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Using Image Keywords in Webpage Meta Tags

As we have been discovering, the keywords that apply to each image can be used in a variety of other places throughout your webpage. Their addition continually helps to reinforce the message of value that your page presents to the human reader and to the Search Engine. This article concentrates on the 'description' meta tag. Like the 'title' tag, it is a tag that is utilized by both human and machine, so needs to be prepared accordingly. Here is a simple example of the code within the 'head' section of a webpage that is used to create a description:

<meta name="description" content="A brief description of the content of this page" />

Many internet users are not even aware of the 'description' tag, as it's content is not displayed when a webpage is viewed in a browser. Where they will have seen it, however, is in the search results that a Search Engine returns when they search for a phrase or keywords. A typical search return has three items within it:

  1. The title of the search return: identical to the title of your page
  2. The address of the webpage that the search returns
  3. A description of the webpage content

The final item: the description of the webpage content, is sourced directly from the 'description' meta tag, if it is available. It is designed to provide a concise summary of the webpage content that will give further clues as to whether the webpage will be useful to you. Is it used to determine Search Engine page rankings? Google says that it "will sometimes use the meta description of a page in search results snippets, if we think it gives users a more accurate description than would be possible purely from the on-page content.", which can be translated to mean that it is still in your own interest to provide a good 'description' meta tag.

Highlighted Keywords

An important feature is provided by Google and some other Search Engines: they highlight the searched-for keywords within the description-area of the search return. Users are far more likely to notice, and hence click on, a highlighted word within text, so if your keywords were the ones that were searched for, it is very useful that Google makes them easier to notice.

How to create a good 'Description' tag

What about the 'keywords' tag?

You might have noticed that there is also a meta tag named 'keywords'. This would seem to be the ideal place to put the important keywords for your images. Many other webpages still use it, so you are probably wondering if you should too. The answer is a definite 'No'. Google's web search disregards keyword meta tags completely. They simply don't have any effect in their search ranking at present. In the past, the 'keyword' meta tags quickly became an area where someone could stuff often-irrelevant keywords without typical visitors ever seeing those keywords, so because of this abuse, the keywords meta tag is no longer given any credibility at all. There are some reports that the presence of content in the 'keywords' tag could even get your site listed as spam with some Search Engines, especially 'Bing'.

Other uses for your keywords

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