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Lesson 13: Meta Element

One of the most important jobs for a website developer is to ensure the website is ranked high in search engines. Using computer jargon, it means the website needs to occupy the top position in search engine results page (SERP) for a certain keyword. Ranking high in SERP is crucial to the success of a website, especially for commercial websites. According to recent surveys, as many as 68% of Internet visitors only look for first few results or the first page of search engine results. Therefore, many developers are trying to optimize their websites so that they achieve the high position in SERP, using search engine optimization(SEO) tools and by employing SEO experts. The cost of SEO can be very expensive. However, do you know that you can achieve a basic SEO without spending a lot of money? The answer is using the meta element in HTML.

The meta element is used by the search engines to catalog websites. It is placed within the head tags. The meta element comprises a number of attributes, but the most important ones are name and content. The name attribute uses its keywords property and the content attribute to provide search engines with a list of keywords that describe a page. These keywords are being used to compare words in search requests. Therefore, by including meta elements and their content information, your site has the potential to rank high in SERP. Besides, the name attribute uses its description property so that search engines use this description to catalog the website and display the description as part of the search results.

Example 13.1

<!DOCTYPE html><html>
<meta name="keywords" content="webpage, html, hypertext, website, Internet"/>
<meta name="description" contents=" This is the one-stop HTML tutorial and resource centre. We present our tutorial in a straight forward manner to help everyone master HTML effortlessly."/>

The Author property of the name attribute allows the web master to include his or her name in the webpage. For example

<meta name="Author" content="John">

The Generator property of the name attribute displays the software used to generate the webpage. For example

<meta name="generator" content="WordPress 4.0, fitted with the WordPress Mobile Pack 4.9"/>

The meta element also uses the http-equiv attribute to specify language and content type of the webpage, as follows:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en-us">

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=gb2312"/>

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