Metadata is ‘data’ about data. In this context, Meta tags are small snippets of HTML code that do not display but communicate to, and control, browsers, search engines or other web services.
Meta tags are Installed in the <head> section of a webpage. Some common examples are listed in the diagram below.
In the above examples we can see there is a ‘description’ meta tag which describes the page and is usually used in the search engine’s description of your page. A ‘title’ meta tag which again is used in search engine’s to highlight what your page is about.
There is also ‘keywords’ which used to be very important in SEO and although is no longer used for this purpose (search engine algorithms now using other more complex elements to quantify the relevance of a webpage) they are still completed by the author for completeness in many cases and these can then be utilised in other ways.
Meta tags and their attributes can be used to trigger segmentation and personalisation rules.
For example, in our travel blog example above, we could decide to introduce a promotional banner that targets pages with keywords containing ‘Surrey’.
Or alternatively target all pages, except those authored by ‘Joe Bloggs’.
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