What are Meta tags SEO?
Meta tags SEO are essential for improving overall search engine ranking. By definition, Meta tags are text snippets that are used to describe content of a page. Meta tags are only visible on the code of a page and not on the page itself. Meta tags SEO in simple terms are “content descriptors” through which a search engine can analyze what the web page is about and rank it accordingly.
What is Meta Data?
The term meta in meta tags is an umbrella term for metadata, which refers to the kind of data meta tags provide such as the kind of data on your webpage. Metadata describes information to describe the information provided on the webpage. For example, if you are looking for a specific book, you will type the name of the book or author’s name and on the basis of the information, you provided the book will appear. The information you provided will be the metadata of the book, and the pages that appear will have metatags depicting that information. Therefore, SEO metatags are added on the basis of search trends or keywords so that the Search Engine can recognize the information easily and rank the webpage accordingly. On any page, if you are looking to find out the SEO meta tags used on the page, you can right click on the page and you click on view page source, and you will see the HTML meta tags, which could be SEO meta tags or not.
What is Meta tag in SEO?
There is a lot of confusion in terms of SEO meta tags, because due to limited knowledge about what meta tags are, and how to use meta tags in SEO. In order to understand the function of meta tags SEO, it is important to understand the use and type of meta tags in SEO. There are four types of meta tags, and if you are looking to find out more about the use of SEO meta tags, then please read below for the types and how these are used:
Title tag is not visible on the page but on top of the browser, while metatag might not necessarily be same as the title of the page you are viewing, but search engines recognize the title tag as the title of your webpage. Title tag contains essential information that is necessary for SEO optimization of the page, and it is recommended to have a unique title tag relevant to each page of your webpage, in order for a better search engine ranking. If you want to optimize your web with SEO meta tags, then it is essential to have an accurate and precise title tag that accurately depicts the information provided on the webpage.
Meta Description tag
Meta description tags are not necessarily considered important in terms of SEO but the meta description tags are the blue links that appear under search engine results page, and determine whether on the basis of the description of the link a user will click on it or not. Therefore, in simple terms meta description tags can be defined as HTML tags that summarize the webpage briefly and accurately. Although, a meta description tag might not necessarily be considered as a meta tag for SEO, but it is essential for making a webpage clickable, and should be unique, precise and should make it easier for users to find the information they are looking for. For example, if someone is searching for “what are SEO meta tags”? A page with a Meta description tag of SEO Meta tags, or what are SEO meta tags are more likely to be opened then page that has a title tag in the description rather than the word description tag. Meta description tag should be unique, precise and generally between 140-160 characters.
Meta keywords tag
In 2017 in terms of meta tags for SEO, keyword incorporation into meta tags is deemed umimportant. However, for some experts it is still possible to optimize meta-description or a keyword so that the search engine can recognize the hidden metatag. However, the metakeyword tag generally needs to be a short full phrase, and it is not recommended to keep the meta keyword tag same as the title tag. It is a recognized fact that meta keywords are not important in SEO anymore, but no one known what part these are still playing in the Google ranking algorithm, but there is no harm in adding meta keywords tag for SEO in order to communicate a message your searchers are looking for.
Viewport is one of the most significant SEO metatags, because it specifies how the webpage could be optimized for mobile, and if the viewport is not specified then you’re probably going to have a poor mobile experience which will affect your ranking. The general SEO meta tag used for viewport is as following:
<meta name=viewport content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″>
In addition to the aforementioned four types of metatags, there are some other types of metatags that are used as SEO meta tags but are not really necessary to use in certain cases, to find out more about these tags please read below:
Social Meta tags
Social meta tags also known correctly as open graph tags are the tags that are used to control the content a social media page generates. Social meta tags are a way for you to control how your content appears on social media pages rather than the social media platform giving a title and description to your content itself. Social meta tags are not relevant to SEO meta tags for webpages, unless you’re promoting your webpages through your social media pages, then you should use tags that would describe your webpage.
Robots and Specific Bots
You don’t necessarily have to have a robot meta tag for SEO because robot meta tags or bots are just an indication to the search engine bots on what they should do with the page. Robot needs to be understood in terms of link following and indexing, and you only need to add a robot meta tag for SEO if you want the command of link follow or command of index to be changed into something else. The general html tag for removing index is as following:
meta name=”robots” content=”noindex” />
How to use SEO Meta tags?
There is no right or wrong way for using meta tags for SEO, but the general guidelines for all sort of meta tags is to keep them precise, accurate and descriptive. The metatags are hidden in the HTML and appear on the browser or clickable links, if the meta tags you are adding for SEO is just a combination of random keywords that you’re using, then the search engine might not really recognize the meta tags that you are adding. Therefore, always keep the meta tags for SEO short and concise preferably between 140-160 characters and make them accurate according to the contents of the webpage. Unlike the content of your page, your metatags can be based on real-searches, this does not mean that your content is not based on real searches, it just means that when you are adding a meta keyword tag to your webpage, you can probably spell it how it’s commonly misspelled during the real searches and it will not affect the quality of your content. However, recently due to the abuse of meta keywords in descriptions and tags to improve search engine ranking, Google has reduced the dependency of ranking on meta keywords and has changed the search engine algorithm, but despite the change there is no way of knowing how much the meta tags for SEO still matter for SEO.
What are Bad SEO Meta tags?
We have discussed what meta tags are and how they could affect the search engine ranking. Although in 2017 the importance of meta tags for SEO is reducing, and meta tags might not affect your search engine ranking as they used to but there are still some bad SEO meta tags that you should just stir clear of, just because they are not necessary and are a waste of time. Few of such tags are:
- Name of the Author: Generally an author meta tag is added to name the author of the page, but it’s not necessary on the page. For example, if you are writing a page about SEO, then adding a meta tag for SEO, or something describing what SEO would be better than adding a meta tag with the author name.
- AuRevisit- This meta tag is redundant for SEO or despite SEO, because it is a command to the bots to return to the page after a specific time period, but it is not used by any search engine anymore.
- Rating- The rating tag is used to describe maturity of the rating of content on the web page. But it’s better to just put different images in different categories then adding this tag.
- Expiry tag- Is added to notify the users of when the page was made and when it will expire. Instead of adding this tag you should just remove the page when it expires.
- Copyright: At some part of your page you are going to mention the copy right anyway, so why would you add it to your tag?
- Abstract: Not completely redundant and can be used sometimes only for educational purposes, the tag summarizes the content of the page.
- Distribution: Distribution tag refers to who can access the page and who cannot, if your page is not password protected than it’s visible to everyone anyway, so why would you need to add a tag?
- Generator: Again, why would your users or search engine want to know which program was used to create the page?
- Cache control: Use HTTP header to find out how often a page is cached in browser rather than a meta tag.
- Resource type: You don’t need to waste time on writing a meta description for your resource type because your DTD declaration is already doing that for you.
In the competitive work of SEO ranking every bit plays an important role, and SEO meta tags should be given equal importance specifically for rating web pages. Therefore, it is important to remember that when you are choosing meta keywords for your page the meta tags should be reflected accurately on the basis of your page content.