What Is a Meta Tag: Definition and Examples

Close up of strings of meta tags

If you’re learning how to do SEO, you must have heard already about the meta tags. Though it might sound complicated, the principle behind it is very simple. Today we are going to learn more about what is a meta tag, how many types are there, as well as see some examples from each of them.

What Is a Meta Tag?

Simply put, a meta tag refers to a bit of text that describes what’s found on a page. You won’t see the meta tag on the page, but it will appear in the page’s code. If you know how tags on blogs work, then you must know that it’s all similar in this case. Their role is to inform the search engines about the content of a web page. Thus, your search results can become more relevant. Their name comes from metadata, which is information about the data found on the page.

Types of Meta Tags

Now that you know what is a meta tag, you should also find out more about the types. The following types are just a couple of the most common ones. There are plenty more, but not all of them are used by everybody and, more importantly, not all of them help your SEO.

  • Meta Keywords Attribute;
  • Title Tag;
  • Meta Description Attribute;
  • Meta Robots Attribute.

Let’s take it one by one and see some examples for each:

1. Meta Keywords Attribute

This refers to a string of keywords that you think are relevant for your page. These are rather obsolete since nowadays they’re not necessary for the search engines. Google started hating this practice when people used keyword stuffing (adding irrelevant keywords just to attract people).

2. Title Tag

Even though you see the title in the main block on the page, this doesn’t represent a meta tag. The real title tag is merely a component of the web page and it’s extremely important for the search ranking. In fact, it’s the only tag the average user can see. It’s visible at the top of the browser when you’re accessing a page. Example: “What Is a Meta Tag: Definition and Examples”.

3. Meta Description Attribute

The purpose of this description is to explain to search engines and searchers what the page is all about. It’s the snippet of text you will see below the title when making a search. However, Google said that using keywords in it has no effect on the ranking. But even so, it informs people of what the page is all about. Example: “In the article today, you will learn more about what is a meta tag and how to use it.”

4. Meta Robots Attribute

The last entry on our list is a more technical one. It helps you tell the search engines what they should do with the page. Briefly, you’re telling them if a page should not be indexed or if the links on it should be followed or not. As such, the basic commands are:

  • Index/noindex – should the page appear in the search results or not?
  • Follow/nofollow – should search engines follow your links on the pages or not?

Conclusion

Meta tags are bits of text that allow search engines know and index your page better. As such, next time you’ll want to publish your articles, you’ll know what to write and where to get the best ranking position possible.

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Author: Amanda Knowles

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