Meta Title Tag Explained

by Jerry West
Posted May 6, 2011

There seems to be some confusion on the web today regarding the Meta Title Tag and the actual Title Tag. In fact, when doing a search for the term Meta Title, Google brings back information on the actual Title Tag, not the Meta Title.

Why should you be concerned? Because you do SEO. As an SEO you will want to learn all about meta tags as well as which ones are useful and which are not. Trust me, when speaking about Meta Title and Title Tag, there is a difference. There is a difference in how the tags are expressed on the web page and the effectiveness of the tags in terms of SEO.

The Title Tag is expressed as:

<TITLE>Page Title Here</TITLE>

The Meta Title Tag is written as:

<META NAME="Title" CONTENT="Page Title Here">

Usually the text of both the Title Tag and the Meta Title Tag, noted above as Page Title Here, will be identical. However, the value they will bring to your site in terms of SEO and/or enticing a conversion are very different.

The Title Tag (<title></title>) not only displays at the top of the browser window, but also appears as the linked text when potential customers review results from a search. It is indexed by the big three engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing). To Google, the Title Tag is of average importance in terms of SEO, but of high importance with respect to getting the click.

Recommendation: Use this tag. Your site's Title MUST grab attention, create curiosity, and evoke emotion to get the click. Don't simply resort to using your company's or website's name. I highly recommend that you spend the same amount of time when writing your Title as you would if you were writing a Pay Per Click (PPC) ad. Because:

No clicks = No conversions

The Meta Title (<META NAME="title"...> Some say that having this tag on your pages will give you a boost in the Search Engines Result Pages (SERPs); however, according to my testing while both Yahoo! and MSN index this tag, the results are inconsistent. And as such, it is impossible to conclusively determine the Meta Title Tag's effect on the algorithm.

Recommendation: Either use it with caution or don't use. While the Meta Title Tag seems to be favored among the SEOs in India, the SEO boost as a Google Meta Tag it is supposed to give is nonexistent according to my testing. Personally, I don't use the tag as I see no benefits and have seen some instances of lower ranking as a result of using it.

Back to Meta Tags Explained & Uncovered.

Meta Title Tag - tested information for webmasters & search engine optimizers.

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Jerry West is the Director of Internet Marketing for Web Marketing Now. He has been consulting on the web since 1996 and has assisted hundreds of companies gain an upper-hand over their competition. Visit Web Marketing Now for the latest in marketing tips that are tested and proven.The above article can be reproduced on your site or e-zine as long as the signature file remains.