Are Meta Tags Important?
How to Make The Most of Your Meta Tags
Looking to jump to the top of search engines? Some people believe all you need to do is drop a few simple meta tags into your code and the rest is history. Truth be told, meta tags play a very minor role in determining search engine rankings. (Quite possibly no role at all depending on whom you talk to.) However this does not mean you should ignore your meta tags. Outlined below I recommend how to make the most out of some of the most popular meta tags.
<Description> Meta Tag
While meta tags are becoming of less value each day they are still important to include MSN and Yahoo!. Still play close attention to the <description> tag and often times the <description> tag will show up as the description of your site in search results.
<Keywords> Meta Tag
As with the <description> meta tag, MSN and Yahoo! also keep a close eye on the <keywords> meta tag. Do not keyword stuff the meta tag. Keep it around 8 keywords or keyword phrases. Also, make sure that your <keywords> meta tag only uses keywords from within the page. Using keywords not directly used on your page can hurt your rankings.
<Language> Meta Tag
Any website that is language specific should make practical use of the <language> meta tag. Although search engines are able to figure the language out themselves it is better that you give them a hand.
<Refresh> Meta Tag
The only suitable time to use the <refresh> meta tag is when you need to temporarily redirect visitors to another page. Leaving up a <refresh> meta tag as a permanent redirect is considered unethical and will lower your creditability. The best practice is to use a 301 redirect for a permanent redirect.
What Do You Think?
How do you feel about meta tags? Did I missing something important? Are there other meta tags you believe are of greater importance? I encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions within the comments. I would love to hear what you all have to say.
About the Author
Shay Howe is the man behind letscounthedays. He works as a professional web and user experience designer with a love for creating all that is interactive. Keep up with him on LinkedIn and feel free to follow him on Twitter.
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