When you browse the pages of a website, you don't necessarily see everything they hide! Among the tags found in the source code are what are called meta tags. In natural referencing , they are the subject of a detailed analysis. Here are some of the most common and useful ones to know (or almost!) .
  1. Definition
  2. See them in the source code
  3. Usable metas tags
  4. Meta authors
  5. Meta charset
  6. Meta copyright
  7. Meta description
  8. Meta generator
  9. Meta Keywords
  10. Meta News Keywords
  11. Meta revisit-after
  12. Meta robots
  13. Meta title
  14. Conclusion

Definition of meta tags

Meta-tags can be defined as text extracts that describe the content of a page; They do not appear on the page viewed by the user but only in the source code of the page, in page. Although the meta tag name is misleading, it is not about these little keywords that we find in blogs and E-commerce sites sometimes. They are actually small help for search engines in the same way as the Hn tags but are positioned this time in the header of your Internet pages, between <head> and </head>, not in the body (<body>) of these. The term meta simply means “metadata”.

How to see these meta tags on a website?

To see them, just display the source code on a page in your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari…). The ctrl + U function allows you to display all the source code when you are on Windows. You can also right click anywhere on the page and “view source code” . On Mac, right click operation is not possible if you have not configured it; However, you can use command + F to display the requested resources. There are also addons on some browsers allowing you to view the source code.

What meta tags can be used?

There are many, sometimes even invented by Webmasters, let's review the most used and those that may have an interest or be the subject of questions for the natural referencing of your website:

The Meta Author tag: <meta name = ”author”>

It allows you to give a name to the author of the document. Its impact is especially for the attention of those who read the source code: Remember, like the Copyright tag seen below, that we cannot copy everything on the web! Example:
Example Author tag
<meta name="author" content="Nayes Happy" />
It is also possible to have several authors by separating them with commas.

The meta charset tag: <meta charset = ”utf-8 ″>

Very important, thus displayable from HTML 5 (the current Web standard):
The meta charset tag in HTML 5
<meta charset="utf-8">
This is the encoding of characters intended for browsers. Suddenly, it must be placed quickly after the <head> and before the <title>. There has been a long debate between utf-8 and ISO-8859-1 (Html ​​4 and XHTML). Today, the first has largely taken precedence over the other.

The Copyright tag: <meta name = ”copyright”>

A meta tag for the coyright
<meta name="copyright" content="maximizemoney.xyz" />
This will not allow you to avoid attempts to fully pump your site.

The Meta Description tag: <meta name = ”description”>

Very useful for your referencing, this meta tag makes it possible to give a description which takes the form of a value (“content”) of a page in the search results and appears under the meta title in Google. See all the ways to deal with it in our subject on the meta description . Here is one aspect:
Example meta description tag
<meta name="description" content="How does Hn tags work? Some explanations on their functioning their usefulness in Natural referencing (SEO)"/>

The Generator <meta name = ”generator”> tag

To specify which tool made it possible to create the site. Example for the WordPress CMS :
The generator for a version of WordPress
<meta name="generator" content="WordPress 5.4" />
It is more a question here of identifying the number of 4.7.4 versions in the world than anything else. For security measures, it is possible to change it.

The Meta Keywords tag: <meta name = ”keywords”>

One of the most controversial tags on the web. Google said, however, that it had no use for him. In the age of the Semantic Web, nothing could be more normal, especially since it has been the subject of numerous oversized uses. It indicates that certain words are the keywords of the page. It looks like this:
Example of a meta Keywords tag
<Meta name="keywords" content="maximizemoney, meta tag, article meta tag, definition meta tag, metakeywords, seo, earn money, blog">
Positioned after the title tag in the code, theoretically limited to a few expressions, The Keywords worked on search engines like Infoseek (closed in 2011) and Altavista (closed in 2013 by Yahoo!), both oriented keywords ; Great but useless today!

The meta news Keywords tag: <meta name = ”news_keywords”>

It's not a joke, the Keywords is here reinvested by Google himself and it already dates back several years (2012). To be used only for Google News. A series of keywords therefore which do not necessarily need to repeat terms from the page and which can be synonyms. A hot example:
The meta new Keywords for news reintroduced by Google
<meta name="news_keywords" content="top10, bitcoin, Macron, Lepen, debat">

La balise Revisit-after : <meta name=”revisit-after”>

Ok, it's for fun and it doesn't work but there is a tag asking the robots to come back after a few days visit the page 🙂:
Robot, come back in 1 month! with the revisit-after tag
<meta name="revisit-after" content="30 days">
If we could always say “Google on the foot!”, That would really be the fair. Rather turn to the Search console for the exploration of your pages by the spiders. Absolutely useless therefore within the framework of an SEO optimization .
Let’s take it seriously:

The Meta Robots tag: <meta name = ”robots”>

Widely used today, this tag is compatible with all engines and makes it possible to specify the pages to be referenced , to exclude or even to specify certain points when the robots examine the latter, it is complementary (see sometimes in duplicate) with the configuration of the robots.txt file:
So you can for example give values ​​like this:
Ask the engine to index the page but not to follow all the links
<meta name="robots" content="index, nofollow">
See our topic on the issue of nofollow in SEO . It is mainly used for adding the “noindex” and “nofollow” values . The “index” and “follow” values ​​can be used, but remember that these are Web default values. The other values ​​have no or no more interest in natural referencing, on the contrary:
The “meta robots” was also used at the time when DMOZ still existed (and you can still largely find it since its disappearance dates from March 2017) in order to prevent the engines from using the titles and description of this directory for their display:
When the DMOZ directory still existed!
<meta name="robots" content="noodp"/>
You do not want to display your metadescriptions? This is possible thanks to:
Prevents the display of metadescriptions in search engines
<meta name="robots" content="nosnippet">
If you don't want to show cached values ​​on Google, this meta tag is possible:
No Cache on search engines
<meta name="robots" content="noarchive">
Take a good look at the SERPs, Google offers reading cached documents. To complete the uses of this tags, let us specify that it is possible to specify not all the robots but some in particular:

For Google:

Lets tell Google not to index the page and not follow links
meta name="google" content="noindex, nofollow">

For Bing:

Allows you to ask Bing not to index the page and not to follow the links
<meta name="bingbot" content="noindex, nofollow">
Question: Do you find a use for noindex nofollow?
Finally, if you want to combine all the robots and order noindex, nofollow, noarchive, it is possible as follows:
Order for the noindex nofollow noarchive
<meta name="robots" content="none">

The Title tag: <title>

We cannot talk about meta tags without talking about it and this is of course the object of your full attention in terms of SEO. Read our full article on the title tag . Think that it makes it possible to clarify and provide a suitable response to the document indexed in the search engines. An example :
Small example of title tag
<title>How to maximize your money online ?</title>


Today is Difficult  to do without the elements presented above (with the exception of the keywords and the revisit-after). We will not limit ourselves to the use of a few metas for its natural referencing, far from it. It would be advisable to add other elements of course such as rel attributes or OG tags for sharing on social networks. But much more, these in-page criteria are only one of the aspects encountered during an SEO technical audit .
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