Which meta tags are there?

Meta elements, often incorrectly referred to as meta tags, contain information about an HTML page, as a web document. These meta elements are only interpreted by web browsers and search engines and can be seen as a kind of director’s instructions.

The attributes of a meta element that are most relevant for the onpage optimisation of a website are:

The <title> element is not a meta element attribute, but is also interpreted exclusively by web browsers and search engines and is usually placed before all meta elements in the HTML source code.

Further meta element attributes are:

  • http-equiv
  • keyword
  • author
  • copyright
  • publisher
  • property
  • generator
  • page-topic
  • page-type
  • language
  • distribution
  • audience
  • allow-search
  • domain
  • doc-class
  • reply-to
  • revisit
  • date
  • abstract
  • expires
  • googlebot

The meta element attribute “keywords” is no longer taken into consideration by Google and other search engines and is therefore not relevant for a good ranking. Learn everything you need to know about the meta keyword element here.

Google doesn’t use the keywords meta tag in web search.

Matt Cutts

Available meta element attributes and their possible values

Google provides a list of meta element attributes as well as their values (content=”value”) within the Search Console Help.

Video explanation by Matt Cutts / Google on the subject

Steve Paine