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Search Engines: The Definitive Guide (Part 2)

By Alex Housley As you already know, search engines such as AltaVista send out programs (robots and spiders) that collect information about pages and store it in a central database. Using the <META> tags you can tell these programs how to categorize your site. META tags can also serve a dual purpose -- they prove very useful for internal indexing and searching -- for example, every page on WebDeveloper.com (take even this page for an example) has a unique set of META tags appended to the <HEAD> section of the document. These META tags aid in narrowing the search to a specific section, and with retrieving of more relevant results. The <META> tag generally goes in the head of an HTML document. The two lines you should include in every document are the <META> NAME="KEYWORDS" CONTENT=> tag and the <META NAME="DESCRIPTION" CONTENT=> tags. The purpose of the <META> keywords tag is to tell browsing robots the keywords that it should give priority to when cataloging the page. The words found here should be separated by a comma and a space. Always try make the words plural and use all derivatives where possible. The words found in this tag are generally more important than the words found in the body, but less important than keywords found in the <TITLE> tags.


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