What Is a Meta Tag?, What Does It Do?
There are millions of pages
containing useful information on the web.
This huge amount of info and misinformation is searched and used by millions of people all over the world everyday.
Search engines are used to
find information more quickly and more easily.
Research shows that about 85 per cent of users use search engines.
Also, zona research has found that 77 per cent of users’ time is spent with search engines.
So, search engines play a vital role in the process of retrieving information.
But users claim that searching on the web is frustrating.
Why is it so hard to find a specific info on the net?
Simply because, the web is free from many of the structures which enable users to work efficiently, and it is not catalogued in the same way as library resources.
Basically, the world wide web lacks a systematic structure by which readers can find desired information in a limited number of time.
Historically, library and information professionals have been concerned with gathering, organising and making the information accessible.
As the amount of information kept expanding dramatically from recent years till today, the topic of organisation became a focus of study in the library and information community.
In order to organise digital information and compensate for search engine weaknesses, many schemes have been developed.
Creating meta-tags and using them as a means to control the process of indexing is one of those schemes.
What are Meta Tags and What Does it Do?
They are hidden HTML tags that
may provide site owners and authors with a degree of control over how a page is indexed.
Meta-tags’ arises from the term ‘‘metadata’’, which means data about other data.
For instance, a meta-tag may describe the content of a page.
That description is data about
other data, and that is, the web page.
Any web page can have a variety of metadata associated with it and HTML meta-tags are one of the methods of organising data.
Meta-tags should always be placed at the head section of the HTML document, just after the
<TITLE> element, between
the actual <HEAD> tags, and before the <BODY> tags.
However, meta-tags do not appear in the web page display, but can be read and used by search engines.
They might help author and publisher ensure that their materials are found when
appropriate searches are executed.
Meta-tags should be used as a magnifying glass to help the search engines focus on the
most important parts of a page.
So they should be put on every
page that is created and published.
Search engines will find all of the pages and, if it is desirable to achieve a high page ranking, the meta-tag element will be put on each of them.
Meta-tags have many advantages for search engine indexing and also some disadvantages.
For example, there are no officially designated meta-tags.
There is only a framework for meta-tags in HTML, and nothing that defines exactly what meta-tags exist and how they should be applied.
Moreover, not all search engines will use meta-tags, and their use does not guarantee your page will be given top billing within a search engine’s list of results.
However, currently meta-tags are the only way to add controlled language and subject indexing to web pages during creation.
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