SEO: What To Do With Meta Tags

If you’re concerned with SEO you may have taken a look at some of the coding docs on google. After looking at several templates I found that some are filled with unnecessary meta tags. The few that google recognizes can be found here:
Google
Google & meta data

Tags that are still recommended tend to include the title, description, keyword (just in case), language (if not us eng), & robots.

Which tags help your search results?

In the past all tags, title, description, and keyword were used to index sites in search engines. Because of the abuse of these, especially the keyword tag, they are no longer as important to search engines. However, you should give special attention to you page titles

Tips on creating a good page title:

 

    • Leave out the fluff, but adding a little description will help. 
    • Keep it easy to read. Capitalize the first letter of each word. 
      • Example: “Pictures of our new born baby boy, kenny.”
      •                  “Pictures of Kenny – Our New Baby Boy”




How to write a good description

What is more important than a long list of meta tags in your header, is a good description. Google looks at this tag to use as a site description. Here are some highlighted tips for the tag:
<meta name=’description’ content=’value’/>

  • Make it unique for the content of each page.
  • Include any important data (dates, names, price, etc.) This does not have to come in sentence form.
  • Describe what the site is & do not list keywords, it might not be displayed by google.
  • Don’t duplicate information contained in the title.
  • Do not duplicate info within the description.
  • Make it easy to read.

Learn more here



When to use the robots tag

It is a limiting tag for robots so if you want to be indexed and links followed, you don’t need it at all.
Below is a description of values for the tag: <meta name=”robots” content=”…, …” />

“The noindex value prevents a page from being indexed, and nofollow prevents links from being crawled. Other values recognized by one or more search engines can influence how the engine indexes pages, and how those pages appear on the search results. These include noarchive, which instructs a search engine not to store an archived copy of the page, and nosnippet, which asks that the search engine not include a snippet from the page along with the page’s listing in search results.” – wikipedia


Other meta tags

 

  • <meta content=’5 days’ name=’revisit-after’/> This tag is apparently no longer very useful. It was intended to tell the spider when to come back and index your site, but is reported to be ineffective.
  • <meta content=’document’ name=’resource-type’/> This declares the resource of the page. It is recommended not to use this tag, but instead use the “DTD Declaration” or DocType Definition.
  • <meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=iso-8859-1″> This is recommended always to prevent display errors within certain browsers.
Basically having more meta tags is not always better. Hopefully I can learn more about these thing so I can start giving some more useful information, but this stuff was news to me! Again, (disclaimer of sorts) I’m just learning as I go so I use a lot of sources.


Sources


http://www.webmarketingnow.com/tips/meta-tags-uncovered.html
http://htmlhelp.com/tools/validator/doctype.html
http://www.kenkai.com/seo-blog-article-181.htm

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