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Graphics By Kelly
Meta Tag Tutorial

Before you submit your pages to the search engines, it is crucial that you make sure they are search-engine friendly. Here are some basic tips on what to do.

The easiest way to do this is ask yourself "what would someone trying to find me type in when they search?" Make a list of these. Try them out on the search engines -- pretend to be someone looking for your product or service.

The Meta tags are important to getting good rankings, and on many search engines, the page title and the Meta Description tag are what gets displayed.

Meta tags go in the <HEAD> section of the HTML page.

Title (Strongly Recommended) Your documents title will appear in user's hotlists, the banner of most browsers, and robot-generated lists. It should be a concise, one-line summary of what the page is about. Bear in mind that users may not reach your document through your homepage, but directly using a search engine or link at another site, so the title should ideally be self-sufficient.

Keywords (Recommended) Space-separated list of key words for indexing your document. Some robots look at keywords in context, so it is best to preserve word order and case, e.g. pizza, Vancouver, British Columbia rather than british vancouver columbia pizza

Description (Recommended) The description is presented to the user along with the document's title as the result of a search. Many robots use the first few lines of text as a description if the Description tag is not present. For documents using frames, it is possible that there is no such text present. For an academic text, this should probably be the abstract.

Owner (Recommended) Legacy value. "".

Expiry Date (Optional) The date after which a page is considered stale, in RFC1123 date format. is used by browsers and proxies to delete documents from the cache. If you know your page will go stale, this is probably a good idea. Netscape Navigator honours the META tag; other agents and proxies may require the HTTP header. Netscape 3 will cache a document with an "Expires: 0" tag, but will issue a GET with If-Modified-Since (regardless of option settings), and thus retrieve an updated copy if one exists. The searchBC search engine uses the Expires value as a hint to schedule a revisit.

Language (Optional)

Dialect (Optional)
Some browsers (Arena, Mosaic-L10N, Netscape) have the ability to perform content negotiation. What this means is that the user configures the browser to prefer certain languages based on the users fluency, by specifying an HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE header. For example, the list en-CA, en-GB, fr would say that you would accept (in order of preference) Canadian English, UK English, and French. Some servers, e.g. Apache, can use this information to serve a document in the preferred language. To function properly, the language/dialect combination must be available to the server (see the server documentation). The searchBC robot indexes a META tag for reference purposes.

Charset (Optional)
Charsets may be specified by the server; for instance:
Content-type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-5
Netscape 2.0 works properly with this method; Some very old browsers such as Mosaic break. Netscape 3 will use a META tag to automatically switch fonts (X11 Netscape, at least), and provided the server does not parse HTTP-EQUIV META tags into real HTTP headers, other browsers will ignore it. Thus this method is recommended for non-ISO-8859-1 (Western European) character sets, as it will cause Netscape to select the correct font for each page.
SearchBC will index this META tag. The default HTML charset is ISO-8859-1 (Western European 8-bit).

Robots (Recommended)

      default = empty = "ALL"
The filler is a comma separated list of terms: ALL, NONE, INDEX, NOINDEX, FOLLOW, NOFOLLOW.

Discussion: This tag is meant to provide users who cannot control the robots.txt file at their sites. It provides a last chance to keep their content out of search services. It was decided not to add syntax to allow robot specific permissions within the meta-tag. INDEX means that robots are welcome to include this page in search services. FOLLOW means that robots are welcome to follow links from this page to find other pages. So a value of "NOINDEX" allows the subsidiary links to be explored, even though the page is not indexed. A value of "NOFOLLOW" allows the page to be indexed, but no links from the page are explored (this may be useful if the page is a free entry point into pay-per-view content, for example. A value of "NONE" tells the robot to ignore the page.

I have copied the Meta Tags from my Site Index below to give you an example:

    <META NAME="TITLE" CONTENT="Graphics By Kelly">
    <META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
    <META NAME="KEYWORDS" CONTENT="graphics, free, backgrounds, tiles, borders, textures, triple backgrounds, buttons, page dividers, page sets, coordinated sets, clip art, clipart, snow globes, globes, animated snow globes, animation, frames, picture frames, OE stationery, stationery, outlook express, OE, e-mail, scrolling stationery, Java, scripts, javascripts, tutorials, drop down menus, navigation menus, menus, navigation, color chart, color table, HTML, e-cards, greeting cards, tools, software, links, domain names">
    <META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="index,follow">
    <META NAME="Description" CONTENT="Everything needed to start a personal web site. Free webpage graphics, including web art, banners, tutorials, and OE stationery">

OK. At this point, you know what your best keyphrases are. You've got your list. You've checked it twice. Now it's time to use it! Good luck.

Try Graphics By Kelly META TAG GENERATOR!

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