Meta Tags Tutorial

The difference between [ NAME ] & [ HTTP-EQUIV ]

HTTP-EQUIV tags are equivalent to http headers where the name tag on the other hand is not.

<METAHTTP-EQUIV="name"CONTENT="content">
<METANAME="name"CONTENT="content">

Description& Keywords Tags

Search engines have spiders, which use the words designated by the TITLE tag and a few paragraphs of your document to help people find you. You can see that this is not the best way to represent yourself on the web because your site may be based on much that is not in those few paragraphs. That's where the meta-tags come into use. With these tags you can tell people exactly what you're all about and designate keywords for your site.

This is how you do it
Somewhere between <head> and </head> in your HTML file, insert this code
<META name="description" content=" ** ">
Where you see ** type the description of your page.
<META name="keywords" content=" ## ">
Where you see ## type the type the keywords (Separated by commas) that will lead people to your site.

Example
<Title>Old Cars</title>
<META name="description"content="We specialize in cars">
<META name="keywords"content=" car,auto,engine ">

It will appear like so in the index:

Old Cars
We specialize in cars
http://www.oldcars.com

TIP: For descriptions some search engines only consider about 50 words and others up to 1024(which is a lot!) so make sure to cram the most important stuff in those first 50 words or so.

The Robot Tag


The robot tag allows you to give the spiders or robots instrustions. There are 2 things you can specify:

Either - [INDEX or NOINDEX] and [FOLLOW or NOFOLLOW]

[INDEX,NOINDEX]
This will tell the robot whether you want this page indexed or not.
[FOLLOW,NOFOLLOW]
This will tell the robot that either you want it to follow the links and index the pages on the other end or that you want it to stop at that page.

Example
<META name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow">

Alt-Tag

The alt-tag is very easy to implement into an image.
Instead of having the line <img src = "pic.gif">
Do this: <img src = "pic.gif" alt="this is a picture of a house">
Not only will this help your ranking in search engines but it will also display the text before a picture is displayed.

The Author Tag

  <META NAME="author" content="John Doe">

Specifies the author of the page

The Generator Tag

<META NAME="generator" content="Microsoft Visual Studio">

Specifies the tool used to create the web page.

HTTP-EQUIV TAGS

The Expires Tag

<META HTTP-EQUIV="expires" CONTENT="Wed, 24 Feb 1999 04:14:48 GMT">

Specifies the time and date when a page has expired. Netscape uses this tag to determine wheather the page can be reloaded form disk or requested for the network.

Content-Type

<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=ISO-2022-JP">

Specifies the character set used by the web page.

Refresh

<META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT="3;URL=http://www.example.com">

Refreshes or loads a page specified by URL= After # of seconds.

Tip : This can be used when one of your pages has moved to a different location. In that case just place this tag in the header for 0 seconds and it will be as if you never moved your page. Keep in mind that not all browsers support this feature so just in case put a link on the page also.

Window-Target

<META HTTP-EQUIV="Window-target" CONTENT="_top">

Specifies a target window.
Options

  • Same Frame - _self
  • Whole Page -_top
  • New Window -_blank
  • Parent Frame -_parent

Set-Cookie

<META HTTP-EQUIV="Set-Cookie" CONTENT="cookievalue=xxx;expires=Friday, 31-Dec-19 23:59:59 GMT; path=/">
Sets a "cookie"



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