webmastering info manual



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Meta Tags

HTML is the language that browsers (such as Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera) understands. Although there are many WYSIWYG software on the market, it is always a good policy to understand raw HTML code. This way, you will be able to tweak your website the way you want it.

Meta Tags to control indexing and crawling ::

Search engines dispatch search spiders (robots) to visit your site and follow the links on your site. This is called 'crawling'. Every page that a spider went to, it will collect keywords and report it back to base. This action is called 'indexing'. When a user search for a keyword on a search engine, the search engine then uses this database of keywords collected by its spiders to show the user relevant search results.

Search spiders will visit every page that is linked from the certain page that they are on. Once they moved to the linked page, they will visit every link on that linked page. This process is carried out until every linked page on your site is visited and indexed. Once this happens, they will leave your site and come back to it once in a while to index changes to your site.

By default, spiders will index every page and follow every link on each page. To control this default action, you can use Meta Tags.

Implementing the robots Meta Tags ::
Put the robots Meta Tag in your HTML in the header of your web page between the <head> and </head> tags in the form of a meta tag.

Following are four examples of this code;

<meta name="robots" content="index, follow">

<meta name="robots" content="noindex, follow">

<meta name="robots" content="index, nofollow">

<meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow">

As you can observe, they are different combinations of index, noindex, follow and nofollow. The meaning of each parameter is explained below:

index - spiders will analyse the page for search results.
noindex - spiders will not analyse the page for search results.
follow - spiders will follow the links used on that page.
nofollow - spiders will not follow the links used on that page.

By default, all spiders will treat pages without the robots meta tag as "index, follow".

Based on your combination of index and follow parameters, you would then insert the robots meta tags into your HTML in the header as follows:


< head>

<title>A Page</title>

<meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow">



That's it! The above example is using noindex and nofollow which will be treated by spiders as if that page is not there.

Special Notes:
If you have highly confidential material that you do not want to be seen by just anybody, this is not adequate protection. To protect sensitive data, implement password protection that requires visitors to log in.




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