5 Common Examples of Meta Tag Use

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A meta tag is a string of HTML code that contains information specific to a Web page. Meta tags are not visible to visitors, unless the visitor views the page source code; however, meta tags can help impact how Web search engines index and display a Web page in search results. There are several types of meta tags, with the two most common being the meta description tag and meta keywords tag.

Meta Description Tag

  • The meta description tag is the most common use for a meta tag. Meta description tags include a short synopsis or description of the Web page and help a search engine understand what a Web page is about. Meta descriptions are especially important on pages that do not contain content such as text or headers that describe the Web page. Search engines often use information found on the meta description tag in search results, but not always.

Meta Keywords Tag

  • The meta keywords tag is the second most common use for a meta tag. The meta keywords tag includes keywords related to the Web page and serve to help search engines determine which keywords to index a website for. Although many search engines today place little emphasis on meta keywords, using the meta keywords tag on your Web page can further optimize the page and benefit search engine rankings.

Meta Content Language Tag

  • The meta content language tag specifies the natural language of the Web page, further categorizing it for search engines. The U.S. English-based websites have no need for this tag, but non-U.S. English websites can benefit from including the meta content language tag in the website source code.

Meta Content Type Tag

  • The meta content type tag declares the character set used on the Web page, such as ASCII, ISO or Unicode. Implementing the meta content type tag and specifying the character set used when designing the Web page can help reduce display problems that occur when browsers render your website.

Meta Author Tag

  • Although the meta content language tag has no impact on search engines or the overall performance of the website, you can include this tag on a Web page to give tribute to content creators of the page. If several individuals contributed content to the site, it is recommended that the meta author tag include all individuals' first and last names.

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