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Which meta-elements (meta-tags) are relevant for SEO and which are not?

We talk about SEO-relevant meta-elements if a search-engine crawler reads, processes and takes them into consideration for calculating the search result rankings, as well as for indexing purposes.

Overview: Google understands and interprets the following meta-element attributes

  • description
  • robots
  • title

According to Google, the meta-element attribute “description” is not part of the ranking calculations for the search results. Though, it does play a significant part for the CTR (Click-Through-Rate) of users and should therefore not be forgotten. A good structure for a meta-description optimisation is the AIDA-Principle.

“title” is, technically speaking, not a meta-element, but it is also exclusively interpreted by web-browsers and search-engines. The title element is part of roughly 200 factors which are used by Google to calculate the rankings for the search results.

Nowadays, Google ignores the meta-element attribute “keywords” and you need not worry about using it, at all.

Quote from Matt Cutts on the meta-element attribute “keywords”

Google doesn’t use the keywords meta tag in web search– Matt Cutts

Video explanation by Matt Cutts / Google on the subject (Engl.)


You will find a neat table of meta-element attributes, including their content (content=”value”), as part of Google’s Search Console Help.

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