What are meta tags?

The Meta tag in html is not a required tag when you're creating your web pages. The meta tag is used by search engines to allow them to more accurately list your site in their indexes. If you simply produce your home page and register the URL with a search engine, or a number of search engines, their spider programmes will eventually visit your site to index it. Each of the search engines does this slightly different. Altavista for example will grab everything in your document and index it, but will only show the first 250 characters in the description. Consequently, if your site included say; 'Thanks to:....' right at the beginning, this is what Altavista would show in it's description, and it wouldn't give the viewer any idea of what your site actually covered. Of course, not all search engines work this way, I'd suggest you ferret around a little bit to see exactly how the popular engines work, and certainly the major search engines such as Altavista, Lycos, Google, Infoseek and Excite. It therefore makes sense to ensure that your opening paragraph is carefully written to ensure it accurately reflects what your site covers. You also may be able to exert a certain amount of control over how your site is indexed by the use of the meta tag. (I should however point out that not all search engines will use this tag - Altavista does, but Excite doesn't, for example. It's not a total cure-all therefore, but you won't miss out by putting the tag in, and it may well work well in some cases.

We have a FREE Meta Tag Generator Form available for you to use, to create a set of meta tags for your web pages.

Don't spam the search engines

People are always trying to get their pages high-ranked by cheating and adding in hundreds of repeated keywords and words that don't pertain to the content of their page. This is bad. The people who come to your page expecting one thing only to get another are just going to be upset that you tricked them and will leave. Apart from that, search engines are getting much better at seeing this happening and banning the pages they find trying to trick them.