SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    156
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Usefulness of meta tags, not only for SEO

    Hi guys,
    Sorry if this is not the right place where to post the question: please, moderators, feel free to move the thread wherever it is appropriate

    The questions are about meta-tags, and NOT only related to SEO
    I'm a bit confusing about these questions:

    1. What meta are really useful? Ok, "description" is Google friendly and we can spend weeks talking about how much "keywords" meta is useful or not... but, apart these, there are some meta like:
    Code:
    <meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="true">
    <meta http-equiv="imagetoolbar" content="no">
    that I find useful to hide that irritating bar on images in IE6, or
    Code:
    <meta name="pragma" content="no-cache">
    to prevent page caching in some cases... Do you use them?
    More, there are some meta which meaning or usefulness is obscure to me: I'm talking about URL, language, author, copyright, revisit-after, reply-to, document-rating, document-distribution, document-state
    Is there an online guide that explains what they stands for, so I can decide what suits my needs and what I can safely discard?

    2. Why there's a meta tag "title" if there is a <title> tag? Is there any difference? What is more important for SEO, among them? Can I fill them with same content? Can I discard the meta and retain only the HTML tag?

    Thanks in advance for the answers

  2. #2
    Resident curmudgeon bronze trophy gary.turner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    990
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Without digging into the specs for specific rules, you should consider
    Code:
     <meta http-equiv="content-type"
            content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
    to be required; preferably as the first element after head. The server should always specify the MIME type, but if opened from file, the meta content tells the UA what kind of document to render. For example, if content="text/plain", the UA will render as plain text, and not parse as html (except for IE, which sniffs the file and ignores the MIME type; even from the server).

    The charset tells the UA which character set to use, if the server response headers don't say. This is common, as the server header overrules all else. It avoids the server saying one thing while the author blithely uses a different one.

    cheers,

    gary
    Anyone can build a usable website. It takes a graphic
    designer to make it slow, confusing, and painful to use.

    Simple minded html & css demos and tutorials

  3. #3
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    9,013
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As for the first question, no there is no need to add those and I wouldn't.
    And for number two...what "title" meta tag?

    The "name" attribute of a meta element can be filled with anything and is up to the UA to handle support for that. So really a meta element is pretty much useless.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    1,432
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

  5. #5
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    8,111
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I think the META tag (X-UA-Compatible) to allow us to prevent our sites rendering in IE8Compat (or visa versa) count as a useful tag now.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    One thing I am sure about is that meta tags really play a vital role in any web design project.

  7. #7
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    8,111
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jacksmith View Post
    One thing I am sure about is that meta tags really play a vital role in any web design project.
    And based on what you have said, one thing I am sure about is you neither read the thread or are an SEO expert

  8. #8
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    16,826
    Mentioned
    25 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by logic_earth View Post
    So really a meta element is pretty much useless.
    Not if you have processing on your site that reads the meta tags from your pages and performs processing based on their content.

    I have my own internal site search script that determines what pages to display in the results by doing a database lookup. I can repopulate the database at any time to update it to include all the pages from the site by running a script that follows the links between the pages and populates the database with the contents of the title tag and the description and keywords meta tags which are the fields that I use for the site search since searching based on the entire content of all the pages would be too slow.

    So probably one of the most important meta tags on my site is the keywords tag since its content determines the likelyhood of success or otherwise for people using my internal site search. That particular tag would be effectively worthless on most sites though because the major search engines tend to ignore it. It is the use that my site makes of the field that makes it valuable for my site.
    Stephen J Chapman

    javascriptexample.net, Book Reviews, follow me on Twitter
    HTML Help, CSS Help, JavaScript Help, PHP/mySQL Help, blog
    <input name="html5" type="text" required pattern="^$">


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •