SEO glossary: Metadata


In a nutshell: What is metadata?

Metadata are of vital importance in communicating information and instructions to search engines. They are implemented directly in the source code of a website and ensure, for example, that in the search engine results preview texts are displayed in the search engine results.


What is metadata?

A look at metadata (also known as meta tags) shows that there are many different ways to provide information and clues to search engines.


When applying metadata, webmasters should strive to communicate the correct metadata such as the title tag. This is because the adaptation and design of metadata is an important part of the Search Engine Optimization.


To enter metadata on individual pages, they are simply added in the HTML code. In CMS (CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS) there are often also predefined fields for this purpose, in which only the content has to be entered and the data saved.



Examples of metadata:


  • Title tag: Outputs what the title of a website is



  • Author tag: If an editorial article is inserted on a website, the corresponding author can be mentioned here.


  • Keywords: Important and descriptive keywords can also be placed here. They are separated from each other by commas.



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Why is metadata so important?

With the help of metadata, search engines recognize exactly that the data given here is important and relevant information. For this reason, it is specially marked and listed in a structured way.


This is the only way to ensure that desired information ends up where it wants to. In addition, metadata is of vital importance for giving instructions to search engines.


Example: A webmaster wants certain subpages of his website not to be indexed by search engines such as Google. Accordingly, he inserts metadata on the affected pages to indicate that they should not be indexed. In this case, the "noindex" is used.


What does metadata look like?

As already mentioned, there are different types of metadata. Accordingly, they can be inserted on different labels. However, all metadata have a certain basic structure. Only in the content they differ.





<meta name=“title“ content=“Inhalt des Titels>

<meta name=“description“ content=“Inhalt der Meta Description>

<meta name=“author“ content=“Tom Reichardt“>

<meta name=“keywords“ content=“Metadaten, Meta Tags, Wiki, Glossar“>

<meta name=“date“ content=“2020-10-19T16:32:15+01:00″>

<meta name=“robots“ content=“noindex“> </head>



In this example, the metadata for title, description, author, keywords and date have been inserted. What is also noticeable is that the metadata is located within the head area. In addition, the crawler is informed in the last line that the page should not be indexed.


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Conclusion on the subject of metadata

Metadata is very important to communicate information and instructions to search engine crawlers. For example, the title and description are inserted here. But also information like the "noindex" belongs in the metadata. Thus, they are indispensable to operate a reasonable search engine optimization.


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