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Other not so common meta tags
revisit-after, document-classification, etc..
Michael Weir




msg:817184
 4:04 pm on Oct 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have a client that I'm doing SEO for, but he's very adamant about adding a lot of smaller details that I'm sure aren't even worth mentioning. He seems like the sort of person who's just starting to learn about SEO and is picking up techniques both old and new. I got an email today and he want's me to include the following into the head code:

<meta name="revisit-after" content="15 days" />
<meta name="document-classification" content="Health" />
<meta name="document-rating" content="General" />

Are these meta tags worthwhile? I assume they won't help nor hinder, but what's the purpose of them?

Thx in advance WW.

Mike

 

storevalley




msg:817185
 4:39 pm on Oct 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

None of thes tags currently seem to have any importance to the SEO process as far as I can see.

You might argue that document-classification could be used in the future to help with (the much fabled) content relevance. But this would be a pretty obvious target for SE spammers (much like META KEYWORDS), so I can't see any potential usefulness lasting.

georgeek




msg:817186
 4:42 pm on Oct 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

You are right they wont help or hinder. Because it takes only a few seconds to put them in and the client wants them give in and choose a better battle ground later when he comes up with another idea.

Michael Weir




msg:817187
 5:03 pm on Oct 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

alright thanks!

mike

Monus




msg:817188
 5:06 pm on Oct 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thit googleguy not say that google is using this tag?
<meta name="revisit-after" content="15 days" />

Mohamed_E




msg:817189
 5:09 pm on Oct 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

<meta name="document-rating" content="General" />

This one is potentially dangerous if it misleads your client into believing that he has meaningfully labelled his site as "safe".

I believe that the only meaningful way to claim "safe" content is through PICS [w3.org], the Platform for Internet Content Selection.

Apart from that minor caveat I agree with the other posters, it is far more time efficient to put those stoopid tags in than to attempt to educate the client.

Hmm ...

The last sentence was perhaps written too hastily. In the long run the best client is the educated client. Alas, nothing is simple ...

BlueSky




msg:817190
 5:12 pm on Oct 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

The top one is to tell bots how frequent to visit. I don't know how well they abide by that. I don't use it. The second might be useful for small or internal directories. Not sure how wide-spread that one is even used.

These two though will help get your site around different filters:

<meta name="document-type" content="Public" />
<meta name="document-rating" content="General" />

I added these at the request of some visitors because their schools and companies filter systems looked for these tags. Any site without them, they couldn't visit during class or work.

Mohamed_E




msg:817191
 5:21 pm on Oct 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

<meta name="document-type" content="Public" />
<meta name="document-rating" content="General" />

I added these at the request of some visitors because their schools and companies filter systems looked for these tags. Any site without them, they couldn't visit during class or work.

Very interesting, BlueSky! I always believed that PICS was the only meaningful way to label a site (or rather, a page).

Can anyone confirm that there are actual filters that use these tags?

BlueSky




msg:817192
 6:01 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

They didn't say which filter(s), and sorry I didn't think of asking at the time. According to them, it's a selectable setting which their schools/companies chose to use. The filters may also come PICS equipped as well but I cannot tell you for sure.

PICS actually makes the simple rating metatag obsolete and is way more meaningful, but I think PICS is still primarily used today by sites geared for young children. Mine has technical material for a much older audience. I'm guessing but maybe their orgs chose to filter on other tags which might be more widely used outside young kids sites, or perhaps most aren't using any rating tags like I wasn't and it's easier to tell sites to add these.

The people who wrote were the ones who told me which tags to add. After I did, they were happy. They were visiting anyway but wanted to do so during a different part of the day.

Go2




msg:817193
 12:00 pm on Oct 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

<meta name="revisit-after" content="15 days" />

NetInsert is planning to support this tag in the upcoming release of the web directory engine. My question is what the proper name of this tag should be? I have seen at least one alternative version:

<meta name="revisit" content="15 days" />

(If both versions are equally valid, is the more succinct "revisit" a better name?)

