FP: Using the META Element with Web Spiders, Robots

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For a Microsoft version of this article, see 194310.
Web Spiders or Robots are a great resource for people searching theInternet, but they present a problem to Web page designers who wanttheir pages to be seen and properly indexed. One popular solution to thisbehavior is to use the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) META element.
The META element is used within the HEAD element to embed document meta-information that is not defined by other HEAD elements. This embeddedinformation can be extracted by servers and clients to identify, index, andcatalog specialized document meta-information. A META element can bewritten in one of two forms: META NAME and META HTTP-EQUIV. The NAMEattribute is returned in the HEAD of the document, while the HTTP-EQUIVattribute is converted into the HTTP response header which is parsed by theWeb server.

If you plan to use a Robot, you should use the META NAME form as shown inthese examples:
   <META NAME="author" CONTENT="John Doe">   <META NAME="date" CONTENT="12/31/97">				
The NAME attribute declares a variable for the page and the CONTENTattribute assigns a value to the variable.

A META element standard for Robots has evolved which consists of two parts:
  • Description A brief description of the Web page.
  • Keywords One or more words that refer to the content that can be found on the page.
Two examples of this standard follow.

Example 1

<META NAME="description" CONTENT="Web Spider Information"><META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="robots, spiders">				
Example 2

<META NAME="description" CONTENT="The Jogging Page"><META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="jogging, health, fitness">				
NOTE: Some robots ignore the NAME attribute and use their own algorithmto generate a description of the page.

To add a META tag like the ones shown in the examples to your Web page,follow these steps:

  1. Open your page in Front Page Editor.
  2. On the File menu, click Page Properties.
  3. Click the Custom tab.
  4. In the User Variables section, click Add.
  5. In the Name box, type the meta name.
  6. In the Value box, type the meta content.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click OK again.
  9. Save the page to your Web.
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Article ID: 170555 - Last Review: 10/07/2013 04:00:23 - Revision: 2.0

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