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META Tags Used by Major Search Engines
A tutorial for metadata development with a satirical twist.
pageoneresults




msg:226296
 8:17 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Important Note: Please read this entire post, as well as the DISCLAIMER at the bottom, before implementing any of the below META Tags.

META Tags, the ultimate weapon for the savvy SEO. Knowing which META Tags to use and how to use them will determine whether or not your website secures top positions in the search engines and directories. You too can have top search engine positions by utilizing the below META Tags according to the guidelines that govern their use.

What are META Tags?

Information about information, plain and simple. Nothing more, nothing less.

What META Tags are used by the major search engines in the year 2006?

I'm going to list these in numbered alphabetical order for easy reference and discussion.

  1. Abstract META Tag
    All quality web pages must have a META Abstract tag. This is to ensure that those search engines who cannot understand the META Description tag have a logical choice to fall back on.

    <meta name="abstract" content="Short abstract of the page. 5-7 words at most."></meta>

  2. Alexa META Tag
    Wondering why your Alexa Rank is so low? Insert the Alexa META Tag and set the value to 100. Within 30 days you should begin to see your Alexa Rank improve by leaps and bounds. Within 60 days, you should be in the top 100 for your niche.

    <meta name="alexa" content="100"></meta>

  3. Classification META Tag
    Another top performing META Tag especially for users of Netscape. Classifications are categories that are also used by searching services.

    <meta name="classification" content="Insert comma separated list of keyword phrases."></meta>

  4. Google Robots META Tag
    By default, Googlebot is set to index and follow web pages. Extensive testing shows that adding the Googlebot META Robots Tag ensures a quick and clean indexing. This tag should appear on all pages that you want indexed properly by Google. You'll want to include duplicate directives to make sure Googlebot fully understands your request so be sure to include "all" as the first directive.

    <meta name="googlebot" content="all, index, follow"></meta>

    If your not sure which directives to use, you can always list all of them just to be on the safe side.

    <meta name="googlebot" content="all, index, follow, none, noindex, nofollow, noarchive, nosnippet"></meta>

  5. PageRank™ META Tag
    By far one of the most important metadata elements. PageRank can be easily influenced. Adding the PageRank META Tag ensures that your web pages will rank highly in Google. The value can be set anywhere from 1 to 10 with 10 being the maximum amount of PageRank you are allowed. Be sure to include the ™ symbol or Google will ignore the tag completely. PageRank™ is a trademarked term.

    <meta name="pagerank™" content="10"></meta>

  6. Revisit META Tag
    Another very important element in the overall indexing of your web pages. Extensive research shows that using the Revisit META Tag increases spider activity from the major search engines. The value is set in number of days. We like "2 days". This keeps the spiders from indulging in our valued bandwidth. It also keeps the bad bots from indexing our content every 60 seconds.

    <meta name="revisit" content="2 days"></meta>

  7. Revisit-After META Tag
    I'm a firm believer that you should double up on your META Tags whenever possible. Using the Revisit-After META Tag improves your chances of being indexed on a strict schedule. Again, the value is set in number of days. Hours, minutes and/or seconds are incorrect syntax.

    <meta name="revisit-after" content="2 days"></meta>

  8. Robots META Tag
    By default, most, if not all robots are set to index and follow web pages. Extensive testing shows that adding the Robots META Tag ensures a quick and clean indexing. This tag should appear on all pages that you want indexed properly by the search engines. You'll want to include duplicate directives to make sure the robots fully understand your request so be sure to include "all" as the first directive.

    <meta name="robots" content="all, index, follow"></meta>

    If your not sure which directives to use, you can always list all of them just to be on the safe side.

    <meta name="robots" content="all, index, follow, none, noindex, nofollow"></meta>

  9. SERPs META Tag
    I personally make extensive use of this one. The value is set in SERP (numerically). There are also additional directives such as ATF (above the fold) and BTF (below the fold). Additional directives must come after the numerical ones.

    You list the numerical values in the order in which you wish to be ranked. For example, if SERP 1 is occupied, then you would fall back to 2. If 2 were occupied, then you would fall back to 3 etc. In my example below, I prefer SERPs 1, 2, 3, 10 and 11 along with anything ATF.