Is there any reference available on the definition of this tag?

mbauser2




msg:817194
 5:15 am on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

SearchBC takes credit for "Revisit": [vancouver-webpages.com...]

I've never found an original reference (as it were) for "Revisit-After". I'm leaning towards the theory that it's an accidental corruption of "Revisit", and was never actually implemented.

Go2




msg:817195
 11:51 am on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ok, thanks for the reference. A veritable gold mine of meta tags and their origin.

"Revisit" seems to be the preferred notation, but "Revisit-After" should also be supported.

Thanks again for the heads up.

nakulgoyal




msg:817196
 2:48 pm on Nov 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

well, what are the supported numbers for the revisit tag / what if someone puts 1 day. That does not mean ESSENTIALLY that the Search Engine Bots will stay on that website for ever. Even goto bed at that website?

Go2




msg:817197
 7:41 am on Nov 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

well, what are the supported numbers for the revisit tag

Good question. From what I understand the definition and best practices of the revisit tag is still very much in the making. Maybe we can set the standard and agree on some basic definitions here?

For example, should both of these formats be valid:

<meta name="revisit" content="15 days" />
<meta name="revisit" content="15" />

since the time unit by default is always in days. Ok?

Should another time unit be allowed? Would for example a smaller time unit be meaningful? What about a time unit in weeks or months? If a different time unit is allowed, what about the notation for the time unit, should it not be based on some ISO date format specification?

Another question is back to the format, should any of the following be a valid syntax:

<meta name="revisit" content="15-days" />
<meta name="revisit" content="days 15" />

By default, it is up to each individual search engine or web directory engine to support this tag. Regarding the range of values supported I know that NetInsert supports values between 4 to 31 days.

I find these questions very interesting since I think that the revisit tag may become a very significant tag in a future full of internet bots.

onedumbear




msg:817198
 9:06 am on Nov 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

i take my revisit tag very seriously, here's what i use in many of my websites...
<META name="spider visiting hours" content="if your a good bot you can come by once a day, but you gotta be good!">
This seems to work pretty good for me. The sites i have this tag on are given fresh tags almost daily in google and show "refreshed in the past 48 hrs" very often for av (not that anyone uses av). Most are updated every couple days in ink as well. I have no paid listings.

jpalmer




msg:817199
 2:36 am on Nov 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Gidday Folks

yes, it's one of the "original" meta tags.

I use it on pages like "whats new" and the home page, where I update the content infrequently and want the page indexed but I can't be bothered to resubmit (I'm a manual submission fan) because it's not a major update or revamp, so I usually use 15, 20, 30, 45 and 60 day intervals, based on the historical update frequency of the page.

I figure if the (few remaining true) spiders do recognise it and obey it, great, reduces web bandwidth and saves us all time and resources.

But I've never seen a definitive "yes" they do, or "no" they don't answer as to whether spiders actually pay attention to it.

I hope we don't because I guess if we do ever find out for sure, then it'll be abused to the point of uselessness like a lot of other previously useful features have been.

just my 2cw.

>The sites i have this tag on are given fresh tags almost daily in google and show "refreshed in the past 48 hrs"

Hey onedumbear, I *hope* that's because the pages in question *are* updated daily ;-)

Cheers and Hooroo
JP

pageoneresults




msg:817200
 2:48 am on Nov 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

But I've never seen a definitive "yes" they do, or "no" they don't answer as to whether spiders actually pay attention to it.

I think after numerous testing on the entire gamut of metadata elements, we can safely say that the revisit tag is of no relevance to any major spidering search engines.

I don't think the tag ever had any relevance in SEO. It can be used for an internal search engine such as one that you might find on an Intranet. But, there is no way that any major player is going to allow you to dictate when their spider stops by, no way!

