Other HTML Meta Attributes

Besides the description and keywords Meta attributes, there are a few more that you might like to aware of. To be honest most of them aren't all that useful, but they can occasionally have their uses.

Meta Robots

If for any reason you don't want search engines to visit and index your web pages, you can use the robots Meta attribute to tell them not to. To do this, put the following at the top of your page, in your <head> section:

<Meta name="robots" content="noindex" />

Meta Author

You can use the author Meta attribute to put information about the page author into your HTML. This is generally used on internal networks, so that people can search for things based on who they were written by. It has little use on the internet but if you want to use it, here's how:

<Meta name="author" content="John Smith" />

Meta Content Language

Use this if you want to include information about the language your web page has been written in. Generally search engines can figure this out for themselves, but if you want to give them a helping hand use this:

<Meta http-equiv="content-language" content-"en" />

Note that the name attribute is replaced with http-equiv in this case. In the example the language is set to English using en, but you can set it to whatever you want. Some popular languages include French (fr), Chinese (zh) and Spanish (es).

Meta Copyright

If you want to include copyright information in the HTML of your web page you can do so using the copyright Meta attribute. However, you're really better off putting this in the body of your HTML so that it's actually visible to your visitors.

<Meta name="copyright" content="Copyright John Smith" />

Meta Refresh

Use this tag if you want your web page to refresh after a set amount of time. You can even give it a different URL to visit when the page refreshes. This can sometimes be useful for displaying an alert message for a few seconds before sending the user to another page. The refresh time should be set in seconds and you can also specify the optional URL to forward the user to.

<Meta http-equiv="refresh" content="5"; URL="http://www.google.com" />

Meta Revised

The revised Meta attribute can be used to give search engines information about when a page was last updated:

<Meta name="revised" content="15/02/07" />

The attributes described above are largely useless nowadays, but they can still be useful in certain circumstances and, importantly, they are fully XHTML 1.0 compliant, so you can use them safe in the knowledge you are still adhering to the latest standards.