What is HTML Meta TAG?

A Meta tag (or Metadata) is a simple code used by robots and crawlers to understand our website.

Formal Definition: Metadata is a Piece of code used in the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) to describes some aspect of the contents of a Web page (HTML Document) to Web Crawlers and Robots.

Metadata does not display any content on the Web page, it is used by the search engine and Web browser to extract more information from a Web Page. It is machine parsable.

Explanations and Usage: How to write HTML Meta Tag for better SEO?

If you have created your website by writing HTML codes, then you know how and where to add meta tag. If you are new, then follow the below tutorial.

Note: <meta> tags always goes inside the <head> element. Like this

<HTML>

<HEAD>

<META NAME=”…” CONTENT=”…”>

</HEAD>

<BODY></BODY>

</HTML>

If you are using Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress. Then you can use any SEO plugins to add meta tag into your web- pages. We have already discussed these plugins in the previous article. If you don’t remember! revise it now.

Understand Metadata

To write meta tag properly in our website for better Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Then we need to follow it’s proper syntax.

General Syntax: <meta attribute=”….value=”….“>

HTML Metadata Table

Attribute Value Description
charset Character-set (Ex: UTF-8) Specifies the character encoding for the HTML document
content text/html Gives the value associated with the http-equiv or name attribute
http-equiv content-type
content-language
default-style
refresh
Provides an HTTP header for the information/value of the content attribute
name application-name
author
description
generator
keywords
Specifies a name for the metadata

Meta Tag Examples with Explanations


Example 1 – Meta keywords tags:

<meta name=”keywords” content=”HTML, CSS, XML, XHTML, JavaScript”>

Important Points notes on meta keywords tags:
Define keywords for search engines.

Today the only search engine that looks at the keywords is Microsoft’s Bing – and they use it to help detect spam. To avoid hurting your site, your best option is to never add this tag.

Example 2 – Meta description tags:

<meta name=”description” content=”description within 155 – 160 characters”>

Define a description of your web page.

Character Limit: 155 characters (including spaces)

The “description” meta tag is used in Web page for:

  • To provide the brief summary: “Description” tells the search engine what your Web page or Website is about.
  • Increases click through rates: Writing a good description helps you get good more people clicking through to your site.
  • Increases Website rankings: Accurate and precise deception helps in attaining better SERP (Search engine result page) rankings.

Important Points notes on meta description tags:

  • Empty Descriptions: When it is empty Google and Bing will fill it in for you according to your Web page content.
  • Don’t use Quotes: It will likely cut off your description. Use single quotes to avoid this issue.

Example 3 – Meta distribution tags:

< meta name=”distribution” content=”global”>

Told the browser about the Web page distribution.

The “distribution” meta tag is used in Web page for:
Defining the level or degree of distribution or privacy of your Webpage/ Website on the World Wide Web. There are currently only three forms of distribution supported by the distribution tag:

  • Global – Your Web page is available for everyone,
  • Local – Your Web page is available local users,
  • IU (Internal Use) – Your Web page is not available for General public.

Example 4 – Meta language tags:

<meta http-equiv=”content-language” content=”EN”>

Specifies the language your web page.

EN is the language code (RFC1766). Here is a list of the common languages codes:

  • EN – English
  • ES – Spanish
  • FR – French
  • JA – Japanese
  • ZH – Chinese

Example 5 – Meta robots tags:

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

Meta “robots” tag is used to set command for the search engines regarding indexing and following links of Web page. Here selection can be replaced with:

  • “index, follow” <meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow”>
  • “no-index, follow” <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, follow”>
  • “index, no-follow” <meta name=”robots” content=”index, nofollow”>
  • “no-index, no-follow” <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, nofollow”>

For example: <meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow”>

This tells search engine to index and follow all the links (internals/externals) on the particular Web page.

  • no-index: is used to block/disallow the indexing of particular Web page.
  • no-follow: is used to block/disallow the links to be followed.

Example 6 – Meta author tags:

<meta name=”author” content=”Gaurav Kumar”>

The “author” meta tag is used in Web page for identification the author of a Web page.

Example 7 – Meta copyright tags:

<META name=”copyright” content=”information”>

Here “information” is replaced with the copyright information and/or copyright statement.

Example 8 – Meta revisit tags:

<meta name=”revisit-after” content=”30 days”>

Commands spiders when to come back.

Example 9 – Meta refresh tags:

<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”30″>

Set command for the Web browser to refresh Web page.

Example 10 – Meta refresh/redirect tags:

<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”x-seconds; url=http://www.yourhost.com/pagetosendto.html”>

Set command for the Web browser to refresh and redirect Web page.

Example 11 – Meta geo tags:

<meta name=”geo.placename” content=”xyz Flat, Rochester, NY 14612, USA” >

<meta name=”geo.region” content=”IN-DL” >

<meta name=”geo.position” content=”28;77″ >

A geotag is geographical information metadata embedded into a website.

The “geo” meta tag helps us to make it easier for search engines to associate a website with certain physical location.

More Meta tags:

<meta name=”coverage” content=”Worldwide”>

<meta name=”rating” content=”General”>

<meta name=”revisit-after” content=”7 days”>

<meta name=”owner” content=””>

<meta name=”summary” content=””>

<meta name=”Classification” content=”Business”>

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Learn how to write HTML Meta Tag for better SEO
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Read this article to Learn how to write HTML Meta Tag for better SEO. You will also learn, what is meta tags, where it is used and what's its purpose.
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