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Violating rules - Too many meta tags

 2:05 am on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have been told that if I use meta tags that arent also in my site content I could get penalised by some engines, is this true.
Does anyone here believe this has happened to them?
How does it work?
What engines might do this?



 2:17 am on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

A lot of the search engines just ignore the meta tags now so it doesn't really make much difference.



 10:48 am on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

No, you won't get penalised. You simply won't be able to rank well for any of the words contained in your META tags that aren't also used in your page text and in other elements of your site. Your most important META tag is the description tag which is widely used by engines. The keywords tag is of very minor importance nowadays but it will not hurt you to use it. Cheers!


 2:08 pm on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

There are other consideratons, as well as those above, for what goes in the <head> section. Code on my pages always begins with:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
<title> Your Title Here </title>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en-gb">
<meta name="Keywords" content=" your, keyword, list, here ">
<meta name="Description" content=" Your Description Here. ">
<meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE">
<meta http-equiv="imagetoolbar" content="no">


Of the en-gb part, the first two letters come from the code list in ISO 639 and the last two letters come from the code list in ISO 3166.

See also ISO 4217 for codes for representing currency, and then ISO 8601 for formats for date and time.

Code within the page:

I use: <a href="somepage.html" title="some text here"></a> for links.

I use <img src="somefile.png" alt="some text"> for images.

Headings are done with <hx> ... </hx> tags, properly used from <h1> ... </h1> downwards.

I haven't used the full !DOCTYPE here, just a shortened version. The short version is enough to help you validate your code at [validator.w3.org...] as I have found that some browsers give problems with CSS when the long version is used.


 2:28 pm on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi g1smd, why don't you put the
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
line after the title. I'm using a Japanese browser on a Japanese OS, and some part of the title is corrupted if it contains non-ASCII characters (like an accent or so). The special character and the following character are combined displayed as one Chinese character.

Recently I visited a page on French site and I saw only an empty page. Then I checked the source and noticed the last letter of the title was an e acute. So my browser missed the '<' of the "</title>" and therefore no page was shown.


 2:43 pm on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I haven't used the full!DOCTYPE here, just a shortened version

Just to clarify: the 'full' doctype for HTML4.01 Transitional is:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">

All on one line, as the very first thing in your document (above the <html> tag).

Using the full doctype means the page will be rendered in 'standards' mode. Without a doctype, or with a short doctype the page is rendered in 'quirks' mode - which emulates all the old rendering bugs of the browser.

Read [alistapart.com...] for more info.

I have found that some browsers give problems with CSS when the long version is used

I've never come across any problems that are made worse by having the full doctype. Quite the opposite in fact. :) It sounds like you are used to a buggy rendering behaviour and you are getting confused when the correct, standards-compliant rendering is applied. But if you've got an example I'll eat my words...


 4:17 pm on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)



 4:23 pm on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> why don't you put the:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
line after the title.

I did put it after the title. See item#4 above. I don't understand your question.


 5:49 pm on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi g1smd, why don't you put the

Sorry, I should have written:

Hi g1smd, why do you put the

I hope the rest of my posting is now clear.


 11:37 am on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

g1smd: a lot of links there, but each one seems to be the same problem - the authors were used to a certain buggy rendering behaviour by the browser. When they moved to a standards compliant render, they saw their pages rendered correctky for the first time. It looked different and they (incorrectly) blamed it on a bug.

Some typical quotes:
a lot of our code is based on what I learned 5 years ago, with work-arounds when things didnt look good in IE5, NS4, NS6, and laterlly Opera.

'work-arounds' - no wonder it looked weird when rendered properly.

All <p> text had a blank line above and below it within table cells, and every graphic on the page had a 5-10 pixel space beneath it. Needless to say my menubar wasn't looking too hot.

Space around <p> tags = standard.
Space under graphic caused by whitespace in html - also standard!

also having changed the doctype to the above, now stuff is not centering as it used to

Probably using <div align="center"> or text-align:center to center stuff. The standard compliant way is auto for left and right margins ( i.e. {margin: 0 auto 0 auto;} ).

Still not seen any evidence of anything getting worse by using the correct doctype. As far as I can tell it only causes problems if you don't write standards compliant code in the first place.

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