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Meta Tags - which are important, useful, possibly useful or extraneous
'Re-Visit After' and 'Charset' especially

 12:16 pm on Jan 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

I know views differ over whether these are now needed or
not, but if they were can anyone please let me know what setting you have for the bit below :

<meta name="Revisit-After" content=" ">

And also, if your content was only in English, what would your character set be?



 2:14 pm on Jan 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Robots come and go when ever they like to. I am pretty sure (=100%) that "Revisit-After" meta tag has no value at all in SEO. It doesn't hurt to put it there though.


 4:04 pm on Jan 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree with Risto, it is likely ignored by most spiders today. Probably because everyone started using it an glutted their servers.


 4:09 pm on Jan 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't use it. I prefer to be spidered every day by certain search engines. :)


 4:12 pm on Jan 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

if your content was only in English, what would your character set be

Latin-1, which should be defined like this

<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1">
<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en">

The content language should be changed to reflect which type of English you're talking about. Is it British English, American English, or something else?

"en" means English in general, without specifying it further.
"en-GB" means British English
"en-US" means American English


 4:46 pm on Jan 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks for that, I'm seeing a heck of a lot of top ranking sites that are not using either of these two tags - are they needed?


 1:07 am on Jan 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Recommended... unless your Web server spits out those headers for you :)


 3:27 am on Jan 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Also see [webmasterworld.com...]


 9:09 am on Jan 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Needed? No, because normally these are the default settings anyway.

But definately advisable as :

1) This is not always the default charachter set in a browser and if none is specified then it will try and use the default.

2) It helps search engines to more easily decided what language your page is in, if you don't have these tags then they have to approximate it through you're text, which is something the get wrong more times than you would imagine. Just try doing a google search of only english language sites and you'll see what i mean here.


 9:23 am on Jan 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks DrDoc for that - I have often wondered what character set to use, and I didnt know about the type of english tag. Cheers.


 1:26 pm on Jan 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

the character set declaration is definately needed if you want a site that is validated to a specific standard. Validation will automatically report an error if it is not in place.

<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1">


 9:28 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

For the language and country information, the first two letters come from the list in ISO 639 and the last two letters come from the list in the ISO 3166 standard.


The order of the tags isn't too important, but I would do something like this (encoding first, SE stuff next, styles and javascript last):

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">


<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en-gb">
<meta http-equiv="imagetoolbar" content="no">

<title> The Title of the Page </title>
<meta name="Description" content="
Description Goes Here ">
<meta name="Keywords" content="
Keyword List Goes Here ">

<meta name="Generator" content="WordPad">
<meta name="Date" content="2003-07-30">
<meta name="Author" content="
Author Details .">

<meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE">
<meta name="robots" content="index,follow">

<meta http-equiv="Content-Style-Type" content="text/css">
<style type="text/css"> @import url(
stylemain.css); </style>

<script type="text/javascript" src="script.js"></script>



The Generator, Date, and Author information isn't important for search engines, but can be useful for document version control when multiple people edit the pages, especially for companies.

The encoding information ought to go first, I guess, as I have heard that there are some issues with browsers designed for the far-East in that the page <title> at the top of the browser window may not display correctly if it is located before the encoding information for the page in the coding.


 10:13 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

What are the functions of these?
<meta http-equiv="imagetoolbar" content="no">
<meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE">

I've seen them a lot but have no idea what they do.



 5:47 am on Jan 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

<meta http-equiv="imagetoolbar" content="no">

IE6 has an image toolbar, that when a user scrols over a picture it will ask if you want to save it. This turns off the image toolbar for IE6 users. Kind of a way to reduce image theft a little.


 12:23 pm on Jan 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en">

Any difference to <html lang="EN">? Generally I like smaller things, therefore skipping most meta tags like expires, audience, revisit-after, siteinfo, ... Gives me better content to html ratio.


 1:44 pm on Jan 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

It looks like M$ abandoned Smart Tags [news.com.com] in the final release - or at least disabled it - so you _shouldn't_ have to worry about that META tag.


 9:56 pm on Jan 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

The code is still in one version of Office as released, but is dormant at the moment though.

However, I guess that it would be quite easy for M$ to enable that feature again with just a few extra lines in a service pack or security fix.


 6:41 am on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

unless your Web server spits out those headers for you

you can define the character set in Apache by placing something like the following in your .htaccess file

AddCharset ISO-8859-1 .html

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