Specifying Metadata

Metadata helps search engines track and index web pages. There are number of meta tags that needs to be included in any web page for it to be indexed by search engines. Search engines are influenced by the metadata you provide in your web pages using meta tags.

Why should we specify any data in our web pages for search engines? You may be thinking we write the pages for people but not for search engines. Actually, a successful website cannot afford to exclude information that helps search engines to index pages. Search engines bring traffic to websites. (Think of the last time you used a major search engine such as www.google.com, www.yahoo.com, or www.msn.com. Would you have found the site you were looking for without searching first in a search engine? Probably not given that there are millions of websites, it is very difficult to find a website without searching first.) One of the ways to help search engines do their job is by using meta tags.

Search engines use meta tags and the content of the web page to determine where your page is displayed when someone makes a search in a particular search engine. Obviously, you want your pages to come up first or near the top when a search engine returns results. To give you an example, if you go to Google.com and type scripting master in the search box, chances are that www.scriptingmaster.com will come up first or on the first page even though Google displays thousands of other related pages to "scripting master." So the idea is that a web searcher is more likely to click on a link that comes up first or near first than a page that is more clicks away.

Learn next about: