SEO glossary provides definitions for the common SEO META tags that are found within the opening HEAD tag and closing HEAD tag of web pages:
- Page title tags
- META description tags
- META keywords tags
- META Robots tags
META Tags for SEO
META tags are a great way for webmasters to provide search engines with information about their sites. META tags can be used to provide information to all sorts of clients, and each system processes only the META tags they understand and ignores the rest.
On-page search engine optimization (SEO) involves optimizing your web pages’ META tags. The updated Google SEO beginners guide offers the best practices to optimize META tags for SEO.
Page Title META Tag
Page title tags affect Google’s, Yahoo’s and Bing’s search algorithms and your search results’ click through rate (CTR).
- Target Several Keywords without Stuffing Your Page Title – A web page should be triggered by several different keyword search queries and rank.
- Use Symbols to Make Page Title Stand Out in SERPs – Improve the click through rate (CTR) of your web pages’ search results.
- Changing Your Site’s Title and Description in Search Results – Google officially explains how to create good page titles and META descriptions, and how to prevent DMOZ data from appearing in search results.
- Is Your Search Result Sexy? – Know the optimal length of your title tag.
META Description Tag
META descriptions (snippets) are for users to understand what your website offers, and affect your search results’ click through rate (CTR).
- Improve Snippets with a Meta Description Makeover – Google says the quality of your META description affects the click through rate (CTR) of your web page’s search results.
- Optimizing the Page Search Results Snippet: On-Page Tactics – Keywords optimized page titles and SEO optimized META descriptions can improve CTR.
- Two New Improvements to Google Results Pages – Google returns search results in longer description snippets for long search queries.
- Longer Snippets at Google Means? – Experiment with Google’s longer description snippets.
- Introducing Rich Snippets – Show more information in search results with Google’s Rich Snippets.
- Google Webmaster Tools offers reports of your site on duplicate META descriptions, long META descriptions, missing title tags, duplicate title tags, long title tags, and non-informative title tags as HTML suggestions.
META Keywords Tag
Histories and Google’s official confirmation on META keywords tags:
- Google Does Not Use the Keywords Meta Tag in Web Ranking – Google officially confirms META keywords do not affect search ranking of your web pages.
- Meta Keywords Tag 101: How to Legally Hide Words on Your Pages for Search Engines – Keyword stuffing can get your web pages banned from showing up on search engines’ SERP, and relying on META keywords to rank your web pages comes to an end.
META Robots Tag
Use META robots tags to control how search engine bots (e.g. GoogleBot, Baiduspider, Bing’s MSNBot, Yahoo’s Slurp) access your sites.
- Using the Robots Meta Tag – Tell the search engines to index, noindex, follow or nofollow your web pages with
NOFOLLOWand how your search results are to appear in SERP with
- Robots Exclusion Protocol: Now with Even More Flexibility – Advanced use of META robots tags with X-Robots-Tag
- What are the Meta Tags NOODP and NOYDIR Used for in SEO? – SEO Boy explains
NOYDIRattributes in META robots tags.
Use instructions in Robots.txt when META robots tags alone are not enough.
- Controlling how search engines access and index your website – Google explains robots.txt is the industry standard when you are to control how search engines access/index your websites.
- Robotstxt.org FAQ – What are bots, spiders, crawlers? How do robots index websites? How can you block/exclude robots from crawling/indexing websites or web pages?
- Search Engine Robots Database (List) – Download the list of all search engine robots.
- Baidu Robots.txt – Use Robots.txt to block Baidu spider.
SEO Tools for META Tags
Tools to help you with creating and optimizing META tags:
- SEO Mofo’s Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool – Test how your page titles and META descriptions may appear on Google’s SERP.
- Use Excel to Plan Meta Tags, Titles and URLs for SEO – Create and check your META tags using Excel before going online.
On-page SEO Checklist
Double check your optimized META tags.