Meta tags have been used for several years as a method to indicate to search engines, users, or services specific guidelines that are not adopted with the standard web development syntax and protocol. Meta tags have been adopted as a mainstream ‘whitehat’ method and primarily used now to inform search engines of a few key aspects of your website, the two most important being the description and keyword meta tags which inform search engines what you believe your site is about and the keywords you want to target, followed by the robot meta tag which should ideally be dedicated to a robots.txt file but works just as well as a meta tag.
The Importance Of Meta Tags With Search Engines
Having description and keyword tags on your websites index is crucial to the correct indexing and labeling on search engines. Without these tags search engines will scan your in-site content and try to gather, to the best of its ability, what your website is about and the keywords you are targeting (which is primarily based off keyword frequency).
Additionally, without a description meta tag search engines will use the first 100-150 characters it finds on the page it is indexing as your search engine description. With a description tag, you tell the search engines exactly what to show and also gives a much better gage of what your website is oriented toward when indexing you.
The Benefit of Unique Description and Keyword Tags For Each Individual Page
The best way to develop any website is to treat each page as if it is an entire website of its own. Different pages will definitely require a different description and keywords to match the topic at hand, however most people fail to change the description and keywords from page to page and use generic domain-wide description and keyword tag approach. Spending the time to configure each pages information will drastically increase the overall scope of your website and not restrict your search engine exposure. If you do plan on using a single domain-wide description and keyword tag it is important to periodically check to see whether they still match the scope of your website.
Good Practice For Social Networking and Social Bookmarking
Developing unique description and keyword meta tags keeps you in-touch with the development and growth of your website. You may find that your websites scope far surpasses or has changed from what you had originally planned, which would be unnoticeable without proper thought about each and every page you create. Additionally, when building your standing on the internet, social networking and social bookmarking have become a leading roll in creating visitors and more importantly backlinks. Typically, a social service will ask for a Title, Description, and Tags (keywords) of the page. Instead of having to come up with these on the fly, or use a generic domain-wide answer, the description and meta tags have already been thoroughly thought out and developed.