What are Meta Tags in SEO

In this chapter we will be discussing about certain Meta tags and Title tag that are essential for doing Onpage optimization. Let me gives you some backgrounds about Meta tags first. It started in the early 90’s when Internet start growing widely and they were used to help search engine to organize the growing number of websites. Meta tags are used to tell what the website is about to the search engine. During time to time many Meta tags have definitely been devalued for use in most major search engines but until now it is still the most major tags that used to help search engines to index websites.

Some bad or unethical webmasters started to cheat or abuse the Meta tag by giving incorrect keywords or spamming the page with full of keywords or completely unrelated keywords. We often call that as ‘black hat’ way. It makes search engines harder to index accurate results. Pornography and gambling websites would stuff more commonly used key phrases in meta tags to ‘fool’ search engine brings their websites to higher or even first page and attract more visitors.

Obviously most search engines have refused to use of meta tags for indexing and organizing websites. Also search engine algorithms have become much more technologically advanced and they use a number of other methods for indexing and sorting. However, if we they no longer viewed as helpful tag, why we still use them?

Meta tags have different names and uses, below I’ll explore the one that I use to SEO websites and they are still widely used by search engines.

Meta Content Type:

<meta http-equiv=content-type content=”text/html; charset=UTF-8″>

This is probably the first line of Meta tag that tells what kind of text code it uses throughout the whole website pages. I highly recommended because if you not define it properly it could cause display problems on your web browsers.

Meta Robots:

<meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow”>

This tag is till supported and it simply tells the search bots to either follow the URL through or you can ask them not to index certain parts of your website.

Meta Description:

<meta name=”description” content=”Anything you like”>

Arh! This is probably the most major tag and all SEOers’ favorite. This tag simply describe what is the current page have. If you don’t have this tag, search engine will grab part of your page including the keyword that was being searched by the surfer.

Meta Keywords:

<meta name=”keywords” content=” keyword1, keyword2 “/>

This tag probably is getting useless. Some website use it, some don’t. Since most major search engine don’t use it at all but there has no harm to add some keywords here. Remember, do not add more than 20 or so keywords otherwise search engines could think your site is trying to spam them.

Now, most search engines do not use the meta tags as they did in the early 90’s but as I explained you can still use them for a variety of other reasons. My opinion is that Meta tags can be used for a number of alternative reasons especially when you are doing SEO makeup for your website. If you used Meta tags correctly, it will greatly improve your chance for more visitors, higher ranking and increase sales.

Title Tag Optimization

Apart from using Meta Tags one should also take into consideration the Title Tag which is I believe is one of the most important part of SEO. The ideal length for tittle tags should be 60-65 characters and they should contain your main and targeted keywords. Most of the time it is your title tag that appears in search engine result snippet and it is the title that encourages users to click your website link. Therefore, it should be very attractive and should contain your targeted keywords in a composed and well understood sentence. Below is the example of Title Tag:

<title>Your Keywords here</title>

Go to Chapter 5: How to do Keyword Research

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