Meta tags are located in the <head> of your web site and tell the web spiders how to index your site. The effective use of these tags (specifically the Title and Description Tags) is the simplest way to improve your sites listing in the search results.
Below is a list of popular meta tags along with recommended size restrictions:
The title of your web page should be as descriptive as possible for the search engines to index. The content of this page will appear at the top of the page above the address bar. The tag itself will look something like this:
< Title> content= “ Meta Tag Optimization tutorial”< /Title>
This tag should be limited to about 56 characters.
The description tag is used to give an explanation of the web page’s content and is often used by search engines in the search results as a description of what your page contains.
<meta name= “description” content= “Meta tags are the first step in getting your site indexed correctly” />
The Description tag should be limited to 200 characters.
Keywords should be a short listing (ideally less than 10) separated by commas, of words that are relevant to the page’s content. Although the keywords tag does not appear to have any effect on Google listings, other search engines still rely on this tag in their algorithms.
<meta name=”keywords” content= “meta tags, length, tutorial” />
Keywords tags should be limited to 256 characters (although keeping the list under 10 is a better heuristic)
The language attribute tells search engines the natural language of the web site, not the coding language (e.g. HTML). It is of most use when a website is written in multiple languages.
<meta http-equiv= “content - language” content= “en” />
Some popular language codes are : ar (Arabic), de (German), fr (French), en (English), es (Spanish)
This is used to give the web page a rating for the appropriateness for kids. The ratings are, general, mature, restricted, and 14 years.
<meta name= “rating” content=”general” />
This is used to identify the author of the web page.
<meta name = “author” content= “Tabooni” />
Identifies any copyright information there is for the web page.
<meta name= “copyright” content = “2010, Tabooni” />
This meta tag is used by responsible web masters to let the search engines know when the page expires and can be removed from the search engines directory. It can either be set to never, or a date in the format day, month, year, eg. 28 June 2003.
<meta name = “expires” content=”never” />
Tells the search engine who is the audience for the page. It can be set to; global, for everyone, local, for regional sites, and IU, for Internal Use.
<meta name= “distribution” content= “global” />
This Meta tag is used is used to tell the search engine whether you want the web page indexed or not.