Wednesday, 18 August 2010

What are Meta Tags & How can they help

 


A question I get asked on most of our new web projects. The question normally arises half way through the project, as the new website owner is eager to find out more about the web, somehow they come across Meta details, and questions start to raise. "what are Meta Tags?" "How are Meta Tags used?", these are the two common ones.


To be honest with you Meta details have become less and less popular, as search engines are moving more towards personalised searches, but never the less they still play an important role in your website, and are good to have.


Search engines before used to search websites and rank them accordingly based on the information found on Meta Details, but as time went along, websites become more and more intense and search engines became more and more clever in way they now rank the search results.


So what is all the fuss about, What are these Meta Tags?


Meta tags are HTML coding placed in the header section of the website file, which contain certain tags for search engines to crawl. They normally consist of Title, Description and Keyword tags.



Title Tag
This is the text that's displayed at the top of most browser pages, when you open a website. Also this is the text that shows on the first line of the search results. It's also good idea to have some of your main keywords listed in the Title Tag.


Meta Description
A quick description about the webpage, this is also normally listed in search results, under Title of the results. Nowadays search engines do mix and match this section with other text from the page, again, it's a neat idea to have you description tag with at least couple of your keywords, as long as the sentence reads well, its fine.


Meta Keywords
This is a list of keywords separated by a comma, for that web page.  Average you would have approximately about 6-10 keywords.  There is no specific number of keywords you should have, that has been mentioned by search engines. But the specialist say not to have too many as it will seem your stuffing your page with keywords, which will not go down well with the search engines.


Conclusion
I  must say that Meta details are not the only factor in which your website will be ranked, you can configure your Meta details to your best ability and still not notice any change in your ranking, as there are many other factors that you should take into consider when fully optimising your web page. Meta Details is just one of those factors.

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