There are more META tags out there
than you can shake a stick at
To understand them you need to understand the 2 basic types of META tags:
META Header < META HTTP-EQUIV=VariableName CONTENT=Data>
The META HTTP-EQUIV tag is treated exactly the same as HTTP headers are. To understand what HTTP headers do, you need to understand what happens when a browser requests a page from your website. When a visitors clicks a link, the website's server receives the browser's request via HTTP.
Once the host server has determined that the requested page is available, the server sends an HTTP response. The initial information in the server's response is known as the HTTP header block. This header block tells the visitor's browser the information it will need to properly display the requested page. Just like normal headers, META HTTP-EQUIV tags direct the actions of browsers. They are used to refine the information which is contained in the actual headers of the page, so essentially HTTP-EQUIV tags affect the visitors browser the same way normal headers do.
Some web servers translate META HTTP-EQUIV tags into actual HTTP headers automatically so that the visitor's browser views them as normal headers. Other servers (Apache for one) uses a separate text file which contains the meta-data. Some server generated headers, such as "Date" may not be overwritten by META tags. If this has thoroughly confused you but you still want to find out more about META headers follow the links in the recourses section at the bottom of the previous tutorial.
META Name < META NAME=Attribute CONTENT=Data>
META tags with a NAME attribute are used for META types which do not correspond to the normal HTTP headers. Most search engine robots treat META tags containing the KEYWORD and DESCRIPTION attributes exactly the same whether they are declared with the NAME or HTTP-EQUIV attribute so the use of either type with KEYWORDS or DESCRIPTION is acceptable
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Other useful META tags
Below are more META tags you can use in addition to those listed on the previous introduction to META tags tutorial.
< META HTTP-EQUIV="CONTENT-TYPE" CONTENT="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">
This META is automatically inserted for you by Fusion It specifies the encoding used for characters in the document. This META selection is made from Tools > Site Settings and choosing the encoding from the drop down menu. This can also be set by right clicking anywhere in page view and selecting page character set from the menu choice.
< META HTTP-EQUIV="EXPIRES" CONTENT="Monday, 28 MAY 2001 24:00:00 EST">
This is how you make a page temporary for search engine indexes. It will expire from a site search listing after the specified date.
< META HTTP-EQUIV = "PRAGMA" CONTENT="no-cache">
Tells the visitor's browser DO NOT cache the web page contents.
< META HTTP-EQUIV="WINDOW-TARGET" CONTENT="_top">
This keeps the page out of other frames (but a script is better for this purpose).
< META HTTP-EQUIV="CONTENT-LANGUAGE" CONTENT="your language">
If your site is targeted to a specific language this will give you better placement on indexes that use this as a criteria.
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< META HTTP-EQUIV = "SET-COOKIE" CONTENT="what ever you want to set; expires=date_and_time are needed in order to write to visitors cookie folder other wise the cookie expires on exit">
< META HTTP-EQUIV="REFRESH" CONTENT="x;URL=http://www.???.com/???.html">
If the ???.com/???.html is the SAME page it forces a refresh of the page every "x" seconds determined by the number in CONTENT=" " if the ???.com/???.html is a different page the browser is redirected after "x" seconds determined by the number in CONTENT="x" This is the META refresh tag that I use in my 404 Redirect tutorial.
< META HTTP-EQUIV="PICS-LABEL" CONTENT=Data>
Information regarding this content and rating META tag is located on the PICS website
< META NAME="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE">
This disables the Microsoft Smart tags feature. Microsoft did not implement Smart Tags but it is wise to include this tag to make sure that this unsavory feature is always disabled
< META HTTP-EQUIV="IMAGETOOLBAR" CONTENT="false">
Use this META tags to disable the I E 6.x Image Toolbar for all pictures on a Web page. Read about the MicroSoft Image tool bar and why you may want to disable it.
There is a set of META tags known as the Dublin Core META Group. Rather than list all of them here I will provide a link to the Dublin Core website where you can learn about these.
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This page was written by and is maintained by turtle