HTML meta tags are officially page data tags that lie between the open and closing head tags in the HTML code of a document. The text in these tags is not displayed, but parsable and tells the browsers (or other web services) specific information about the page. Simply, it “explains” the page so a browser can understand it.
Here’s a code example of meta tags:
Not a Meta Tag, but required anyway
This is what the description tag looks like:
Ideally, your description should be no longer than 155 characters (including spaces). However, check the search engine results page (SERP) of choice to confirm this. Some are longer and some are shorter. This is only a rule of thumb, not a definite “best practice” anymore.
The “description” meta tag helps websites in three important ways:
“Description” tells the search engine what your page or site is about: For the search engine to understand what your page is about, you need to write a good description. When Google’s algorithm decides a description is badly written or inaccurate, it will replace that description with its own version of what is on the page.
A meta tag is a specific HTML tag used to define meta data on your Web pages.
The most commonly used meta tags are:
Meta tags are placed in the of an HTML document, and they typically do not display where the reader can easily see them. They are used to provide additional information about the page either for databases and search engines or for the author of the site to keep a record of the pages.
Meta tags are most often used for search engine optimization (SEO). The two most critical meta tags used in SEO are: description and keywords. These are sometimes used by search engines to place the pages in the search directory, and they are used to provide a short description of the Web page in the search results.