“Meta Tag Optimization is an important aspect of your site optimization process. Careful handling can get you great Ranking Results ”
What are Meta Tags?
Meta Tags are the information inserted in the area of the HTML code of your web pages, where apart from the Title Tag, other information inserted is not visible to the person surfing your web page but is intended for the search engine crawlers. Meta Tags are included so that the search engines are able to list your site in their indexes more accurately.
Using Meta Tags in HTML is not necessary while making your web pages. There are many websites that don’t feel the requirement to use Meta Tags at all. In short Meta information is used to communicate information to the search engine crawlers that a human visitor may not be concerned with. Infoseek and AltaVista were the first major crawler based search engines to support Meta keywords Tag in 1996. Inktomi and Lycos too followed thereafter.
Why are Meta Tags used?
Meta Tags were originally designed to provide webmasters with a way to help search engines know what their site was about. This in turn helped the search engines decide how to rank the sites in their search results. Making Meta Tags is a simple process. As the competition increased, webmasters started manipulating this tool through spamming of keywords. In turn most search engines withdrew their support to Meta keywords Tag, which included Lycos and AltaVista. From being considered as one of the most reliable and important tool, Meta Tags are now often abused. In the present day scenario a vital feature that the Meta Tags provide to the websites is the ability to control, to a certain extent, how some search engines describe its web pages. Apart from this, Meta Tags also offer the ability to specify that a certain website page should not be indexed.
Using Meta Tags, however, provides no guarantee that your website page would rank highly in the search engine rankings. Due to the rampant abuse and manipulation of the Meta keywords Tag by webmasters, most search engines don’t support it anymore.
Types of Meta Tags
The more important Meta Tags are discussed below in detail.
The Title Tag
The Title Tag is not a Meta Tag. However, since it’s a very important Tag, we thought it necessary to discuss it here. The Title Tag is an HTML code that shows the words that appear at the top title bar of your browser. The Title Tag is not displayed anywhere else on the page. It is these words or phrase that appear as the title of your page in the hyperlink listings on the search engine results.
The users in-turn click on this hyperlink to go to your website from Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Therefore, the significance of the Title Tag is evident as all search engines use the Title Tag to gather information about your site.
The Meta Description Tag
The Meta Description Tag is an HTML code that allows you to give a short and concise summary of your web page content. The words placed in this Meta Tag, are often used in the SERP, just below the Title Tag as a brief description of your page. In the Search Engine Results Pages, after reading the Title of the page, a user goes through the description of the page and decides whether she wants to go to your site or not. It is therefore important that your Meta Description Tag is nicely composed describing your page offering while enticing the user to click on your listing.
The Meta Keywords Tag
Most search engines do not read the Meta Keywords Tag anymore. It is okay to ignore the Meta Keywords Tags. However, if you feel more comfortable using it, you can have about 15 important non-repetitive keywords in this Tag, separated by commas.
Meta Robots Tag
The Meta Robots Tag gives you the ability to specify whether search engines should index that page or follow the links appearing on that page. However, there is no need for using Meta Robots tag if one is already using detailed robots.txt file to block any specific indexing.
The various commands used under Meta Robots Tag are: Index: allows the spider to index that page.
Noindex: instructs the spider not to index the page.
Follow: instructs the spider to follow the links from that page and index them.
Nofollow: instructs the spider not to follow links from that page for indexing.
Note: Use only one of the above given commands.
If you have not specified any Meta Robots Tag on a page, by default, the spiders understand that the page and all the links appearing on that page are open for indexing. Therefore, it makes more sense to use this Meta Tag in case you don’t want certain parts of your web page indexed.
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