What is a HTML meta element?


A meta element is a html element added in the head section of a html document

It is used to add metadata to a web page e.g.:

  • author,
  • expiration date,
  • a list of key words,
  • default script used
  • ….

and assign values to those properties.

It's one way to add web metadata markup to a web page along (RDF, Ld-json and other). See Resource (Web Page) - Type (Structured Data | Metadata )


To define:

<META name="Author" content="Dave Raggett">
  • the publication date:
<meta name="pubdate" content="20100101">


Each META element specifies a property/value pair where:

  • the name attribute identifies the property (the key)
  • and the content attribute specifies the property's value.
<META name="key" content="value">

Search Engine

Search engine are not always extracting/using all meta tag

For instance, the <meta> tags excluded by Google Search (Ref) include:

  • description
  • keywords
  • revisit-after
  • generator
  • verify-v1
  • google-site-verification
  • mssmarttagspreventparsing
  • no-cache

Documententation / Reference

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