Saturday, January 5, 2008

Title & Description HTML tag for webmasters

The DESCRIPTION tag is important because search engines often index it (under the reasonable assumption that the description describes the contents of the page) and, in some cases, may use the DESCRIPTION tag to provide the site description on the search-results page.

Google usually doesn’t use the DESCRIPTION tag to provide the description in the search results. Instead, it finds the search words in the page, grabs a snippet of information from around the words, and uses that as the description.

However, if Google can’t find the keywords in the page (if it finds the page based on its TITLE tag, for example, or links pointing at the page rather than page content), it may use the DESCRIPTION tag.

Assuming you have the HTML of your home page laid bare for all to see (you can do this by choosing View Source from the main menu of your browser when your home page is on-screen), you can take a quick look at the DESCRIPTION tag. Sites often have the same problems with DESCRIPTION tags as they do with TITLE tags. The tags aren’t there, or they’re hidden away deep down in the page, or they simply aren’t very good.

Place the DESCRIPTION tag immediately below the TITLE tags and create a keyworded description of up to 250 characters.