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FP: How to Use the META Element with Web Spiders and Robots

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This article was previously published under Q205493

For a Microsoft FrontPage 98 version of this article, see 194310 ( ) .
For a Microsoft FrontPage 97 and earlier version of this article, see 170555 ( ) .

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Web spiders (also called robots) are a great resource for people searching the Internet, but they present a problem to Web page designers who want their pages to be seen and properly indexed. One popular solution to this behavior is to use the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) META element.

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More information

The META element is placed in the HEAD element to embed document meta-information that is not defined by other HEAD elements. This embedded information can be extracted by servers and clients to identify, index, and catalog specialized document meta-information.

META elements are added to the HEAD section of an HTML document, and can be written in one of two forms: META NAME and META HTTP-EQUIV.
  • NAME elements are used to specify user variables, or variables that can be used by a client, such as a Web spider.
  • HTTP-EQUIV elements are used to specify system variables and are treated as part of the HTTP response header, which is normally sent by the Web server.
These META elements resemble the following examples when viewed in HTML:
<META NAME="author" CONTENT="John Doe">
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
The NAME or HTTP-EQUIV attribute declares a variable for the page and the CONTENT attribute assigns a value to the variable.

A META element standard for web spiders has evolved, which consists of two elements:
Description    A brief description of the Web page.

Keywords       One or more words that refer to the content on a Web page. 
NOTE: Some web spiders ignore the Description attribute and use their own algorithm to generate a description of the page.

Two examples using this standard are as follows:
  • Example 1:
    <META NAME="description" CONTENT="Web spider information">
    <META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="robots, spiders">
  • Example 2:
    <META NAME="description" CONTENT="The Jogging Page">
    <META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="jogging, health, fitness">
To add a META tag similar to these examples on your Web page, follow these steps:
  1. Open a Web page in FrontPage.
  2. On the File menu, click Properties.
  3. In the Page Properties dialog box, click the Custom tab.
  4. In the User Variables section, click Add.
  5. In the Name box, type the name of the META variable. For example, type description.
  6. In the Value box, type the contents of the META variable. For example, type This is my web page.
  7. Click OK to add the variable.
  8. Click OK to exit the Page Properties dialog box.
  9. Save the page to your Web.

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For additional information about working with Web spiders and robots, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
217103� How to Write a Robots.txt File

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Keywords: KB205493, kbhowto

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Article Info
Article ID : 205493
Revision : 4
Created on : 1/23/2007
Published on : 1/23/2007
Exists online : False
Views : 372