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Meta Tags: The Myths and SEO (v) – The More Obscure Meta Tags

Meta Tags: The Myths and SEO (v) – The More Obscure Meta Tags

As well as the main meta tags we have already discussed, there are several others that are lesser known, but still used often. We’ll cover each of these in turn.

Meta Refresh Tag

The Meta Refresh Tag is used to redirect a visitor from one page to another or refresh the same page in a specified time. Same page refresh comes in use when the page content is changing very quickly, for example if there is a running score of a game or stock prices updates happening on that page.

When inserted into an HTML document, it causes the user’s browser to load the same or a new web page after a specified number of seconds. This Meta Tag has been manipulated and is sometimes abused as a tool to “bait and switch” a user from a doorway page; a practice that is not popular with the search engines.

It’s used in the following syntax:

<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”60″>

*Content = “60″ denotes refresh after 60 seconds

To redirect to another page, this syntax can be used:

<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”2;url=”>

Because it is so open for abuse, using a meta refresh tag to redirect to another page is likely to get it dropped from search engines, since this method is recognised as a doorway page in search engine algorithms.

Unless you have a compelling reason to use meta refresh tag, do not use it.

Meta Author Tag

The Meta Author Tag identifies the creator of a web page. Though not highly supported, its format usually includes the name and contact (email) details of the webmaster.

<meta name=”Author” content=”Author Information”>

Generally, this is not crawled or recorded by search engines. However, it can be used when you are working as a team on a large website and need to identify the original author. It has no benefit to your ranking.

Meta Revisit-After Tag

The revisit-after META tag is not supported by any major search engines; and it probably never will be. It was developed for Vancouver Webpages and their local search engine searchBC.

The original intention was to increase the crawl rate of search engines to your site. However, no one can increase the revisit time in this method.

The tag syntax is used as follows, with the date always calculated in days:

<meta name=”revisit-after” content=”93 days”>

However, this is something of a moot point, as even Vancouver Webpages now no longer support the tag either.

Meta Distribution Tag

The Distribution Meta Tag identifies the level of distribution of your web page and how it should be further classified in context to the World Wide Web. The three forms of distribution supported by this Tag are:

‘Global’ specifies that your web page is for mass distribution.
‘Local’ lets you specify that your document is for local distribution only.
‘Internal Use or IU’ specifies that your document is not intended for public distribution.

Syntax for different Meta Distribution Tags:

<META name=”Distribution” content=”Global”>


<META name=”Distribution” content= “Local”>


<META name=”Distribution” content= “IU”>

This has no effect on ranking or any other impact on search engines.

Further Tags

Abstract Meta Tag

This obscure tag gives an overview of the entire web page in a sentence.

<meta name=”Abstract” content=”Abstract phrase”>

Copyright Meta Tag

The copyright tag gives copyright information about your page, which you wish to disclose.

<meta name=”Copyright” content=”Copyright Statement”>

Expires Meta Tag

The expires tag lets the search engines know when the content on your web site would expire.

<meta name=”Expires” content=”Mon, 22 Jan 2004 17:45:05 GMT”>

Language Meta Tag

The language tag defines the language used on your web page.

<meta http-equiv=”Content-Language” content=”EN”>

You can also define more than one language by using a comma delimited list. The first language is your primary language.

<meta http-equiv=”content-language” content=”en,fr”>

Ratings Meta Tag

This tag is used to tell the search engines if your site is for general, restricted or adult audiences.

<meta name= “Rating” content= “General”>

These last tags are rarely used and are more for information in your web page than for any aspect of SEO (although language will help you to rank differently in foreign language search engines).

It’s worth noting that there are more meta tags available for use. However, their use is eroneous at best.

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