Recommended Meta Tags For Best SEO Practice

Page-level meta tags are a great way for webmasters to provide search engines with information about their sites. Meta tags can be used to provide information to all sorts of clients, and each system processes only the meta tags they understand and ignores the rest. Meta tags are added to the <head> section of your HTML page.

Google supports both page-level meta-tags as well as inline directives to help control how your site’s pages will appear in Search.

Google Webmaster

A free guide to HTML5 <head> elements

Below are the essential elements for any web document (websites/apps):

<meta charset="utf-8">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
<!--
  The above 2 meta tags *must* come first in the <head>
  to consistently ensure proper document rendering.
  Any other head element should come *after* these tags.
 -->
<title>Page Title</title>

Elements

Valid <head> elements include metalinktitlestylescriptnoscript, and base. These elements provide information for how a document should be perceived, and rendered, by web technologies. e.g. browsers, search engines, bots, etc.

<!--
  Set the character encoding for this document, so that
  all characters within the UTF-8 space (such as emoji)
  are rendered correctly.
-->
<meta charset="utf-8">

<!-- Set the document's title -->
<title>Page Title</title>

<!-- Set the base URL for all relative URLs within the document -->
<base href="https://example.com/page.html">

<!-- Link to an external CSS file -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="styles.css">

<!-- Used for adding in-document CSS -->
<style>
  /* ... */
</style>

<!-- JavaScript & No-JavaScript tags -->
<script src="script.js"></script>
<script>
  // function(s) go here
</script>
<noscript>
  <!-- No JS alternative -->
</noscript>

Meta

<!--
  The following 2 meta tags *must* come first in the <head>
  to consistently ensure proper document rendering.
  Any other head element should come *after* these tags.
-->
<meta charset="utf-8">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

<!--
  Allows control over where resources are loaded from.
  Place as early in the <head> as possible, as the tag  
  only applies to resources that are declared after it.
-->
<meta http-equiv="Content-Security-Policy" content="default-src 'self'">

<!-- Name of web application (only should be used if the website is used as an app) -->
<meta name="application-name" content="Application Name">

<!-- Theme Color for Chrome, Firefox OS and Opera -->
<meta name="theme-color" content="#4285f4">

<!-- Short description of the document (limit to 150 characters) -->
<!-- This content *may* be used as a part of search engine results. -->
<meta name="description" content="A description of the page">

<!-- Control the behavior of search engine crawling and indexing -->
<meta name="robots" content="index,follow"><!-- All Search Engines -->
<meta name="googlebot" content="index,follow"><!-- Google Specific -->

<!-- Tells Google not to show the sitelinks search box -->
<meta name="google" content="nositelinkssearchbox">

<!-- Tells Google not to provide a translation for this document -->
<meta name="google" content="notranslate">

<!-- Verify website ownership -->
<meta name="google-site-verification" content="verification_token"><!-- Google Search Console -->
<meta name="yandex-verification" content="verification_token"><!-- Yandex Webmasters -->
<meta name="msvalidate.01" content="verification_token"><!-- Bing Webmaster Center -->
<meta name="alexaVerifyID" content="verification_token"><!-- Alexa Console -->
<meta name="p:domain_verify" content="code_from_pinterest"><!-- Pinterest Console-->
<meta name="norton-safeweb-site-verification" content="norton_code"><!-- Norton Safe Web -->

<!-- Identify the software used to build the document (i.e. - WordPress, Dreamweaver) -->
<meta name="generator" content="program">

<!-- Short description of your document's subject -->
<meta name="subject" content="your document's subject">

<!-- Gives a general age rating based on the document's content -->
<meta name="rating" content="General">

<!-- Allows control over how referrer information is passed -->
<meta name="referrer" content="no-referrer">

<!-- Disable automatic detection and formatting of possible phone numbers -->
<meta name="format-detection" content="telephone=no">

<!-- Completely opt out of DNS prefetching by setting to "off" -->
<meta http-equiv="x-dns-prefetch-control" content="off">

<!-- Specifies the document to appear in a specific frame -->
<meta http-equiv="Window-Target" content="_value">

<!-- Geo tags -->
<meta name="ICBM" content="latitude, longitude">
<meta name="geo.position" content="latitude;longitude">
<meta name="geo.region" content="country[-state]"><!-- Country code (ISO 3166-1): mandatory, state code (ISO 3166-2): optional; eg. content="US" / content="US-NY" -->
<meta name="geo.placename" content="city/town"><!-- eg. content="New York City" -->
<!-- Points to an external stylesheet -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://example.com/styles.css">

<!-- Helps prevent duplicate content issues -->
<link rel="canonical" href="https://example.com/article/?page=2">

