your links to other pages will not be followed. This will break the link path on your site from this page to other pages.
This tag is most often used when a site is in development mode. Noindex / nofollow tags will be added to the pages of the site to keep them from being picked up by the search engines, but it is easy to forget to remove the tag. When launching your new website, always double check this tag has been removed!
<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”INDEX, NOFOLLOW”>
This means: “Do Index this page. Do not follow the links on the page.” Your page WILL be in the index AND your links to other pages will not be followed. This will break the link path on your site from this page to other pages.
<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, FOLLOW”>
This means: “Do not Index this page. Do follow the links on the page.” Your page will be removed from the index BUT your links to other pages will be followed. This will NOT break the link path on your site from this page to other pages.
<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”INDEX, FOLLOW”>
This means: “Do Index this page. Do follow the links on the page.” The web page will be indexed AND your links to the other pages will be followed. This will NOT break the link path on your site from this page to other pages.
These are some common tags used recently and may be updated in a future as new standards will be implemented into coding syntax.