If you have searched the web for SEO articles, you might have came across with topics and discussions on Meta data Elements. Meta data elements are HTML or XHTML components that are used to provide the structured meta data (data about data) about a Web document. A Web document can be anything like a website, a blog, a forum, a web page. The Meta data elements must be placed as tags in the head (<head>) section of an HTML or XHTML document. With appropriate information in Meta Data Elements, you can make your Web document appear properly in web search results. It is the way to have much control over how your website appears to people in searches.
Major search engines including Google, Yahoo!, Bing, MSN Search, AOL Search, AltaVista, HotBot, Infoseek, Excite and many others utilize Meta data elements to specify page description, keywords, title, author of the document, last modified, and other related information.
If you are still confused about Meta data elements, here are some FAQ on Meta Elements.
What are Meta data elements?
Meta Data Elements are used to supply appropriate information to a Web document so that it may be meaningful to Search engines, Web browsers and other web services.
Simply, using Meta Data elements in a Web document means using title and meta tags. In this post, we are going to cover the SEO prospect of Meta data elements.
What is a title tag?
The <title> tag defines the title of a Web document. When used, it performs the following jobs for a Web document:
- Displays the title in the browser toolbar
- Provides the title for the web document when it is bookmarked or saved.
- Shows a title for the document in Search engine results.
What are Meta Tags?
Meta tags are special HTML tags that are not directly visible on a Web document. These tags help search engines to understand, catalog and categorize a Web document to appear them properly in Search Engine results.
Meta tags that are required to optimize a Web document for Search Engines are described below:
- The Meta keywords tag:
<meta name=”keywords” content=”KEYWORDS FOR THE WEB DOCUMENT (Separared by commas)” />
Supplies the keywords that a search engine can use to find your Web document. One should provide the related keywords only, 10-15 keywords are enough.
- The Meta description tag:
<meta name=”description” content=”WEB DOCUMENT DESCRIPTION” />
Search engines use this tag to show a description of your web document. It tells the researchers on search engines about your site in brief before actually visiting it. You should write at most 250 characters long description as most search engines show 250 characters and the rest is skipped.
- The Meta Author:
<meta name=”author” content=”AUTHOR OF THE WEB DOCUMENT” />
Specifies the author of the Web document.
- The Meta Language:
<meta name=”language” content=”LANGUAGE USED IN WEB DOCUMENT” />
The language attribute tells search engines the language which is used in the Web document (e.g. English, Spanish or Latin). It is of most use when a website is written in multiple languages and can be included on each page to tell search engines in which language a particular page is written.
- The Meta robot:
<meta name=”robots” content=”INDEX/DO NOT INDEX THE WEB DOCUMENT AND FOLLOW/DO NOT FOLLOW ALL LINKS OR NOT” />
The Meta robot tag is supported by several major search engines. It controls whether the search engine spiders are allowed to index a Web document, or not, and whether they should follow links from a Web document, or not. It is not recommended to use on a website without proper knowledge.
Note: Meta tags are not the best option to prevent search engines from indexing content of a website. A more reliable and efficient method is the use of the robots.txt file (Robots exclusion standard).
How can I add Meta data elements to my Web documents?
Using our Meta data elements Generator, you can easily put Meta data elements on your website, blog or web page. Step by step procedure to put Meta data elements on a Web document is given below:
- Fill in the required information.
- Click Generate Code button.
- Copy the generated code.
- Open the HTML code of your Web document.
- Find <head> and paste the code just below it.
- Save changes (save your Web document).