What are META tags and why are they important for SEO
META tags have been around since the existence of the ‘search’ feature itself. The earliest computer programs too used META information to classify, index and retrieve information. The criticality of these however, has diminished somewhat over the past few years after search engine giants such as Google and Yahoo rejected them as credible factors to rate content. That been said, they are still valuable and definitive.
As per the definition, META tags are simply ‘words’ that hidden in your code. It is considered the ‘legal’ way of hiding words in your page for search engines so that search engine crawlers or bots can get a good idea of what your page and content is about.
Meta tags are located in your HTML’s beginning portions; the three tags that you can use are:
Title – The words hidden in the title. While it is not a META tag by definition, it still functions like one.
Description – This is where the summary of the content goes in. It is important to keep it brisk and to-the-point as search engines only read up to a limit.
Keywords – The META keywords tag as the name puts it is very important. It is the keyword that defines what your content is about and helps search engines rank it accordingly.
Why Meta Tags are Important
The search engines make a collective enquiry into your page’s META tags first. Based on what you’ve employed, the engine formulates a ranking, which depends on the way your description, keywords, etc. correlate. Only if you have managed to use them in a relevant context (say with an image, or title), and with coherence to the other content, will you get the desired ranking by the search engine.