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The meta tags (also called: meta tags) are used when creating pages in HTML or XHTML. These tags can accurately describe the content of a web portal. This element allows you to transmit structured metadata through the web page. The metadata may vary depending on the description of the desired attributes. Meta tags can be used to describe a page in more detail.

A meta element can be used to mimic the HTTP solution of a header or to anchor additional meta information in the HTML document, such as the author of a text with an author tag, or the way characters will be displayed by means of the content type tag.

In HTML5 there are a total of five valid attributes which are available for the meta tag: charset, http-equiv, name, schema, and content. The http-equiv is used to mimic the HTTP header solution.

Meta tags can be declared in the header of the HTML or XHTML document.



Meta tags are generally encoded in the header of an HTML document. The following example shows a meta tag declared with the description attributes, keywords and the contents with the respective description:


The search engine receives the description of this page: «This is the description. It should be about 155 characters. '

Another example is the content of the attribute with the value refresh and the content of the attribute with the value in seconds. It would look like the following:


The meta tag passes the information to the browser, which will reload the current page every 100 seconds.

Meta tag attributes relevant to search engines

Meta tags provide valuable information about the web page, mainly to help search engines rank them correctly. For users, Meta-tags are normally not visible, even though the description and title may be visible to the user in the SERPs.

In the 1990s, search engine technology was not as advanced as it is today. At that time, search engines were more reliant on meta information and this was considered one of the most influential ranking factors. At the time, many webmasters were easily able to deliberately influence or even manipulate search results using meta tags.

Due to the continuous development of search engines, meta tags are losing more and more relevance. Regardless, some of the meta tags are still important and should not be neglected (such as the robots tag, the title tag).

The value of the title in the content of the attribute

The meta title tag is controversial. It has the same function as the title tag. This is why experts disagree whether it is simply relevant to search engine optimization. Some are convinced that it is beneficial to use them, while others dispute it. In the previous example, the following heading was specified:

"SEO OnPage"

In practice, the Meta title tag will match the title of the HTML document. Even though the meta tag is in fact superfluous, the title is a relevant element for the positioning of a web portal, which at the same time is shown in the SERPs.

The value of the description in the content of the attribute


In this example, the search engine would see the following page description:

"You are on the site and this description should be about 155 characters long." Most search engines support attribute description like Bing. Google, however, will only access the meta tag data if the information is requested through the page.

The attribute description provides an accurate description of the contents of the web portal. This allows web authors to describe content more precisely. The description will appear frequently, but not always, in the search results, therefore, it is a factor that influences the fact that a page is clicked or not. The length of time this description can last is not specified, but it is recommended not to exceed 175 characters.

Tags named with the Meta Description are important items to increase CTR in search results. Along with the title, they can be used for featured snippets.

The value of the keywords in the attribute content

As shown above, you can tell the search engine which words are relevant to the content. The keywords attribute became very popular in 1995. A deciding factor for this was the old Infoseek and AltaVista search engines.

Its popularity grew so rapidly that this attribute was used very commonly. But in late 1997 it became clear that meta tag keywords could skew the search and it became obvious to search engine operators that this needed to be corrected. Thus, the priority of the attribute's keywords dropped abruptly in the search engine algorithm. By 2009, the major search engines had dropped support for attribute keywords. Regardless, in September 2012, Google announced that meta tag keywords would once again be relevant to news publishers.[1] . Unlike non-relevant meta tag keywords, new keywords are now of importance to search engines.

The language value in the attribute content

The "language" attribute tells the search engine in which language the page is written (for example, French, Spanish or German). Usually the language is specified as IETF language tag (ie "de" for German or "fr-ca" for French in Quebec). This is of particular interest to operators of web pages, which are written in several languages. Using the language tag, you can tell the search engine which languages are used on which pages.

The robots value in the attribute content


The robots attribute is compatible with the corresponding search engines. The tag tells search engine crawlers (or spiders) what information should and what information should not be taken into account. In the example above, search engine crawlers are instructed not to follow links on the page. To remove the web from the search engine index, you can add the value nofollow, noindex, so that this page does not appear in the search engine results. Other useful values would be noarchive and nosnipped, where the first tells the search engine not to save the page to the archive and the second specifies not to list the page in search results. Another way to block the search engine crawler or reject an action is robots.txt.


The "refresh" attribute can not only be used to refresh the page, but also to direct visitors to another page.

<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”10;url=” >

In this example, the page visitors will be redirected to the Onpage site after 10 seconds. Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox browsers have the option to disable redirection by means of a meta tag. As some browsers have problems with the back button in this type of redirection, it is hardly used.


The fields of application of meta tags are multiple and are a good way to provide Additional Information for search engines. The meta tags mentioned here are only a small part of the total range. Unfortunately, its influence on the search engine algorithm has been continually downgraded. At this point, they are no longer as crucial to the success of a page as they used to be. At this time, the Meta-Description, as well as the title of a website (often incorrectly called meta-Tag) are important for search engine optimization.

To provide search engines with additional information, or to take full advantage of rich snippets, it might be worth using Markups in source code or with JSON-LD instead of meta tags.

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