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What Are Meta Tags?

Meta tags don't affect what's on webpages, their job is to help search engines and browsers gather information about the webpages. Meta tags can also give instructions such as how often search engines should crawl the page or tell the browser to redirect the viewer automatically to another url.

All meta tags are single tags and all meta tags are placed between the <head> </head> tags of each webpage. There are a ton of meta tags, most of which don't serve any useful purpose, this article will discuss the two most often used ones.

Description and Keywords
The meta description and meta keywords tags are the two most widely used meta tags. The meta description tag contains a description of what the webpage is about. It is probably the most useful of the meta tags because it lets you control the description that appears in search engine results. Without it search engines will randomly pick words from the content of webpages and much of the time the resulting description is a bunch of jumbled words put together.

This is what a meta description tag looks like:

<meta name="description" content="Here goes your description">

The name attribute specifies what type of meta tag it is, the content attribute is where you enter a description of what your webpage is about.

The meta keywords tag contains words and phrases that are relevant to the webpage. It is suppose to help search engines find your website when people do a search, but because of spamming many search engines now ignore this tag. Still most websites use it... just in case.

Here's what a meta keywords tag looks like:

<meta name="keywords" content="home repair, renovations, plumbing">

Use as many keywords and phrases as you can think of that are relevant to your webpage's content but do not repeat the same words too many times. Separate each keyword and phrase with a comma.

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Reprinted with permission from
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