What are meta tags and how they are important ?

Since 2009 , Google reduced the weighing of meta tags while giving ratings for web pages or more precisely we can say it ignored meta tags completely while ranking the pages in SERPs ,so that does not mean that you also start ignoring them because it directly impacts search engine optimization for your website.

If you are not aware of the basics of what are meta tags and why they are important , then I think you are missing one of the key aspects of Search Engine Optimization – SEO and more importantly it will help your readers to understand , what your website is about or what your post is about ?

So, let’s start looking into the details of meta tags and how they are important.
If you are little bit aware of how HTML source code looks like , then you might know every HTML document has a <head> tag in it , where you define the meta data about that site , best example is “Title of any site”. Meta tags are also present inside the <head> tag but they have their own significance because earlier they were used by search engines in deciding the ranking of any web page. But after people started abusing these meta tags , most of the search engines start ignoring them. Now let’s look into the important components of meta tags.

Meta tags has been divided into three categories:

meta tags

Note: There are other types of meta tags also but we are not going to cover them , as they don’t have that much importance.

1. Meta Title Tag : This tag is one of the most important in this category because this tag only gives the glimpse to the user what exactly your post is about . So, it is very important that you give the proper title to your post /blog / website so that reader can get the idea on the content that you are going to write. Title of the post should be in the sync with the content of your page. Standard length for any title should be maximum up to 70 characters and if you try to go beyond that search engines algorithms will automatically chop that and will pick up the best from what you have provided. So, title tag will look like something this –

  <title>Here is the title for my post</title>

2. Meta Description : Here comes the 2nd component of your meta tag family , meta description is the 2nd thing that will be visible to the users when they see your page in the search engine results -, basically it is like a summary of about what your post is going to contain , in a commercial way you can say that it is the slogan for your website. Standard recommendation for meta description is 155 characters and it is also recommended that you use as max as possible because the more you write more you can tell about your post.So, meta description tag will look like this.

<meta name=”description” content=”Here is my short description of the post maximum upto 155 characters”>.

For example purpose below you can see the snapshot of my other blog TechIdiot, where for one of my post it comes under in top 3 google search results.I am also using the same practices that I am explaining here , so you can believe that it works.

meta-description

3. Meta Keywords : Third and one of the most important tag (once upon a time) , now it is not that important but still there is no harm in keeping it , until you are not abusing it. You can provide up to 50 keywords as a comma separated values that can explain best about your post or website. If you are worried about writing these tags manually every time in your post , then for your ease lot of plugins are available that can generate the meta tags for you. Only thing you have to do is that you have to replace the content of those tags with what you want.

<meta name=”keywords” content=”keyword1, keyword 2, keyword3”>

So , this is all about the meta tags and why they are still important.
Please share your thoughts and feedback .
Thanks for visiting.

Image Source : http://searchenginewatch.com

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Saurabh Jain

A Developer working on Enterprise applications ,Distributed Systems, Hadoop and BigData.This blog is about my experience working mostly on Java technologies ,NoSQL ,git , maven and Hadoop ecosystem.
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