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Old 03-01-2007   #1
rkeefe
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Order of Meta Tags

Looking for your opinions on this.

Is there an industry standard for the orders in which the Title, Description, and Keyword tags should appear in the meta tags section of the page headers? I've been told by one prominent SEO Optimization company that it should be as follows:

-title
-description
-keyword

But a competitor site that ranks well for our chosen keywords has it at:

-title
-keyword
-description

Does it really matter from a SE perspective whether you have the description tag before the keyword tag?? Title should obviously be first.
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Old 03-01-2007   #2
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In my experience, it makes absolutely no difference. Other may have a different opinion, however.
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Old 03-01-2007   #3
Cameron Olthuis
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Kevin, I agree - makes no difference
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Old 03-01-2007   #4
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The algorithms will deal with each variable in the order they wish, so you could put these tags in any combination without effect. The layout of code is only effected when it comes to content, where the location of text can alter its perceived importance.



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Old 03-02-2007   #5
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I am curious about having a lot of code text in the head tag before the title and other tags.... have seen some changes when I have moved the tags to the top.... but it could be that I did some other editing which had the real impact.
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Old 03-03-2007   #6
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Meta tags

I believe there was a time when the order was supposed to make a difference, but that was a while back. Currently, I don't think it does, though having your tags at the very top of your code is best. I've seen some sites with the title at the top, but the description and keyword tags separated by other tags and javascript. I always take the classic "newspaper" approach - most important at top with diminishing importance as you go down the page, both in the code and in the content.

Of course, some don't even use the keywords tag these days. I always throw them in because I figure it can't hurt.

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Old 03-10-2007   #7
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hi.. am a newbie here..
-title
-description
-keyword
me too, thats what i place my meta tag.. cheers
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Old 02-08-2008   #8
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Re: Order of Meta Tags

What if the title tag was below the description and keyword tags - would that make a difference?
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Old 02-08-2008   #9
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Re: Order of Meta Tags

The meta information is treated kind of like "variables" in a computer program. Once variable "X" is defined, that's what it is, and the computer program then uses it when it needs to.

As long as the variable is defined before the program needs it, it doesn't know or care when it was set.

Since Google doesn't do anything with your page until it actually loads/spiders it, you can technically place your meta information in the middle or even at the bottom of the page, in any order (not that I would recommend this, since it's supposed to go into the header area and your results will vary significantly if you don't put it there).

This once cause me a problem with a client who had a site that used includes. The problem was that the pages he included were full web pages, including titles and meta information! These were inserted near the middle of the document (and not even in the header area). The result was that most of the time the last meta was the one that the browser and search engine used.

This makes sense, since if I set X to 5, then to 9, then to 3, and finally call X, it would respond with the last thing it was set to: 3.

The one exception to this was that it appears some browsers stop looking once the meta variable has been set, meaning they will only accept the first one they see (especially for title tags).

However, none of this has any effect on the actual order. It doesn't matter.

For reference, here is the "official" header order that my company uses. Keep in mind this is official only for my company, so it's just an opinion for everyone else

It's based on a combination of W3C recommendations, the actual function of the tags and what I personally think is a logical progression.

HTML Code:
<!doctype html public …..">
<html lang="…">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="content-type" ……">
<title>….</title>
<base href="http://.....">
<meta name="description" content="…">
<meta name="keywords" content="……">
<META name="verify" content="verification code for Google, etc here" />
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="http://…..">
<link rel="shortcut icon" href=http://..../favicon.ico>
<script type="text/javascript"......</script>
</head>
Keep in mind that some of these (like the base href, shortcut icon, and verify) are optional, and the base href should only be used if you know what you are doing.

A minimal list would be:

HTML Code:
<!doctype html public …..">
<html lang="…">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="content-type" ……">
<title>….</title>
<meta name="description" content="…">
<meta name="keywords" content="……">
</head>

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Last edited by mcanerin : 02-08-2008 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 02-08-2008   #10
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Re: Order of Meta Tags

title, keyword and description is my order
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