Meta Tags

Meta tags can be used to associate arbitrary values with arbitrary names. They can also be used to re-define certain HTTP parameters. Other than this, the HTML 3.2 spec does not provide any guidance on why you should use meta tags.

However, a few search engines have suggested using meta tags to define the keywords used to index a page and to provide a description for each page. For instance, when AltaVista indexes a page, it places all the words in the Description and Keywords meta tags in the index. When a description of your page is returned, either the first few lines of text are shown, or, when you use the Description meta tag, its contents are shown. Other search engines use other techniques.

The meta tags for this page are

  <META NAME="description" 
    CONTENT="HTML Meta Tag examples, Last modified 3-10-97">
  <META NAME="keywords" 
    CONTENT="HTML, examples, meta tags">

In Death of a Meta Tag, it is suggested that, as of 10-2002, only one of the major search engines (Inktomi) still uses the keywords meta tag.

Automatic Re-direction

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="1; url="> Where 1 is the number of seconds to display this screen before loading the next page.

As usual, this command does not work in all browsers. Therefore, you should also provide a link.

Page Expires

<META HTTP-EQUIV="Expires" CONTENT="Tue, 20 Aug 1996 14:25:27 GMT"> This may cause a browser to fetch a new copy.

Author: Robert Clemenzi -
URL: http:// / user / clemenzi / technical / HTML_Examples / Meta.htm