Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Many Faces Of The Meta Tag

In my tutorials that instruct you how to make your blog friendly to search engines in general, and to the Google spider specifically, the meta tag is a key element.

The meta tags are very versatile code that should be located immediately following the blog title, in the blog header. You'll be using the Template Editor to view, and to modify, this code. As always, if you intend to make changes to the code, backup the template before and after making changes.

In a Classical template, you'll have something like
<head>
<title><$BlogPageTitle$></title>
<meta name="description" content="The Real Blogger Status: What Blogger Won't Tell You"></meta>
<meta name="keywords" content="Blogger, Blogspot, blogger.com, blogspot.com, outage, ..."></meta>
<meta name="verify-v1" content="xxxxxxxx" />
<$BlogMetaData$>


In a Layouts template, you'll have something like
<head>
<title><data:blog.pageTitle/></title>
<meta content='The Real Blogger Status: What Blogger Won"t Tell You' name='description'/>
<meta content='Blogger, Blogspot, blogger.com, blogspot.com, outage, ...' name='keywords'/>
<meta content='xxxxxxx' name='verify-v1'/>
<b:include data='blog' name='all-head-content'/>
<b:skin><![CDATA[/*


So you may want to add terms to your meta tag. In one case, maybe the keywords "abbra cadabra" are appropriate. I might instruct you to add a meta keyword tag
<meta name="keywords" content="abbra cadabra"></meta>

You might look, and see
<meta content="shaazam allakazam" name="keywords" />

already in place, where you were expecting to add the instructed tag. What do you do now? Do you delete the existing record, and hope for the best?

You could do that, but given the possibility that "shaazam allakazam" may also be applicable, the correct entry now becomes
<meta content="abbra cadabra shaazam allakazam" name="keywords" />


The meta tag can be formatted in two ways.
<meta content="abbra cadabra shaazam allakazam" name="keywords" />

is functionally equivalent to
<meta content="abbra cadabra shaazam allakazam" name="keywords"></meta>


And within the tag itself, you can have the content and name values in either order. So,
<meta content="abbra cadabra shaazam allakazam" name="keywords" />

is functionally equivalent to
<meta name="keywords" content="abbra cadabra shaazam allakazam"></meta>


Having noted that, you should know that some Blogger code won't parse all 4 variants equally, for all tags. But for some, like the meta tag, you will see this variation periodically.

And as always, note that you are much better off writing informative, interesting, and unique content for the blog. You need readers, for the blog - and you need content, for the readers.

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19 comments:

Paul said...

How does one change the page title on label pages so that they aren't a duplicate of the blog homepage title?
Since they are scripted and automatically generated

Rob said...

Is it possible to customize META tags on a page-by-page basis or simply place additional META tags on certain post pages? Would be nice to place context-specific META tags on some posts to give the search engines more to chew on.

fesb2006 said...

Thanks again Nite, I´ve never thought that having a website was going to be some annoying, I believe it could be more friendly to us the normal pc average users to be able to get a site working fine, but I hope some day, somebody does it easier no as complicated that it is today.

Best regards
Fesb2006

Lord Xentris said...

Bloody hell, this tutorial is really nice, Thanks Man. U are a life saver.

Joyful Joni said...

Thank you for giving the tools to prevent hair loss (from pulling it out in frustration!). I spent over an hour searching for this information in other locations. Will be bookmarking your excellent blog.

Chuck said...

You're welcome, Joni, in spite of the hair reference. B-P

Healthfreek said...

Thanks for the very informative and accurate information on adding meta tags to my blog. Its taken me days to find information on how to do it. I didn't relise you could switch between the classic template and the layout template.

Marina G said...

Hi Chuck, how can I insert a text string into a dynamic title tag?

b:include data='blog' name='all-head-content'/>
TITLE>data:blog.pageTitle/>/TITLE> instruction gives only
blog name + :postname"

What if I want:
blog name + "text string" + :post name

Marina

Christina said...

I know this post is old but I have to let you know that I've been searching for this info for hours. On behalf of all those who don't understand html, thank you for writing it all out and explaining what it means!!!

http://livefitlife.blogspot.com/

New business newbie said...

Hello - wanted to say thanks. I'm a complete beginner when it comes to anything computer related - never blogged, never had a web page and certainly never done anything with the code.

Half an afternoon of reading your posts and I have improved the chances of google finding my blog, posted on other blogs without breatking blog etiquette, and started to get links to my blog.

Thank you!

leap in the dark... said...

I had been going all over the place creating meta tags and inserting them in blogger, but it didn't work!!
But ur explanation definitely helped!!!

Thanks alot
Roohi
http://www.60-degrees.blogspot.com/

Anwoju Kunle said...

I EDITED MY TEMPLATE, exactly the way you outlined, YET THE RESULT SAID IT COULD NOT BE VERIFIED, BECAUSE IT IS NOT WELL POSTED, I NEED YOUR HELP URGENTLY, I HAVE BEEN ON THIS ISSUE FOR MORE THAN A WEEK, PLEASE ITS URGENT. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
http;//www.nigerian-youth.blogspot.com

Chuck said...

Hey Anwoju,

In English, I'd bet the term was "not well formed". This is a problem with template code. For best help, you should post in GBH: Something Is Broken, where we can have a dialogue.

ps Please, check your Caps Lock key before posting!

Beth LK said...

My head is spinning ! But at least I am not spitting out pea soup ( yet! ).

How does one do a blog in HTML?

Yes I clicked on the html tab and then what? Do I just add my coding, as if I were writing it in word and going to use FTP?

Can I control all my tags here? Meta, key etc.

If so - again how?

PS: I know how to write codes, I just don't know how to get them into the "code" section of the blog here.


Thanks, Beth :)

Chuck said...

Beth,

The absolutely best way to learn Blogger in HTML Mode is to take any post written in Compose mode, and select "Edit HTML". Observe the code changes. Make HTML changes, and see what it looks like under "Compose" mode.

And do this under Draft Blogger too, because Draft Post Editor is coming, and "Edit HTML" will be severely deprecated.

Arturo said...

Thanks for your blog! there is a lot of useful information. I'm still confused about the META tags, I looked in the layout HTML and they are not there. Are we supposed to add the line or am I looking in the wrong place?

Arturo Hey. http://uofoadmissions.blogspot.com/

What Gets Me Hot said...

man you need to start including links for older retards. everytime i come here (you have the best blogger site around i'm sure you know) i get more confused. i finally just gave up my other blog which went from 10k views a month to 80 (no k) eighty people starting around october 8th. i've practically lived on your site, tried to ask the questions at blogger help (you even copied and pasted some pretty great relevant stuff), but i just can't figure out what to do in analytics, etc. so now i'm trying to start the right way with my new blog, but even though i've been doing this for a few years, it's maddening. the information is scattered in fifteen diferent subcompartments of google and blogger and good people like you who really try to provide everything, but that's the problem, between google's meager ridiculous five sentence explanations with no examples of coding to speak of and fifteen different variables, and sites like yours with great organization and connecting links, each one taking you down a slightly different road, it makes it really frustrating for people like me who have to learn as we go and who still find anything to do with templates and xthml html meta tags robots, etc., mind-numbingly difficult.

Cynthia Cecil said...

hey guy i am an HTML - tard and dont get it .. you show examples of what our current HTML should look like and how we can plug in our own meta, sounds stoopid easy until i open my blogs HTML and it looks nothing like your example :/ could you help a noob out? maybe an e-mail exchange? i am a baby in this. thanks and much love. www.deardoula.com

Chuck Croll said...

Cynthia,

I'd have no problem helping you more individually - if you would post in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, so we can get details.