The Importance of Meta Tags

By September 22, 2008 No Comments

In this next installment of the fine points of blogging, I would like to discuss the nature and function of meta tagging. While this is more for developers and webmasters, bloggers should be aware of the meta components of websites that help increase one’s online presence.

Meta Tags 101
As I did with key words, let me express the importance of meta tagging when it comes to your blogs and your website in general. Meta Tags were originally designed to provide webmasters with a way to help search engines know what their site offers and is about. This in turn helped the search engines decide how to rank the sites when results appear on a search page.

Meta tags are information inserted into the “head” area of a web pages. Other than the title tag, information in the head area of a web pages is not seen by those viewing pages inside browsers. Instead, meta information in this area is used to communicate information that a human visitor may not be concerned with. Meta tags, for example, can tell a browser what “character set” to use or whether a web page has self-rated itself when it comes to adult content—so, meta tags will tell the search engine that has filters whether or not to show the page.

As the competition increased before Web 2.0, webmasters started manipulating this tool through spamming of keywords. The result: most search engines withdrew their support to Meta keywords Tag, which included Lycos and AltaVista. Once considered as one of the most reliable and important tools, Meta Tags are now often abused. It is vital, then, that your web site is banned from indexing if this abuse happens, because this does not help any company’s cause.

The Title Tag
The Title Tag is an HTML code that shows the words that appear at the top title bar of the browser. The Title Tag is not displayed anywhere else on the page. It is these words or phrases that appear as the title page in the hyperlink listings on the search engine results.

The users in-turn click on this hyperlink to go to the website from Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The significance of the Title Tag is evident as all search engines use the Title Tag to gather information about a site.

What does this mean when it comes o blogging? Choose your title wisely; your blog title should be informative and concise.

Meta Description Tag
This is an HTML code that allows one to give a short and concise summary of a web page’s content. The words placed in this Meta Tag are often used in the SERP, just below the Title Tag as a brief description of the page. In the Search Engine Results Pages, after reading the title of the page, a user goes through the description of the page and decides whether she wants to go to the site or not. It is ideal that the Meta Description Tag is nicely composed, describing what a company is offering, while enticing the user to click on the listing.

Meta Robots Tag
The Meta Robots Tag gives one the ability to specify whether search engines should index that page or follow the links appearing on that page.

The commands used under Meta Robots Tag are:

Index: allows the spider to index that page.

Noindex: instructs the spider not to index the page.

Follow: instructs the spider to follow the links from that page and index them.

Nofollow: instructs the spider not to follow links from that page for indexing.

If you have not specified any Meta Robots Tag on a page, by default, the spider bots understand that the page and all the links appearing on that page are open for indexing. It
makes more sense to use this Meta Tag in case you don’t want certain parts of your web page indexed.

Thus, when blogging, meta tags are as important as key words. Using both only increases your online presence and brings more people and potential customers to your blog, your product, and your services.

We see that blogging is just not about writing and posting. Other marketing factors must be taken into consideration. For maximum results, we must use all the tools at our disposal.

Call to Action

Sound confusing? It doesn’t have to. You can always hire the team at Ninthlink to take care of these matters for you. Why worry when there are experts out there at your disposal? Feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you need help in the wide and wonderful world of the blog.

Next up—SEO and blogging.

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