Meta Tag Rubbish and The Useful Meta Tags

I had some useless meta tags on my static website Mydepictions, and recently went through the process of removing the redundant ones....one of those site maintenance jobs that just got put on the back burner!

These days only a few meta tags are supported by search engines. If you are Googling for information on meta tags, apart from weighing up if the information is from a reliable source, you should also try to make sure the information is recent. Old, out of date information on meta tags abounds on the net, as do some of the great urban meta tag myths! (Check out my previous post on meta tags.)

The most useful and important ones are the Description Meta Tag, the Robots No Index and Robots No Follow meta tags. The description meta tag is important and needs to be unique to the webpage. Search engines like Google will make good use of it in determining the uniqueness of a page. There is no need to include a Robots Index meta tag instructing search engine robots to index a webpage. Search engines will index a page by default. (Incidentally, there is no need to use a Robots No Index meta tag, where you can use a robots txt file to exclude content from search engine indexing. You may not be able to use/upload a robots text file with free web-hosting, for example.)

The No ODP meta tag may be of use, but only if you have your site listed in the ODP. Getting a listing on the directory usually involves a very long wait, possibly even a lifetime! If, however, you are lucky enough to be included, this tag stops Google pulling and using the description given to your site by one of the human editors from the ODP. Google has been known to use the ODP description rather than the description meta tag provided. So, with this tag, you can tell naughty Google not to.

Of very minor importance, and probably not worth the effort of writing if starting afresh, is the Keywords meta tag which still enjoys minimal support (only officially supported by Inktomi, and apparently by Teoma).

Thinking of including some old redundant meta tags "just in case"? Why? Apart from being a waste of time and effort, you are including junk that the search engine crawlers must first wade through before getting to the infinitely more important written page content. Keeping the <HEAD> section of your webpage free of clutter is good streamlining practice.

Feeling a bit lost? Check out : SearchEngineWatch:How To Use HTML Meta Tags

This is one of a number of free web design links found on Mydepictions Free Web Design Resources page.

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