If someone can present absolute proof that the revisit tag has relevance, I'll take back everything I've said. Seriously though, the tag is of no benefit commercially.

jpalmer




msg:817201
 6:48 am on Nov 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Gidday pageoneresults

>But, there is no way that any major player is going to allow you to dictate when their spider stops by, no way!

Interesting, I've always considered the revisit tag a suggestion, not a demand.

What if (for example) a search engine *decides* to revisit my page every day (which a couple of them are doing right now), but I have a "revisit after 20 days" request on it.

I don't think I'm demanding they revisit every 20 days, I'm simply providing them with information about *my* refresh rate and the importance I attach to that content, which they are then free to determine the relevance of, using their algo.s, as they see fit.

Nope ... for me a "revisit after" meta request in the page is like a "why don't you stop by and visit me for tea and bikkies next week?" when you run into an old friend on the street. ;-)

I value it enough to include it where I think it might be useful. How others choose to use or ignore it is up to them. 'Nuff said.

<addendum> If you see no benefit "commercially", it may well be true for you, but if like me, you have 100's of pages of essentially "not for profit" content, which SEs might find useful to include in their index, then a "revisit" tag maybe a very useful beast. </addendum>

Hooroo
JP

onedumbear




msg:817202
 7:25 am on Nov 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

im with pageoneresults
and imo in can provide proof that the revisit tag is completely ignored. I have tried revisit tags rangeing from 2 days to 20. I get pages refreshed in google, ink, and av, on a daily basis, or every other day at least. It makes no difference what my meta says and i was serious when i said that i currently use a meta revist tag on some of my pages that reads something like "if youre a good little bot, you can come by once a day". I have a strange sense of humor, it get's me through life.
By the way... here's my brainfart for the day. I think it was forest gump that said "life is like a box of google's, you never know what youre gonna get". sorry, it was corny but i could'nt help myself in light of recent google events.
best wishes

mbauser2




msg:817203
 7:29 am on Nov 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I had to search a bit to find the original syntax for "Revisit" [vancouver-webpages.com]. It's an integer followed by one blank space and one of the words "days", "weeks", or "months". (Which would look a little weird if you set the interval to "1 days", but that's life.)

Go2




msg:817204
 8:53 am on Nov 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Interesting, I've always considered the revisit tag a suggestion, not a demand.

I concur. This is how the revisit tag should be perceived. It is in fact the same with all other meta tags, in fact the entire content of a web page. There are no contractual relationships between elements in the html source code and the subsequent representation of the web page in search or web directory engine. If that would be the case, a web page would rank in the exact same position for a keyword in all engines. Something which is obviously not true.

It is therefore not possible to make a general statement such as:

and imo in can provide proof that the revisit tag is completely ignored

since it is up to each individual engine to interpret the information in a web page in their own way. I also know for a fact of search and web directory engines that do obey the value in the revisit tag.

It's an integer followed by one blank space and one of the words "days", "weeks", or "months"

Thanks for the reference on the format. The main problem I have with this format is that it is not general and that it is not based on an ISO specification. I did some further research and was able to dig out an attempt to in fact standardize the format of time periods in ISO 8601 [hydracen.com] (go to end of document, chapter Time Periods). I quote:

Periods of Time, no Specific Start or End
This is the only format for which variable width values are used. The value starts with "P", and is followed by a list of periods, each appended by a single letter designator: "Y" for years, "M" for months, "D" for days, "W" for weeks, "H" for hours, "M" for minutes, and "S" for seconds. Time components must be preceded by the "T" character. Examples:
* P18Y9M4DT11H9M8S (18 years, 9 months, 4 days, 11 hours, 9 minutes and 8 seconds.
* P2W (2 weeks).

No extended representation is defined for this format.
Alternatively, if required, a period of time may be expressed using the format specified for points in time, provided the values do not exceed 12 months, 30 days, 24 hours, 60 minutes, and 60 seconds. Weeks should not be used.

