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keywords and meta tags

how to include meta tags and keywords on your webpage
meta tags contain data about data, because meta tags are contained in the head part of a html document they are not generaly visible to humans, think of keyword and description meta tags as information that is only available to search engines, this is a neat html tip because a user will see what the webmaster has displayed in the html document and search engines see something completely different. although meta tags and keywords are not a magic solution and not all search engines honor them, the use of the meta tag is probably one of the best html tricks available to webmasters

before including meta tags and keywords on your page take a moment to think about your html title tag, to search engines the title tag is usually the most important tag in any html document, so use a title that is relevant to the document, for example a webpage about widgets should contain the word 'widgets' in the title as well as the keyword and description meta tags
<title>widgets, an online shop where users can buy and compare widgets</title>

search engines also give much more priority to the text at the top of a webpage, a document that has widgets in the html title and has a header containing the word 'widget' and then immediatly goes on to talk about widgets will be considered much more relevant by the search engines for a user searching for widgets than a document with 'widgets' in the title but does not mention widgets again until half way down the document.

although most search engines work in different ways, some will give a little extra relevency rating to alt tags that contain a particular keyword and some pay a little attention to keywords mentioned in comment tags, but nearly all give a rating depending on the frequency of a keyword, that is to say a html document is rated by the amount of times a keyword is repeated in a document, but webmasters can find themselves treading a fine line between spamming and optimizing, if a search engine thinks a document is spam because a keyword is repeated too many times then that webaddress could end up permanently banned - and dont ever repeat the same word twice witout any other words in between!

meta tag examples

<meta> tags are fairly easy and straight forward to use and each meta tag has both a 'name' and a 'content' attribute
<meta name="keywords" content="widgets, list of widgets">
<meta name="description" content="all about widgets, buy, compare and learn the history of widgets or view the extensive widget image library archive">

both the keyword and description meta tags can contain up to 1000 characters
the keyword and description meta tags should not contain the same word repeated more than seven times as some search engines will regard this as spam
the keyword meta tag contains keywords and key phrases (seperated by comma's) that users may search for whilst the content of the description meta tag will usually be displayed in the results of the search
a search result for widgets will usually display the title as a link, below that the description meta tag and below that the url, and may look similar to this example

widgets, an online shop where users can buy and compare widgets
all about widgets, buy, compare and learn the history of widgets or view the extensive widget image library archive
url: http://www.$

other usefull meta tags include author and copyright

<meta name="author" content="bill gates">
<meta name="copyright" content="copyright ©, bill gates">

there are also meta tags that can influence the behaviour of some search engine robots or spiders
once a spider has visited a site, the robot will periodicaly return to re-index the content, but a 'revisit-after' meta tag can be used to invite the spider back at a given interval of a certain amount of days
<meta name="revisit-after" content="14 days">

use the robots meta tag to control whether a document is indexed or not

<meta name="robots" content="all">
<meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow">

all tells the robot to index the entire content of the current page.
noindex tells the robot not to add the current page to it's index.
nofollow tells the robot not to follow the links on the page for indexing.

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