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  • Do You Understand Meta-Tags?

    Meta-tags are still important in the grand scheme of things, and you should make use of them as a tool not only for SEO, but UO (user optimization) as well.

    Many people think that meta-tags are too complicated, and that HTML is too hard. There are a few tags that are easy to implement, however, and nothing should stop you.

    Meta-tags can serve a variety of purposes: identify the creator of the page, describe what HTML specs the page follows, draw attention to keywords, highlight the page description, etc.

    You may have had users of your site tell you that they’re seeing an old version of your page even after an update. In cases like these, their browser is probably caching the page. Now, you can tell them to clear their cache every time they visit you (annoying), or you can simply use meta-tags to tell the browser not to cache files, and/or when to request a newer version of the page.

    You can also order the browser to reload the page – or a new one – after a set number of seconds, which provides a workaround – tell the browser visiting to instantly reload an updated url, and you solve a problem.

    You can also use meta-tags to set cookies on your visitor’s browser, so they are recognized when they return – this helps you figure out how many unique visitors vs repeat visitors you have to your site.

    You can also use meta-tags to force links in your text to open in a new window- good practice, since it eliminates bounce and keeps visitors at your site.

    Keyword and description attributes used to be of huge importance – some webmasters now feel they are obsolete, but in case you are trying to optimize for multiple search engines besides the almighty Google, it’s not that hard to still use these.

    I’ll give a description here, since this is arguably one of the most used meta-tags:

    < META NAME  = “keywords” CONTENT = “seo, sem, content, keywords, pay per click” > (note, you can’t spam your keywords multiple time – it does no good at all.)

    The description might read:

    < META NAME = “description” CONTENT = “This page is about seo, sem, content, keywords and pay per click techniques.”  >

    Finally some of the most important tags tell search engines to ignore stuff. This could be links you don’t want them to follow, content you don’t want indexed on the web, etc.

    < META NAME = “robots” CONTENT = ” noindex” > tells search engine spiders not to index this page, but will let them follow links and index other pages related to that page.

    < META NAME = “robots” CONTENT = ” nofollow” >allows the page itself to be indexed, but the links leading away from it will not followed.

    All meta-tags should always be placed in the head of the HTML document between the actual tags, before the BODY tag.If you have framed pages, this is very important – not including the meta-tags could lose you potential hits.

    Hopefully you know now how important meta-tags can be, and are ready to start using them on your pages.

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