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Meta Tags: the mystery revealed

The <META> Tag is a little bit different than the Tags we have already covered. The <META> Tag is known as a one-sided Tag since it requires no Closing Tag whatsoever.

Let's look at an example of how the <META> Tag is used:

<HEAD>
<TITLE> HTML Clinic - HTML Help For All </TITLE>
<META NAME="KEYWORDS" CONTENT="html,help,tag,clinic,free,table,form,code,">
<META NAME="DESCRIPTION" CONTENT="Top-Rated HTML Resource on the Web">
</HEAD>

ALL of the <META> Tags are entered between the <HEAD> and </HEAD> Tag set. The order you put them in is not important. Enter at least these two meta tags on each page.

If you want to save some time, try our free online Meta Tag Creator! VERY COOL!

The Meta Tag Attributes

The Attribute and Value entries work differently in Meta Tags than in other HTML Tags:

NAME=
This Attribute only serves to give the Meta Tag an identifying name. In the example, you will notice I have used two of the most common Names, "KEYWORDS" and "DESCRIPTION".

CONTENT=
All this Attribute does is define what Content is to be associated with the Name you defined in the NAME= portion of the Meta Tag.

So, now, if you look at the example above you can see I have defined my first Meta Tag as the "Keywords" Meta Tag and have included a set of keywords (with a comma after each keyword) as the Content for that individual Meta Tag.

The second Meta Tag I have defined as the "Description" Meta Tag and I have included a short, detailed description of my site's highlights as the Content of that Meta Tag.

Other Commonly Used Meta Tags

<META NAME="AUTHOR" CONTENT="Your Name Here">
This tag lets you define who wrote your web page. You can use your real name, online name. or the name of your company. For example: "Bravenet Dave"

<META NAME="COPYRIGHT" CONTENT="Enter Year And Company Name Here">
This tag allows you to define when your page was created. As the writer of your page you hold the copyright to the material on it. This does not allow you to claim the copyright on other people's works even if they appear on your page.

<META NAME="CONTACT_ADDR" CONTENT="Your Email Address Here">
This tag allows you to define the email address people should use to get in touch with you. For example: "webmaster@htmlclinic.com".

<META NAME="RATING" CONTENT="Add Your Rating Here">
What audience is your site geared towards? Possible values: "GENERAL", "14 YEARS", "MATURE", or "RESTRICTED".

<META NAME="ROBOT" CONTENT="Enter The Value Here">
Do you want search engines to index other pages on your site? When a search engine spider visits your page it will most likely try to follow your links and index every page it encounters.

Possible values:

"ALL"
This will tell a search engine spider to follow ALL the links on your web page and index everything it finds.

"NOINDEX"
This will tell a search engine NOT to index this page at all, but it can follow any links on the page.

"NOFOLLOW"
This will tell the search engine spider to index this page, but NOT to follow any links on this page.

"NONE"
This will tell the search engine NOT to index or follow any links on this page.

<META NAME="REVISIT-AFTER" CONTENT="Enter Value Here">
This tag lets you tell a visiting search engine spider when to come back and index the site again. Possible values can be any amount of time you want: "10 days", "2 months" "1 week" or whatever.

<META HTTP-EQUIV="REFRESH" CONTENT="2;URL=http://www.server.com/page.html">
You can use this tag to set up a redirection to another page. You can send your visitors to a different specific page by including this tag.

In the value portion of the CONTENT= attribute put in the number of seconds to pause, followed by a semi-colon, then type URL= and then add the address of the page you want the visitor to go to, just like this:

"2; URL=http://www.server.com/page.html".

So, after 2 seconds I would be whisked away to http://www.server.com/page.html.

Meta Tags: why you should use them

When you submit your site to a Search Engine, it sends a little program called a spider to visit your site and gather information about your site.

The spider will take certain bits of information from your coding to determine what each page is about, and where and how it should be displayed to a person using the Search Engine. Most Search Engines will use your Meta Tag defined keywords and description to perform this task.

It is important to make sure that the keywords you use are relevant to your page. It is also VERY BAD to repeat any keyword more than 3 or 4 times. Search Engines will view this as an attempt to SPAM your keywords and probably drop your page altogether from the Search Engine listings.

Before you leave this page, don't forget to try our free online Meta Tag Creator! It's too handy!


Meta Tags are only the beginning of successfully promoting your site. Learn the best methods of getting noticed:

~~~~~ On to "Getting in the Search Engines" ~~~~~




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