The <meta> tag is used to present information about an HTML document to browsers, search engines, and other applications. A name meta tag's content can be used to describe a document, the author and define the keywords that a search engine will use while an http-equiv meta tag can redirect visitors to the correct page, describe the character type and content language used on the page. The meta tags on a page are crucial to providing information and controlling how the page is served to your visitors. There are more to meta tags than a series of introductory documents can provide.
It is critically important to include a title and a description meta tag in the main documents of your website. If you don't include these tags the search engines will define your site based on their own criteria often using the first 256 characters that they find, regardless of what they are. The two main tags for defining your site are;
title - the title of the page which is displayed at the top of the browser and becomes the link text in the search engine.
description - containing a 25 (approximate) word description of your organization.
<meta name="description" content="The description of your website. There can only be 256 characters including spaces and symbols in the description. Use correct sentence case as this will be the text that convinces visitors to select your site from the search list." />
Keywords or phrases are separated by a comma and optional space. Though Google doesn't use keywords, other search engines do; so it is also important to include them as well.
keywords - contain words that people will type into a search engine.
<meta name="keywords" content="first, word, first phrase, add commonly misspelled words here, add relevant words that are not in your document text, don't add non-relevant word" />
Meta tags are also used to control how search engines interact with your web site. Meta tags can direct search engines to ignore certain document and folders. Meta tags can also be used to describe copyright information. Some design software automatically insert meta tags to place advertising on the web page. Meta tags are generally passed over by pirate software.
A meta tag describing the character type and character set is required in a properly formed HTML document.
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
Open Graph protocol
The Open Graph protocol is used by Facebook to categorize web pages. Open Graph tags can be added to describe the title of the document, the type of document, the website's url, the default image, the description and other aspects of the a web page. an example of an Open Graph tag description tag is:
<meta property="og:description" content="GrassRootsDesign provides the Introduction to Computers" />
Last update: January 5, 2014