Take a look at the source code for this page (select "View Source" from the "View" menu). See the tags up in the head of the document, the ones that begin with META? META tags are very powerful, and if used properly, they can increase your website's traffic, and help the right people to find it easily.

META tags are inserted between the two HEAD tags, and therefore do not appear in the browser window when someone looks at your site. They are, however, read by the search engine programs that sort new websites.

These pages use three simple META tags:

<META NAME="author" CONTENT="">
<META NAME="generator" CONTENT="">
<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="">

The CONTENT is set equal to the appropriate information. The keywords content should be equal to the various keywords which you would like to point people to your pages when entered into a search engine. For example, if you had a site about the film Cinderella, you would want to have the keywords value set to something like "Cinderella, Disney, animation" and any other things your page includes (like "images, sounds, movies" and so on). You may have up to 25 keywords in your META tag.

The author and generator values should be set equal to your name and something like "The GeoCities text editor" respectively. You can also use a META tag with NAME set to "description". Then the CONTENT would provide search engines with a brief description of your website. For example, a website about the actor Steve Buscemi might have a tag like this:

<META NAME="description" CONTENT="A wonderful collection of photos, soundfiles, and film reviews all revolving around Steve Buscemi, the greatest actor of his generation!">

META tags are remarkably useful, particularly as you enter the more advanced levels of web design. Be sure to include at least the author and generator tags on every page, and be sure to have the keywords and description tags on your first page, if not on the others.

There are many other META tags you can use - see Further Study for more information.

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