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  1. #1
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    Meta Tags - Do they have to be unique for each page ?

    Hi there,

    Im fairly new to the world of web design/development, and was wondering if each html page is to have unique keywords and or descriptions for their meta tag info, incomparison to that of the index/home page, or should all pages contain the same meta tag information ?

    Look forward to hearing from anybody

  2. #2
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    They should be unique. Description should describe what is ON the page, ON THE PAGE. The same applies to the "keyword" meta tag, what is on the page. And it should be short and sweet, don't write an essay into them, just a summary.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  3. #3
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    For a start, there's pretty much no point in putting a keywords meta tag in (and there hasn't been since about 2005).

    In terms of whether they should be unique, how would you feel if Google returned these results for your site?
    Ben's site about stuff
    Visit Ben's site about stuff for all the information on stuff you could ever want to know plus loads of other bits and pieces
    www.bensstuff.com/page1

    Ben's site about stuff
    Visit Ben's site about stuff for all the information on stuff you could ever want to know plus loads of other bits and pieces
    www.bensstuff.com/page2

    Ben's site about stuff
    Visit Ben's site about stuff for all the information on stuff you could ever want to know plus loads of other bits and pieces
    www.bensstuff.com/page3
    The title and meta description on each page should say what that page is about. As a general rule, people don't care what your site is about, they're looking for particular information, and if a page on your site has that particular information, they want to see it.

  4. #4
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    .
    Last edited by benisjamin; Jun 23, 2011 at 02:19. Reason: poor spelling :-)

  5. #5
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benisjamin View Post
    .

    Last edited by benisjamin; Today at 10:19.. Reason: poor spelling :-)
    I suppose deleting all the words is one way to avoid spelling them wrong
    Do you want to have another go?

  6. #6
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    Sorry Steve,

    I did put a reply in, but then noted you had already mentioned about the <title> tags so withdrew my post bar the "."



    Ive just thought of something else now that being, apart from the title/keywords/description tags, are there any other Meta tags that I should be using across all sites I develop ?

    Cheers

    Ben

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Yes.
    You absolutely want this one:

    <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
    (if you are writing HTML5 and your server isn't stupid then you can just
    <meta charset=utf-8>
    but otherwise, state the MIME type as text/html)

    And actually, I personally believe one should have something like this:
    Code:
    <html lang="nl"> (if you are writing "x"html then you'll have both "lang" and "xml:lang" in here... and of course, use YOUR language; this one is Dutch :) )
      <head>
        <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
        <meta http-equiv="content-language" content="nl"> (second language *should* be unnecessary but in case there are user agents who like this one better, I repeat)
        <title>Unique Page Title - sitename.com</title>
        <meta name="description" content="This page is about x. one to three sentences at most.">
        <link rel="icon" href="favicon.ico" type="image/x-icon"> (if you have a favicon)
        <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width"> (this one is if you are building the site for smaller screens like mobiles... this sort of sets a base of what "width" should mean since they have a device width separate from a screen width)
    There are also some more mobile-specific, iCrap specific and webkit specific meta tags but I don't bother with them.
    The tags people have like "robots yes" are redundant. The Microsoft tags I see people using make no sense to me (like image toolbar something something blah blah).

    Some pages use a meta tag to force people who are using IE less than 9 who are in compatability mode to make their browser act its age. I don't see the point since we should build pages to work in all those browsers anyway, so if someone wants to view your page like IE7 when it's really IE9, whatever. It'll just look like IE7 then. No biggie.

  8. #8
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    Cheers for the wise up Stomme :-)

    Ive just thought of something else I need confirmation on............

    Are all Title, meta Description and meta Keywords supposed to be unique for each and every page, or is it just the keywords and description tags that are customised for every page ?

    Can somebody also clariffy the "supposed" max characters and or words for the keywords and description tags for say what Google/Yahoo and any other big search engines/directories look for ?

  9. #9
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benisjamin View Post
    Are all Title, meta Description and meta Keywords supposed to be unique for each and every page, or is it just the keywords and description tags that are customised for every page ?
    As I said, there's precious little point in having a keywords tag. But if you do, it doesn't necessarily need to be unique. Title and description should be unique across your site if you've got two pages with the same title and/or the same description, why do they need to be separate pages?

    Can somebody also clariffy the "supposed" max characters and or words for the keywords and description tags for say what Google/Yahoo and any other big search engines/directories look for ?
    Google will cut off titles at about 64 characters and descriptions at about 160 characters.

  10. #10
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    Just want to add. If you have Google Webmaster Tools' HTML Suggestions offers a summary of the pages they've crawled that has a description or title tag that is too long, too short, or has duplicate tags in other pages of your site.

    YSlow, if you have installed, will also warn you if you have descriptions longer than 140.

  11. #11
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    Cheers for the wise up Jsantos and Stevie D :-)

    Ill give those tools ago Jsantos - Thankyou

    Daft as it may be , what about html file names for aguements sake, is there any wee benefit saving your page as bronzesculptor_prices.html or just leave it to what 99.99% people would name it as "prices.html" ? (If your website was home to a Bronze sculptor for example )

  12. #12
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Keep file names short and simple. Make it easier on your users. Search Engines DO NOT CARE.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.



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