SEO-upgrades: Meta Data

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Meta Data Setup

Ensuring keywords and keyword phrases are designed and implemented for each page of your Web site is a meta data best practise.


Title is the first meta tag in the head section of a Web page. The title should accurately and concisely describe the content of the Web page since the title is the first element of a page read by a web crawler, the title is displayed by Web browsers, the title appears in browser history and the title is displayed by Google in search results. Title is the most important meta tag since Google depends and uses this title tag directly.

The title can not contain markup and should be less than 64 characters in length (Ledford recommends a title length of 50 characters or less). View the W3C Title element page for more discussion.

The Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide recommends:

A title tag tells both users and search engines what the topic of a particular page is. The <title> tagshould be placed within the <head> tag of the HTML document. Ideally, you should create a unique title for each page on your site.


Titles for deeper pages on your site should accurately describe the focus of that particular page andalso might include your site or business name.

A keyword phrase is often a good choice for a title.

Title Usage Example and Google

Do a Google search on the keyword gold and review the results for (#2 in July 2009). The Google search result shows a title of

Kitco - Gold Precious Metals - Buy Gold Sell Gold, Silver ...

However, the actual <title> in the Kitco page source was:

<title>Kitco - Gold Precious Metals - Buy Gold Sell Gold, Silver, Platinum - Charts, Graphs, Prices, Quotes, Gold Stocks, Mining Stocks, bullion dealers</title>

Google truncates long titles to something less than 64 characters.

Apparently Google also ignores the truncated words -- for example, do a Google search on Gold Stocks or Mining Stocks and you won't find in first 3 pages of Google results. This is quite odd since is an excellent news source for mining stocks and gold stocks with a constant flow of news headlines. I expect that title decisions are a contributory factor to why is missed on searches for Mining Stocks and Gold Stocks. However, given that gets #2 placement on 64,000,000 global searches a month, I doubt they are concerned.

Meta Description

The meta description is concise, accurate and written to be read by visitors. Use keywords in the meta description when the keywords occur naturally in your sentence. Over use of keywords in poor English constructions may appear as spam to search engines.

Meta Keywords

The keywords and keyword phrases are summarized in a comma separated list. To be effective for search, the keywords must be used in a natural context in the page's content. Keywords are discussed on our Keywords identification and usage page.

Listing the keywords and keyword phrases for in the appropriate section of the XHMTL header is probably not important for Google -- Google does just find at finding the keywords and keyword phrases from the Web page content. However, abstracting the keywords and keyword phrases as meta data in the header section is an excellent design discipline that helps to ensure that each Web page is unique, supportive of the Web site theme, and using the right keywords. The keyword meta data should be known before final copy of the Web page is prepared. Otherwise, you will not be maximizing the value of your page to visitors arriving from Google and other search engines.

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