What are Website Meta Tags?

Website meta tags can be found in the <head> section of a website’s backend coding. If you’ve dabbled with HTML at all, you may have seen some of these meta tags before. Here’s a few examples to give you an idea:

<title>Merry Christmas</title>
<meta name=”description” content=”Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”>
<meta name=”keywords” content=”merry christmas, happy new year, holidays”>

Meta tags not only describe what a web page is about, but they can also serve other purposes. As you can see in the example above, there are different types of meta data and each one is pretty self-explanatory. The “title” meta tag should be the title of the page in a few words. The “description” meta name tag should be the summary of what the page is about in a couple of sentences. The “keywords” meta name tag should include keywords that describe the page, separated by commas.

Currently, there are over 30 different meta tag elements. However, most meta tags are optional and not necessary for your site to function properly.

In the early days of the Internet, meta tags were essential because it was what search engines relied on to help categorize and determine what a site was about. And in those early days, meta tags were probably the biggest factor in how websites were ranked. Meta tags were so important that most early search engines were called meta search engines.

As you can imagine, this “primitive” search engine technology, made it easy for spammers to take advantage of meta tags and manipulate search engine rankings. Spammers were keyword stuffing their meta tags with all types of keywords just so they could get better rankings.

Thanks to these spammers, search engines have had to adapt and become smarter. We’ve come a long way since the meta search engine, and today, search engines like Google and Bing pay little attention to meta tag data. In fact, according to Google, the meta title tag is the only one that helps in terms of search engine rankings.

Want to generate head meta tags for your site? Check out this free tool: Meta Tag Generator

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