THE META TAGS AND SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Meta tags are HTML or XHTML elements used in the structure of web pages to provide metadata about the page. These are placed before the body of the page in a section your readers cannot see and only search engines can read, you can select “view source” which will display the entire HTML page coding on the browser for you to see. These Meta Tags are more important than you think because they provide data to the search engine to index your website into Google’s databases. All you need is to have the visit of one google bot or spider to scan your page, the very first thing they read is the Meta Title, Meta description, then the H1, H2, H3 titles of your page, alt text on the images and of course the text of your page. Proper information on these meta tags will help Search Engines to categorize your site.
Here are some of the most important attributes of meta tags when it comes to using them for SEO purposes:
META TAG KEYWORDS
The keyword attribute is used by webmasters to indicate to search engines the different topics and subjects their websites deal with. It is a summarized way to effectively convey to search engines the “feel” for any given site’s content. Lately, however, as more and more unscrupulous webmasters use them to mislead search engines into scam websites, because of this and more this meta tag is not
Contrary to the Keywords meta tag, the description is widely used by most search engines to provide a summarized explanation of a website’s content. This allows webmasters to be creative and unique, which can give them an edge when it comes to getting their visitors’ attention. Make sure your keywords are here as well but within a sentence that makes sense. If you just add keywords with no grammatical structure then it will be banned by Search Engines.
Not be really SEO, but it helps search engines prevent targeting audiences a website is not meant for.
This attribute allows webmasters to be able to choose whether their websites are indexed by search engines or not, as well as if they should follow links from their pages or not. If you have a private page you don’t want to appear in Search Engines, then select NO FOLLOW. But if your target has most of your live pages indexed by Search Engines then you must select FOLLOW, this will bring Search Engine spiders or robots to crawl your site from time to time.
Keywords and Page rank
Good SEO practices will give you great results, make sure you have a to-do list to go over each of your pages. Do not duplicate content or over use keywords because Search Engines will detect that and will simply skip the page. If anything, correctly implemented meta tags will at the very least serve as an indication to search engines that your website is correctly structured.
Here is a great description from Google referring to Metadata and other information which is crucial to any website, mastering of these will defensively rank your pages better.