If you followed the previous lesson on page titles, you should find meta tags easy to understand because they work in almost the same way. If you looks a Google’s search results and look at a website listing, you will see the page title, followed by a description. This description is made available to the search engine with HTML meta tags. There are two main facets to a meta tag, one being the afforementioned description tag.
The other, is a suggested list of keywords for google. Google does not go strictly by the keywords suggested by the meta tag, it’s mearly just that, a suggestion.
These are still important however, because in an environment where all variables are the same, this one element could be the difference between a dollar and a cent. Let’s take a look at what meta tags look like:
<meta name=”description” content=”PAGE DESCRIPTION”>
<meta name=”keywords” content=”KEYWORD1, KEYWORD2″>
These are not very confusing, really. We need to, however, place different keywords and page descriptions on all of our different pages with HTML meta tags, just the same way we did in the previous entry with page titles.
Now onto robots. Adressing “robots” with your meta tags, you can decide if you would like google to index a page or not. For instance if you want google to index your pages (and nearly all of them you do), you would place a code like this in your <head> tag:
<meta name=”robots” content=”FOLLOW,INDEX”>
If, on the other hand you had a private page that you do not want others to see, you can keep google from listing that page in their search engine by altering the tag to say “NOFOLLOW,NOINDEX”.