Metadata, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is data that describes other data. As vague as it sounds, when it comes to the Internet, it's anything but. Throughout the Web, metadata is used to describe individual pages on a websites, allowing search engines to understand what each page portrays.
What is the metadata of a document?
Document metadata is information attached to a text-based file that may not be visible on the face of the document; documents may also contain supporting elements such as graphic images, photographs, tables and charts, each of which can have its own metadata.
These meta tags can control the behavior of search engine crawling and indexing. The robots meta tag applies to all search engines, while the "googlebot" meta tag is specific to Google. The default values are "index, follow" (the same as "all") and do not need to be specified.
To Add Meta Tags to Your Website
- Open a text editing program, such as Notepad.
- Log in to the Web hosting account provided to you by your hosting provider.
- In the text editor, open the Web page you want to add the meta tags to.
- In the portion of the file, insert the meta content.
- Save the file.
SEO metadata is what appears on search engine result pages (SERP) when a website comes up for certain queries. It includes the title of the page and its metadescription (descriptive text below the title).
The meta description is a snippet of up to about 155 characters – a tag in HTML – which summarizes a page's content. Search engines show the meta description in search results mostly when the searched-for phrase is within the description, so optimizing the meta description is crucial for on-page SEO .
Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a page's content; the meta tags don't appear on the page itself, but only in the page's code. We all know tags from blog culture, and meta tags are more or less the same thing, little content descriptors that help tell search engines what a web page is about.
Search engines display their results as an ordered list. The list is 'ranked' with the most relevant websites (as determined by the search engine's ranking algorithm) highest on the first page of returns. There are many factors involved in determining the rank order of search results.
Google announced in September of 2009 that neither meta descriptions nor meta keywords factor into Google's ranking algorithms for web search. Meta descriptions can however impact a page's CTR (click-through-rate) on Google which can positively impact a page's ability to rank.
Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result, and are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing. The title tag of a web page is meant to be an accurate and concise description of a page's content.
As a general rule, you should aim for the following character limits within each of your meta tags: Page title – 70 characters. Meta description – 160 characters. Meta keywords – No more than 10 keyword phrases.
Old habits die hard, and spammers will always fill the meta keywords tag with every word they can think of. As far as Google is concerned, you can use the meta keywords tag all you want. It doesn't hurt anything (or so they say). Bing actually does look at the tag, but they don't use it as a ranking factor.
Header and Footer code fields are meant for meta tags and special code that third party widgets often use. For example, if you're verifying your site with Google you'll paste a meta tag into the Header Code field, or if you're including Google Analytics there will be script code that you paste there.
Keyword optimization (also known as keyword research) is the act of researching, analyzing and selecting the best keywords to target to drive qualified traffic from search engines to your website.
That meta tag basically specifies what character set is your website written with. Here is a definition of UTF-8: UTF-8 (U from Universal Character Set + Transformation Format—8-bit) is a character encoding capable of encoding all possible characters (called code points) in Unicode.
UTF-8 is a compromise character encoding that can be as compact as ASCII (if the file is just plain English text) but can also contain any unicode characters (with some increase in file size). UTF stands for Unicode Transformation Format. The '8' means it uses 8-bit blocks to represent a character.