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AILA Style Guide
Meta Tags

Meta tags for author, title, date, description, and keywords must be used in all AILA pages. Below are requirements and/or guidelines for each:

Requirements for AILA Pages

Author

The meta tag for author is the same for all pages throughout the AILA web site. Below is the meta tag statement exactly as it should appear:

<meta name="author " content=" American Indian Library Association" >

Description

The description content varies depending upon the page. Concisely describe the page's content in complete sentences for the content of the description meta tag. Below is an example:

<meta name="description" content="This sentence should summarize the page content in complete sentences.  Search engines that display summaries will display information in the description tag if it is available for the page.">

Keyword

Keyword content also varies depending upon the page. Remember not to use commas between keywords. (See Rules of Thumb for guidance on keyword meta tags.) Below is an example of the keyword meta tag:

<meta name="keyword " content="dogs cats birds elephants"> 

General Information About Meta Data

Internet search engines like GOOGLE often index the meta tags in the header section of a page's HTML to answer search queries and to construct a description of the page. When used properly, meta tags can be of great utility. However, since most search engines will refuse to index any pages that, according to their algorithms, appear to be attempting to spoof them into assigning a relevance ranking to a page that is not warranted, one must be cautious in assigning meta data. The following principles arise in this context.

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Rules of thumb for meta/keyword tags- Web marketing guru Marshall Simmonds offers the following tips:
    * Don't use commas in your keywords meta tags. Why limit the keyword phrase combination that search engines choose to parse?
    * Don't repeat keywords or phrases more than four times. Search engines may give pages a spam penalty for excessive repetition. (The use of "entertain" and "entertainment" in the META keyword tag is a repeat of "entertain" on some engines.)
    * Customize your meta tags for each page on your site. Search engines expect to see your meta keywords also appear in the body text of the page. In short, search engines look at pages, not sites, so keep your meta tags page-specific.

The foregoing advice reflects the state of the Web as of November 2006. Things are likely to change in the future, since Internet search engines are constantly evolving.

Keeping current

For further information about meta tags, please consult the Meta Tag Resources page at webdeveloper.com. For a general overview of meta tags, you may wish to peruse the search engine submission tips at SearchEngineWatch.com. An excellent general resource is the Open Directory Project's comprehensive Website promotion page.

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