This format would allow for the specification of an arbitrary revisit time interval and could be a starting point for a discussion on how to define a more generalized 2nd generation revisit tag. A discussion that we could start here just as well as in any other forum or organization.

onedumbear




msg:817205
 5:02 pm on Nov 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

>I also know for a fact of search and web directory engines that do obey the value in the revisit tag
so do i, but i don't know anybody who uses these engines and directories.

>It is therefore not possible to make a general statement such as....

I did'nt think that statment was general at all, and when you couple it to the specific references of google,ink, & av., it seemed specific enough for me.

>would allow for the specification of an arbitrary revisit time interval and could be a starting point for a discussion on how to define a more generalized 2nd generation revisit tag. A discussion that we could start here just as well as in any other forum or organization

sounds like a good idea and i think you have a great point here.

mbauser2




msg:817206
 6:15 am on Nov 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

This format would allow for the specification of an arbitrary revisit time interval and could be a starting point for a discussion on how to define a more generalized 2nd generation revisit tag. A discussion that we could start here just as well as in any other forum or organization

Just don't call it "Revisit". Breaking somebody else's established tag is an incredibly tacky thing to do. (And incredibly pointless, if you don't have an engine to implement it.)

lbobke




msg:817207
 8:49 am on Nov 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Could "revisit" actually decrease the number of times a site gets revisited?
Let's assume a search engine has it's own algorithm for determining visit frequency (like Google).
Now it "looks" at the Meta tags and finds that it should come back only in 15 days...

I would assume that it's the "well-behaved" bots that would follow such a tag, - SPAMbots would ignore it anyway...

So, wouldn't it be better to leave the revisit tag out and let the bots determine the optimum frequenvy for themselves?

Laurenz

Go2




msg:817208
 9:43 am on Nov 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Breaking somebody else's established tag is an incredibly tacky thing to do.

Ok, let's not do that then. Since the revisit tag is a quite well known tag after all I think it would be advantageous to keep the word "revisit" in some form in a more generalized tag. I have done a survey of the use of the meta tag for "revisit" or "revisit-after" and found that about 30% of the web pages used this tag. It is a surprisingly high number even though the web pages in the survey were mostly made by early adopters and relatively trigger happy webmasters.

For a recommended revisit interval of 15 days the following alternative meta names is proposed. The value of the meta content must be a valid period of time (without a specific start or end) as defined in ISO 8601.

1) <meta name="revisit-interval" content="P15D" />

2) <meta name="revisit-period" content="P15D" />

3) <meta name="revisit-schedule" content="P15D" />

4) <meta name="robot-revisit" content="P15D" />

Which one is better? Do you have any other meta names?

pageoneresults




msg:817209
 10:50 am on Nov 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Okay, can we not continue the myth anymore? This tag, the meta revisit-after is not supported by any major search engines. In fact, it was only supported by one SE that I am aware of and that is the one who created it.

There are no legal set of metadata. Search engines choose to support a few elements such as the description and keywords meta tags. They offer this support through a reference lexicon called a profile.

If you wish to pollute your <head> with elements that have no bearing whatsoever, you are welcome to do so. While you are at it, you might as well add the almost 100 other dreamed up metadata that are out there.

It amazes me sometimes how these myths are perpetrated. If you do a search in your favorite SE for meta revisit-after, you end up with a listing of sites who claim that all the major spider based search engines support the tag. It is not true. None of them ever supported the tag. Years ago someone added it to their metadata. They ended up ranking well for their targeted phrases, someone looked at their metadata and viola, the myth began.

From that point forward, almost every metadata generator out there added it to their list of relevant tags. It is amazing that some of those generators were set up back in 1996/1997 and are still online today generating the same junk they were back then.

Instead of wasting your time adding these frivolous pieces of metadata, why not take that time and invest in crafting potent page title elements, meta descriptions and yes, meta keywords.

I also know for a fact of search and web directory engines that do obey the value in the revisit tag.

I, and probably many others reading this thread, would like to see the names of those search engines and directories that support this tag. I think it is time to finally put this one to rest if possible.

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