The Four Basic Types of Meta Tags

12 Apr

From the FinallyFast help desk

Meta Tags are HTMl codes that are usually inserted into the header of a webpage after the title tag. When people refer to meta tags in Search Engine Optimization, they are usually referring to the meta description tag and the meta keyword tag, both of which are not seen by users. The main purpose of these tags are to provide meta document data to search engines such as Google and Bing. Meta tags were originally intended to provide a proxy for information about a website’s content. Each of the four basic types of meta tags are listed below, along with a description of their use.

1) Meta Description Tag
The Meta Description Tag is a short description of a page’s content. Search engines do not use the keywords or phrases in this tag for rankings, but meta descriptions are the primary source for the snippet of text displayed beneath a listing in the results. This tag serves the function of advertising copy, drawing readers to your site from the search results.

2) Meta Keyword Tag
The meta keywords tag is used to declare keywords and keyword phrases that you’ve targeted for that specific page. In order for theses tags to function properly, the same keywords and keyword phrases must appear on the actual page.

3) Meta Robots Tag:
An alternative to using a Robots.txt file, the Meta Robots Tag can be used to control search engine spider activity on a page level There are several ways to use meta robots to control how search engines treat a page. Popular Meta Robots Tags include:

• Index/NoIndex: tells the engines whether the page should be crawled and kept in the engines’ index for retrieval. If you opt to use “noindex”, the page will be excluded from the engines. By default, search engines assume they can index all pages, so using the “index” value is generally unnecessary.
• Follow/NoFollow: tells the engines whether links on the page should be crawled. If you elect to employ “nofollow,” the engines will disregard the links on the page both for discovery and ranking purposes. By default, all pages are assumed to have the “follow” attribute.
• Noarchive: used to restrict search engines from saving a cached copy of the page. By default, the engines will maintain visible copies of all pages they indexed, accessible to searchers through the “cached” link in the search results.
• Nosnippet: informs the engines that they should refrain from displaying a descriptive block of text next to the page’s title and URL in the search results.
• NoODP: a specialized tag telling the engines not to grab a descriptive snippet about a page from the Open Directory Project (DMOZ) for display in the search results.
• NoYDir: specific to Yahoo!, informing that engine not to use the Yahoo! Directory description of a page/site in the search results.

4) Meta Refresh, Meta Revisit-After, and Meta Content:
These are less critical tags, with various uses for optimization.

• Meta Refresh: Instructs the browser to refresh after a given time interval, and is sometimes used to move the browser to another URL.
• Meta Revisit-After: an outdated tag used to redirect a browser to a page.
• Meta Content: used to declare the language, style, or script type.

2 Responses to “The Four Basic Types of Meta Tags”

  1. Jong Kight April 14, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    I was very happy to find this web-site.I wished to thanks for your time for this glorious learn!! I undoubtedly having fun with every little little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you weblog post.

  2. Kelly April 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    I want to say thanks for explaining these different tags because I knew I needed to look up what those meant but hadn’t gotten around to it yet so thanks…

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