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Meta Tags & Search Engines

This information has been researched and compiled from a number of sources.  It is by no means complete and will continue to be updated.


Tips and General Guidelines


  • First Law of Search Engines:  The World Wide Web may appear to be a visual medium, but it is indexed textually.

  • The position of each Web page in the list produced by a search engine depends on its “ranking” by the search engine. Each search engine analyzes the location of key words and evaluates or ranks a Web page differently.

  • Most search engines rank a Web page based on the location and frequency on the page of the keywords that were typed in the search box. Search engines generally look at the placement of keywords in the Web page title, keywords META tag, text on the page, and description META tag.

  • A META tag helps search engines provide information about your site to their users. Using the META tag supplies extra keywords; they do not inhibit the search for keywords in the text.

  • Use acronyms and spell them out. Keywords can include up to 1000 characters of text – be sure the words chosen are relevant to the contents of the page – with the most important or selective words first.

  • Some search engines will index all words in the document. Using the META tag will specify additional keywords to index and dictate the short abstract that appears when the search engine locates and list a page.

  • Other search engines will provide space on their registration forms for the addition of a site description.

  • Note: Not all search engines support META Tags; e.g. Exicte says: - “Our spider doesn’t honor META tags. A search engine that supports META tags may not use them to increase a Web page’s ranking.”

  • Most search engines will register your site a no cost. GoTo sells its main listings – companies can pay money to be placed higher in the search results.

  • In addition to the well-known search engines, there are also country-specific and subject specific engines.

  • Not all of services are "true" search engines that crawl the web. For instance, Yahoo and the Open Directory both are "directories" that depend on humans to compile their listings.