META element

(redirected from Meta-tag)

META element

(World-Wide Web)
An element, with tag name of "META", expressing meta-data about a given HTML document. HTML standards do not require that documents have META elements; but if META elements occur, they must be inside the document's HEAD element.

The META element can be used to identify properties of a document (e.g., author, expiration date, a list of key words, etc.) and assign values to those properties, typically by specifying a NAME attribute (to name the property) and a CONTENT attribute (to assign a value for that property). The HTML 4 specification doesn't standardise particular NAME properties or CONTENT values; but it is conventional to use a "Description" property to convey a short summary of the document, and a "Keywords" property to provide a list of keywords relevant to the document, as in:

<META NAME="Description" CONTENT="Information from around the world on kumquat farming techniques and current kumquat production and consumption data"> <META NAME="Keywords" CONTENT="kumquat, Fortunella">

META elements with HTTP-EQUIV and CONTENT attributes can simulate the effect of HTTP header lines, as in:

<META HTTP-EQUIV="Expires" CONTENT="Tue, 22 Mar 2000 16:18:35 GMT"> <META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT="10; URL=http://foldoc.org/">

Other properties may be application-specific. For example, the Robots Exclusion. standard uses the "robots" property for asserting that the given document should not be indexed by robots, nor should links in it be followed:

<META NAME="robots" CONTENT="noindex,follow">
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References in periodicals archive ?
Jump Start Social Marketing also offers Meta-Tag creation, indexing, and Analytics to help the customer pinpoint the online business presence and growth.
The analysis was carried out with Seekport's online evaluation tool, Seekbot, and reportedly demonstrated that most companies ignore simple rules in website design, with nearly half of the FTSE 30 corporate websites providing incorrect meta-tag data descriptions.
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Mandata were found to have been wrongly using meta-tags to gain commercial advantage over a rival business.
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