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Meta Tags And Search Engines

Introduction
Meta Tags will help improve your results with search engines. You can also use them to redirect visitors to your new address.

Assisting Search Engines

Providing Information About Your Page
With Meta tags you can provide information about your website that search engines will read when they come accross your page.

This will help you attract the right crowd. Sometimes when you don't use meta tags, search engines will just go after random words that they find in your web page. I've gotten some nutty hits because of this. Sometimes you can find my old online diary by typeing "papermobile" in the google search engine.

Your meta tag should be located after the end </title> tag.
Let's say I had a website about cats, called "Jenni's Pretty Kitty's" (...ha ha.)

I would make my two meta tags like this:

<meta name="description" content="A complete guide to felius domesticus, with pictures, animated gifs, quick facts, and all types of catty things." />
<meta name="keywords" content="cats,kitty,cat images,felius domesticus,kitty cat,jennis pretty kittys,kat,meow,cat images, cat pics,cat graphics" />

The description section should be a short paragraph describing your website, and the keywords should be various words that you would want to bring up your site. It's a good idea to include common misspellings (like I did with "kat").

Do not include keywods that have nothing to do with your website just to increase your hits.
This is called "search engine spamming". A lot of web page authors are known for putting hundreds of repetitions of the same word on thier pages, sometimes in small print or in a hard to see color. If you set off a search engine "spam detector" your website will be automatically deleted from the database.

Additional Meta Tag Usage

<meta name="author" content="Jenni O'Toole" />
<meta name="copyright" content="Website © 2002, Jenni O'Toole; All Rights Reserved Worldwide" />
<meta name="generator" content="EditPad Classic" />
<meta name="expires" content="4 September 2099" />
<meta name="rating" content="general" />

Author Allows you to specify the creator of the webpage, Copyright allows you to put information about who owns the copyright to the page, generator let's you specify the HTML editor that you used, expires tells the search engine when to take the website out of thier database, and rating can be "general", "14 years", "restricted" (18+), and "mature" (21+).

Redirecting Visitors To Your New Address
Using the http-equiv attribute will allow you to make a website automatically jump to a new location.

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="5; url=http://www.newsite.com" />

5 should be how many seconds you want until the page will redirect. http://www.newsite.com should be the URL of where you want your redirect to go.

Avoiding Search Engines
If, for some reason, you do not want your page to be indexed by a search engine, then use this meta tag:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

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