ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Meta tags and their importance for your domain

Updated on August 1, 2012

What are Meta Tags?

Traditionally, web design was a field that was a preserve for geeks that were insane enough to sit with a keyboard and key in incomprehensible stuff on the notepad the entire day. The onset of content management systems like WordPress, joomla, drupal and the rest has since changed this. Today, you can actually have a website up and running without having to worry about the underlying code. This may be a good thing but still, there is some basic HTML that you need to understand for best results. One of them is Meta tags.

Meta tags are special HTML snippets that are located within the head section of the HTML code. Below is the basic structure of an HTML code


<Meta> </Meta>




Meta tags are used to hold the description of the content of the website and they also carry the keywords used on the web pages. They are optional tags meaning that your website would still function properly of you left them out. However, if you are serious about maximum exposure on the major search engines, you should include them. Google and other search engines use these tags when their spiders crawl the internet for information.

History of Meta Tags

Meta tags were introduced in the 1990s following the rapid expansion of the internet. As soon as they were introduced, some unscrupulous webmasters decided to abuse them. For instance, webmasters of pornographic websites started adding Meta descriptions that had nothing to do with the content they had on the website. This meant that their websites started being listed in searches that had to do nothing with pornography. On realizing this, the search engines started using other parameters for indexing websites. Google has remained notoriously rigid for ignoring Meta tags when listing sites ever since. However, Google still recognizes the Google Meta tags when searches are done.

Meta Tag attributes

Meta tag attributes like most other HTML tags, the Meta tag also has some important attributes that have different purposes. It is to the Meta tag attributes that we now turn:

1. Key word attribute

This is one of the most common of the Meta tag attributes. Even though some search engines do not rely on it, it is still widely accepted that search engines have a major role into the popularization of Meta key word attributes. This is because initially, they relied on the key words in the Meta tags for search engine listing. This was revised when it became apparent that webmasters were abusing this by adding keywords that had nothing to do with content

2. Description attribute

This is a very important attribute because it is till enjoys significant support from most of the main search engines including Bing and yahoo. This is the place where you place some short description about the website. The main reason for introduction this attribute was to allow the webmasters to have descriptions that will make sense in the search listing other than leave it to the search engines to come up with them based on the keywords. It is a good SEO practice to keep your description less than 155 characters even though the w3w does not have a limit to the size one can have.

3. Language attribute

This attribute defines to the search engine the human language that the website is originally written in. This attribute is of great help if you have your website in different languages as you can have it on the different language pages to specify which language it is.

4. Robots attribute

This is the attribute that allows you to choose whether or not you want the search engine to crawl your website and whether or not the links on the page should also be followed. If you do not want the page to be indexed, you use the noidex value. If you do not what the links on the page to be followed, you use the nofollow value.

Are Meta tags still important?

Are Meta tags still important? The answer is yes. It is true that your website will function without them. It is also true that keyword attributes are now being ignored by some of the leading search engines. However, the other attributes like robots and description will greatly boos the exposure of your domain on the website. If you are using a CMS to develop your blog or website, you are in luck. The cmses usually have places where you define the Meta descriptions and Meta keywords both globally as well as for the individual WebPages.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • ronhi profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Kenya

      @websitehostingbox, thanks for the comments and readership. Appreciated

    • websitehostingbox profile image


      5 years ago from Australia

      Lucky most popular CMS platforms like Wordpress optimise your Meta tags straight out of the box.

    • ronhi profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Kenya

      @ VibrantViews, In the words of scripture, There is nothing new under the sun. What is has been and what is will be again...Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • ronhi profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Kenya

      @ AK Turner, @ Kevin Timothy, Thanks y'all for reading and leaving your feedback. Much appreciated

    • KevinTimothy profile image

      Kevin J Timothy 

      5 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

      Great information you shared here. I still use them whether search engines pay them any attention or not.

    • A K Turner profile image

      Joseph A K Turner 

      5 years ago from West Yorkshire

      I think it would be sad to lose them completely they are the nuts and buts of basic html web design. Great relevant article, voted up!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)