<!-- Links to an AMP HTML version of the current document -->
<link rel="amphtml" href="https://example.com/path/to/amp-version.html">

<!-- Links to a JSON file that specifies "installation" credentials for the web applications -->
<link rel="manifest" href="manifest.json">

<!-- Links to information about the author(s) of the document -->
<link rel="author" href="humans.txt">

<!-- Refers to a copyright statement that applies to the link's context -->
<link rel="license" href="copyright.html">

<!-- Gives a reference to a location in your document that may be in another language -->
<link rel="alternate" href="https://es.example.com/" hreflang="es">

<!-- Provides information about an author or another person -->
<link rel="me" href="https://google.com/profiles/thenextweb" type="text/html">
<link rel="me" href="mailto:name@example.com">
<link rel="me" href="sms:+15035550125">

<!-- Links to a document that describes a collection of records, documents, or other materials of historical interest -->
<link rel="archives" href="https://example.com/archives/">

<!-- Links to top level resource in an hierarchical structure -->
<link rel="index" href="https://example.com/article/">

<!-- Provides a self reference - useful when the document has multiple possible references -->
<link rel="self" type="application/atom+xml" href="https://example.com/atom.xml">

<!-- The first, last, previous, and next documents in a series of documents, respectively -->
<link rel="first" href="https://example.com/article/">
<link rel="last" href="https://example.com/article/?page=42">
<link rel="prev" href="https://example.com/article/?page=1">
<link rel="next" href="https://example.com/article/?page=3">

<!-- Used when a 3rd party service is utilized to maintain a blog -->
<link rel="EditURI" href="https://example.com/xmlrpc.php?rsd" type="application/rsd+xml" title="RSD">

<!-- Forms an automated comment when another WordPress blog links to your WordPress blog or post -->
<link rel="pingback" href="https://example.com/xmlrpc.php">

<!-- Notifies a URL when you link to it on your document -->
<link rel="webmention" href="https://example.com/webmention">

<!-- Enables posting to your own domain using a Micropub client -->
<link rel="micropub" href="https://example.com/micropub">

<!-- Open Search -->
<link rel="search" href="/open-search.xml" type="application/opensearchdescription+xml" title="Search Title">

<!-- Feeds -->
<link rel="alternate" href="https://feeds.feedburner.com/example" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS">
<link rel="alternate" href="https://example.com/feed.atom" type="application/atom+xml" title="Atom 0.3">

<!-- Prefetching, preloading, prebrowsing -->
<!-- More info: https://css-tricks.com/prefetching-preloading-prebrowsing/ -->
<link rel="dns-prefetch" href="//example.com/">
<link rel="preconnect" href="https://www.example.com/">
<link rel="prefetch" href="https://www.example.com/">
<link rel="prerender" href="https://example.com/">
<link rel="preload" href="image.png" as="image">

Icons

<!-- For IE 10 and below -->
<!-- Place favicon.ico in the root directory - no tag necessary -->

<!-- Icon in the highest resolution we need it for -->
<link rel="icon" sizes="192x192" href="/path/to/icon.png">

<!-- Apple Touch Icon (reuse 192px icon.png) -->
<link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="/path/to/apple-touch-icon.png">

<!-- Safari Pinned Tab Icon -->
<link rel="mask-icon" href="/path/to/icon.svg" color="blue">

Social

Facebook Open Graph

<meta property="fb:app_id" content="123456789">
<meta property="og:url" content="https://example.com/page.html">
<meta property="og:type" content="website">
<meta property="og:title" content="Content Title">
<meta property="og:image" content="https://example.com/image.jpg">
<meta property="og:image:alt" content="A description of what is in the image (not a caption)">
<meta property="og:description" content="Description Here">
<meta property="og:site_name" content="Site Name">
<meta property="og:locale" content="en_US">
<meta property="article:author" content="">

Twitter

<meta name="twitter:card" content="summary">
<meta name="twitter:site" content="@site_account">
<meta name="twitter:creator" content="@individual_account">
<meta name="twitter:url" content="https://example.com/page.html">
<meta name="twitter:title" content="Content Title">
<meta name="twitter:description" content="Content description less than 200 characters">
<meta name="twitter:image" content="https://example.com/image.jpg">
<meta name="twitter:image:alt" content="A text description of the image conveying the essential nature of an image to users who are visually impaired. Maximum 420 characters.">
<!-- disallow Twitter from using your site's info for personalization purposes -->
<meta name="twitter:dnt" content="on">

These are the best available Meta Tags according to Google Webmaster guidelines. Feel free to add a further tag or discussed this in the comments.

Mohsin Saeed

MOHSIN SAEED – SEO Researcher & Full Stack Web Developer. https://mohsinsaeed.me That is all you ever need to know about me.

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