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Meta tags are tiny descriptions which are invisible on-page. They describe your content, tell search engines what your page is about, and suggest the text to display in SERPs. The better their content, the more clickable your results, and the better your rankings will be.
Meta tags are located in the HTML (more precisely in the head of your HTML document) and are only visible to search engines. However, there are different kinds of meta tags and not all of them work the same way. Some are worth taking time to optimize in SEO, whereas others are not as useful as they used to be.
Here are the five meta tags used in SEO:
This post aims to give you more details about how these meta tags can affect your SEO.
Titles tags are the main tags on which you should focus. They have a real impact on your search engine results and your page ranking. Moreover, they are the only tags visible to your audience, at the top of your browser, so it is necessary to fill them in the right way. It has the benefit to tell exactly what your page is about in a glance.
Meta description is a very relevant data to insert in your HTML. It informs search engines in a small summary what your page is about. It goes further than the title tag by displaying more content to your visitors in the SERP.
Even if Google has said that keywords in your meta description are not affecting your ranking, it can compel visitors to click on your site through the SERP if the keywords are the ones they are looking for. So meta description does not matter for its keywords but for its entire meaning!
Keywords tags do not matter anymore as it was previously considered as a critical element of the SEO. Stuffing strategies have led to delete that element to search engine criteria. Bing is now the only one rewarding the keyword tag but it just uses it to detect spam content. So you should not bother to add them and you will save time!
This meta informs the search engine what to do with your pages. There are two different: The first is index/noindex, or a way to tell engines to show your page in the search results or not. The second, follow/nofollow, means if engines should consider and follow your links to the next page or not.
The point Follow/no follow will soon have a focus article.
Authorship results that used to be rewarded in search results and rank content using rel=author no longer count. The reason is that it did not bring enough value compared to the amount of resources required to process the data. In fact, Authorship just got a few adopters and was considered as not relevant anymore by Google soon after the implementation. Find a brief history of Google Autorship in this article by Searchengineland.
Meta tag optimization can be time consuming when you handle a large website or even to monitor your existing ones. To know if all your meta are well organized and filled out, you should use an audit SEO tool. This is where OnCrawl can help. Our crawler offer the ability to easily check your meta tags performances and to detect which meta should be optimized.