Meta Tags Explained

HTML Meta Tags and Their Importance Explained Here in Detail

Meta tags are mainly used during webpage designing. The following article will briefly explain their concept and uses.
Meta tags are the key of getting a good rating for your webpages, in the search engine results. To clearly understand their description, you need to first understand how the search engines work.

Meta tags are written in between the <head> and </head> in an html document. These tags provide information about various aspects of a web page, right from the author's name and language used, to the title and keywords. In the past, Internet search engines used these tags for rating the webpages. However, their use by adult websites' webmasters, caused the major search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc., to remove meta tags from their priority criteria. These webmasters used meta tags to insert irrelevant keywords on their websites, to gain traffic. However, there are such certain tags that can help search engine robots for indexing your web page. These robots are small programs that browse your webpage. They collect the relevant data from your webpage, which helps the search engine in their rating.

How to Use Meta Tags?

Meta Author
It holds the name of the author of the webpage. The author's email id can also be put in this tag. However, this is not supported by the major search engines that are mentioned above.
Syntax: <META NAME="Author" CONTENT="name, email id">

Meta Content Language
The language that you are using on your webpage can be mentioned in this tag. Some search engine robots use it to categorize webpages.
Syntax: <META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Language" CONTENT="language">

Meta Content Type
This is one of the most important meta tags. It is advisable that you use it for all your webpages. Its use causes the appropriate character set to be loaded, before the webpage is loaded.
Syntax: <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="content type, text or html">

Meta Description
In this important tag, you can briefly mention what is your webpage all about, within a limited number of characters. This is the portion that is generally sought by search engine robots, to find out if the searched phrase is present in your website or not.
Syntax: <META NAME="description" CONTENT="type your description here">

Meta Keywords
Along with the words and phrases in the content and description, these keywords are also often used by search engines, to sort a webpage into the search engine results. Hence, providing them for your web page can prove to be quite beneficial.
Syntax: <META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="type your keywords separated by comma">

Meta Title
This tag can contain the same title as that of the one within the TITLE, html tag. You can also use it in your webpage.
Syntax: <META NAME="Title" CONTENT="Page Title Here">

Meta Google Tag
It is especially used by the Google search engine. You can use this tag in your webpage to stop Google from displaying excerpts or cached content. There are some other features that you can specify using this tag. For example, you can mention that you don't want Google to rank or popularize the link of your webpage.

Importance of These Tags
Though the major search engines refuse to use these tags for indexing their webpages, there are certain search engines that still use meta tags, and give them due importance in their results. However, Google lays emphasis on the Google meta tags, but they won't improve the current ranking of your results.