Looking to jump to the top of search engines? Some people believe all you need to do is drop a few simple meta tags into your code and the rest is history. Truth be told, meta tags play a very minor role in determining search engine rankings. (Quite possibly no role at all depending on whom you talk to.) However this does not mean you should ignore your meta tags. Outlined below I recommend how to make the most out of some of the most popular meta tags.

description Meta Tag

While meta tags are becoming of less value each day they are still important to include MSN and Yahoo!. Still play close attention to the description tag and often times the description tag will show up as the description of your site in search results.

keywords Meta Tag

As with the description meta tag, MSN and Yahoo! also keep a close eye on the keywords meta tag. Do not keyword stuff the meta tag. Keep it around 8 keywords or keyword phrases. Also, make sure that your keywords meta tag only uses keywords from within the page. Using keywords not directly used on your page can hurt your rankings.

language Meta Tag

Any website that is language specific should make practical use of the language meta tag. Although search engines are able to figure the language out themselves it is better that you give them a hand.

refresh Meta Tag

The only suitable time to use the refresh meta tag is when you need to temporarily redirect visitors to another page. Leaving up a refresh meta tag as a permanent redirect is considered unethical and will lower your creditability. The best practice is to use a 301 redirect for a permanent redirect.