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Userguide » meta tags » #82. What are Meta Tags?
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What are Meta Tags?
Meta Tags have been one of the most basic elements of SEO. It is a must to know for every SEO practitioner. Are meta tags a factor in Google page rank? Is it important? What effect does it have in your site's SEO?
Meta tags are the words that are hidden in your code. People browsing your site will just not be able to see them. It is a way of hiding words in your webpages for search engines. The search engines still read them for it to have a simple, summarized idea of what your site is about and what exactly your keywords are.
Meta Title
The meta title is a title you give your webpage within the meta tags so that when a person sees a link to your page from the search engine it has a title to go with it. It is also visible at the top of the page tab in many web browsers and is saved as the title of a bookmark if a user saves it. Use a unique meta title for each webpage, even if they have similar content. You want to let the reader and search engines know that they are not simply duplicates.
Meta Description
Search engines say there is no direct ranking benefit from the meta description – they don’t use it in their ranking algorithm. There is an indirect benefit, though: Google uses click-through-rate (CTR) as a way of determining whether you’re a good result. If more people click your result then they move you up. This is why optimizing the meta description is so important, as is optimizing your titles. It should match the content. This is important. Google will find the meta descriptions that trick the visitor into clicking. It might even penalize the site that created the meta description. Next to that, it will probably increase bounce rate and is a bad idea just for that. You want the meta description to match the content on the page.
Meta Keywords
Meta Keywords are a specific type of meta tag that appear in the HTML code of a Web page and help tell search engines what the topic of the page is. Meta keywords are distinguished from regular keywords because they appear “behind the scenes,” in the source code of your page, rather than on the live, visible page itself
The most important thing to keep in mind when selecting or optimizing your meta keywords is to be sure that each keyword accurately reflects the content of your pages. It’s no good hauling in traffic with keyword phrases like “Low-Rate Mortgage” and “Find a Divorce Lawyer” if your site sells cooking supplies. One thing we know for sure about searchers is that they tend to pay for the services they went looking for, but they don’t care at all for irrelevant results. “Spatula” and “Casserole Dish” may not appear, at first glance. to be as sexy, but the customers who google exactly those items are far more likely to click through to your site. There’s no getting around the fact that meta keywords aren’t the big players they once were in SEO. Most search engines have realized that sites can easily “game” the meta keywords field with black-hat keyword stuffing, so meta keywords are no longer an important part of the Google ranking algorithm. (More attention ought to be paid to Title Tags and Meta Descriptions than to Meta Keywords.) But they can nonetheless still play a small but helpful part in communicating your message and attracting searchers to your site. In the competitive world of search engine marketing, every little bit helps