- The <META> tag is an interesting tag that most people never see, but it is still an important tag. It's placed in the <HEAD> </HEAD> section of a web page. A lot of search engines have programs that do nothing but search the web indexing pages. When a program gets to a web site, it looks for the <META> tag to collect its information. The <META> tag uses two attributes that will be covered here.
- NAME= There are three names that we will cover here, Author, Description and Keywords. It's recommended that you use at least two META tags per page, <META NAME="DESCRIPTION"> and <META NAME="KEYWORDS">. If you would like to give yourself credit for designing the pages, you can also use <META NAME="AUTHOR">.
- CONTENT= The content depends on the NAME of your META tag. If this is a <META NAME="description">, then the CONTENT will equal a short description of your website. Likewise, if it's a KEYWORDS META tag, then the CONTENT will contain keywords.
If I were to create META tags for this tutorial, they might look like:
<META NAME="AUTHOR" CONTENT="Andrew Beebe">
<META NAME="DESCRIPTION" CONTENT="An Interactive HTML Tutorial. This tutorial takes you step-by-step through the process of creating a web page. The lessons covered in this tutorial are designed to be fun and easy.">
<META NAME="KEYWORDS" CONTENT="HTML, Tutorial, Interactive, How-to, web page design, learning">
If my site was then index by a search engine, such as Alta-Vista, and if someone were to do a search for "Learning HTML" they should get my page back in the results. I usually create one set of meta tags for each website I design. I then use copy and paste them onto every page.
Yahoo, among others, is an indexing service. Listing your site with them is free, however, you have to manually submit your site to them. This process is just a matter of going to their web site and clicking on the "ADD URL" button. There will be a form for you to fill out where you specify the description and keywords. They will then look at your site and decide whether or not to list it.