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What are HTML Meta Tags? Is it Really Necessary?

Published on Aug 14,2019 58 Views

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Going by the formal definition, metadata is data about data. Now if we talk about metadata in terms of website or webpage, it is used to describe how your content should be interpreted by the Search Engine & how it should be portrayed. In this HTML Meta Tags article, I’ll explain the following terms:

 

What are Meta Tags in HTML?

Metadata is the additional information about the web document such as page description, author, a list of important keywords, etc. In this blog we will learn how to add metadata to your webpage in HTML.

html-meta-tags

To add metadata, HTML gives you <meta> tag. <meta> tag is similar to <img> tag in HTML wherein you do not have a closing tag and it stores information within its attributes.

 

Points to Remember

  • You can go ahead and add multiple meta tags in your webpage or document depending on the additional information that you want to disclose.

  • Meta tags do not change the appearance of the webpage. So, including metadata doesn’t change the appearance of the webpage, but it is very crucial from the perspective of Search Engine Optimization.

 

HTML Meta Tags Attributes

The <meta> tag should be included inside the header of the document, i.e. inside <head> and </head> tags.  Attributes associated with <meta> tags are:

  • name: Describes the name of the property such as keywords, include, author, description, etc.

  • content: Describes the value of the property.

  • scheme: Defines a scheme to interpret the value of the property

  • http-equiv: http response message headers. Used to set a cookie or refresh a page.

 

Meta Tags Information

There is a lot of different information that metadata portrays. Let’s have a look at them:

  • Specifying Meta Keywords

 

There are various important keywords that a document contains. You can specify the important keywords in <meta> tag & let the search engine know about them. Search Engine uses these keywords for indexing the webpage.


<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<title>Meta Tags in HTML</title>
<meta name = "keywords" content = "edureka, online training, online course, online certification, trending technologies" />
</head>
<body>


Welcome to Edureka

</body>
</html></span>

As we already discussed that, <meta> tags will not change the appearance of the webpage. So, I won’t be writing the complete code multiple times.

 

  • Document Description

 

Description is also a crucial part of metadata which gives a small description about the webpage. Search Engine uses this meta description for indexing webpages.


<head>
<title>Meta Tags in HTML</title>
<meta name = "keywords" content = " edureka, online training, online course, online certification, trending technologies" />
<meta name = "description" content = " Edureka is an online training provider with the most effective learning system in the world. We help professionals learn trending technologies for career growth. />
</head>

 

  • Document Revision Date

 

You can leverage <meta> tag to update the last modified data of your webpage. This data is again used by Search Engines for Optimization & web browsers.


<head>
<title>Meta Tags in HTML</title>
<meta name = "keywords" content = " edureka, online training, online course, online certification, trending technologies" />
<meta name = "description" content = " Edureka is an online training provider with the most effective learning system in the world. We help professionals learn trending technologies for career growth. />
<meta name = "revised" content = "Edureka, 31/7/2019" />
</head>

 

  • Document Refreshing

 

You can use <meta> tag to set the refresh rate of your webpage. The duration is specified in seconds, after which the webpage will automatically refresh.


<head>
<title>Meta Tags in HTML</title>
<meta name = "keywords" content = " edureka, online training, online course, online certification, trending technologies" />
<meta name = "description" content = " Edureka is an online training provider with the most effective learning system in the world. We help professionals learn trending technologies for career growth. />
<meta name = "revised" content = "Edureka, 31/7/2019" />
<meta http-equiv = "refresh" content = "10" />
</head>

 

  • Page Redirection

 

<meta> tag can also be used for redirection. You can specify the navigation using the url of another webpage and the duration in seconds after which you want the users to get redirected. 


<head>
<title>Meta Tags in HTML</title>
<meta name = "keywords" content = " edureka, online training, online course, online certification, trending technologies" />
<meta name = "description" content = " Edureka is an online training provider with the most effective learning system in the world. We help professionals learn trending technologies for career growth. />
<meta name = "revised" content = "Edureka, 31/7/2019" />
<meta http-equiv = "refresh" content = "10; url = http://www.edureka.co" />
</head>

 

  • Setting Cookies

 

In simple words, cookie is a message passed to a web browser by a web server. It is stored in a text file by the web browser. It is again reverted to the server whenever browser requests a page. It keeps tracks of various information depending on the application needs. 

One of the important functions of <meta> tag is to store cookies on the client side, which can later be used by the web server.

<head>
<title>Meta Tags in HTML</title>
<meta name = "keywords" content = " edureka, online training, online course, online certification, trending technologies" />
<meta name = "description" content = " Edureka is an online training provider with the most effective learning system in the world. We help professionals learn trending technologies for career growth. />
<meta name = "revised" content = "Edureka, 31/7/2019" />
<meta http-equiv = "cookie" content = "id = 401; expires = Saturday, 31-Jul-19 23:59:59 IST;" />
</head>

In case you are not specifying the expiry date & time, the cookie will get deleted whenever the browser is closed.

 

  • Setting Author Name

 

Author name can also be specified using <meta> tag.


<head>
<title>Meta Tags in HTML</title>
<meta name = "keywords" content = " edureka, online training, online course, online certification, trending technologies" />
<meta name = "description" content = " Edureka is an online training provider with the most effective learning system in the world. We help professionals learn trending technologies for career growth. />
<meta name = "author" content = "Ron Wisely" />
</head>

 

  • Specify Character Set

We can also leverage <meta> tags to specify the character set used within the webpage. By default, ISO-8859-1 encoding is used to process Web pages by web browser & servers.


<head>
<title>Meta Tags in HTML</title>
<meta name = "keywords" content = " edureka, online training, online course, online certification, trending technologies" />
<meta name = "description" content = " Edureka is an online training provider with the most effective learning system in the world. We help professionals learn trending technologies for career growth. />
<meta name = "author" content = "Ron Wisely" />
<meta http-equiv = "Content-Type" content = "text/html; charset = UTF-8" />
</head>

 

With this, we come to an end of this HTML Meta Tags article. Now after executing the above snippets you would have understood how you can add metadata to your webpage using <meta> tag. I hope this blog is informative and added value to you.

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