    <meta name="serps" content="1, 2, 3, 10, 11, ATF"></meta>

  10. Subject META Tag
    In addition to using the Abstract and Description META Tags, the Subject META Tag is another top performer. I normally recommend that you cut and paste your META Description into the Abstract and Subject META Tags. This ensures that the search engine spiders fully understand what the page is about. One is not enough!

    <meta name="subject" content="Cut and paste Description META Tag here."></meta>

  11. Title META Tag
    In addition to the <title> Element, the Title META Tag is another way of helping the search engine spiders fully understand what the page is about. I've also been able to take extremely competitive terms and rank highly by using this tag. You should cut and paste your <title> element directly into the Title META Tag like this...

    <meta name="title" content="<title>Insert page title here.</title>"></meta>

Okay, I think I've covered most of the basics. Are there any that I missed? Please, no irrelevant META Tags. It's not like we don't already have a plethora of them out there already. Let's keep this discussion to those that are only relevant and used by the major search engines.

DISCLAIMER: Please DO NOT implement any of the above META Tags. This post was meant to be satirical in nature and I just wanted to break the monotony of it all. Let's have a little bit of fun...

[edited by: pageoneresults at 4:36 am (utc) on Mar. 28, 2006]

 

g1smd




msg:226297
 11:09 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Dang! You shoulda waited until 2006-04-01 for this....

jimbeetle




msg:226298
 11:19 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Oh, you're supposed to set the pagerank™" meta to 10! Dang, looks like I left out the zero. I'm going to have to change that on all my PR1 pages.

vincevincevince




msg:226299
 11:25 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

The funniest thing is that you left out the 'keywords' metatag - which is just as useless as the rest on the list - but still used widely by the poorly informed.

pageoneresults




msg:226300
 11:34 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

But still used widely by the poorly informed.

HEY! I still use the META Keywords Tag. :)

webexpjy




msg:226301
 7:40 pm on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Great creative thinking here. I really enjoyed it.

pageoneresults




msg:226302
 7:54 pm on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

webexpjy, Welcome to WebmasterWorld!

I'm glad you enjoyed it and took it with a grain of salt. My concern was that someone new to the site might find this topic and actually follow the advice, hence the opening quote and closing quote on the disclaimer. Glad to see that you read all of it. ;)

I know, I know, I should have waited until 2006/04/01 to post this but I just couldn't do it!

Great creative thinking here.

I'm blushing. Actually, if you really look hard at the above, there are all sorts of discrepancies buried within the discrepancies. ;)

Itagnc




msg:226303
 11:39 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

You know it's just a matter of time before someone ignores the disclaimer and actually implements one of the above tags. : )

g1smd




msg:226304
 11:49 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Whaddaya mean "only a matter of time..."?

I thought his list was made from real life examples that PageOne had already found out on the net someplace....

StupidScript




msg:226305
 12:15 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

I remember back when we actually used to use most of those (not, of course, the Google ones, because they weren't around, yet).

My favorite oldie-but-goodie remains:

<meta name="relevance" content="high" />

Absolutely guaranteed to improve your rankings! [see Disclaimer in Message #1]

Thanks for the nostalgia, P1!

pageoneresults




msg:226306
 5:19 pm on Apr 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Although not a META Tag, you are likely to find a plethora of HTML Comments sprinkled about in the <head></head> of many documents.

HTML Comments have always been a prime area for the Professional SEO. They are a great way to tell search engines what your page is about. For example, one of the most common uses for the HTML Comments Tag goes something like this...

<!-- This site is about... -->

And then there are different syntax methods that can be used for the delimiters. For example...

<!--- Notice the third hyphen? --->

Or even better...

<!-- Use double hyphens to separate your keyword phrases. -- Keyword Phrase -- Keyword Phrase -- Keyword Phrase -->

Be creative! The HTML Comments Tag is a great way to improve the relevancy of your page while hiding those comments from the visitor but making them available to spiders. ;)

g1smd




msg:226307
 2:37 pm on Apr 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Did you know that the invalid "double hyphen within comment text syntax" actually throws a HTML validation error if you check it?

pageoneresults




msg:226308
 6:24 pm on Apr 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Did you know that the invalid "double hyphen within comment text syntax" actually throws a HTML validation error if you check it?

Yup! That's why I included an example using double hyphens and triple hyphens. Both are incorrect syntax and both are in use today by many. I see a lot of the double hyphen syntax inside HTML comments. Clueless!

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