Microsoft KB Archive/170555

From BetaArchive Wiki
Knowledge Base

FP: Using the META Element with Web Spiders, Robots

Article ID: 170555

Article Last Modified on 10/7/2003


  • Microsoft FrontPage 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft FrontPage 1.0 for Macintosh

This article was previously published under Q170555

For a Microsoft version of this article, see 194310.


Web Spiders or Robots are a great resource for people searching the Internet, but they present a problem to Web page designers who want their pages to be seen and properly indexed. One popular solution to this behavior is to use the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) META element.


The META element is used within the HEAD element to embed document meta- information that is not defined by other HEAD elements. This embedded information can be extracted by servers and clients to identify, index, and catalog specialized document meta-information. A META element can be written in one of two forms: META NAME and META HTTP-EQUIV. The NAME attribute is returned in the HEAD of the document, while the HTTP-EQUIV attribute is converted into the HTTP response header which is parsed by the Web server.

If you plan to use a Robot, you should use the META NAME form as shown in these examples:

   <META NAME="author" CONTENT="John Doe">
   <META NAME="date" CONTENT="12/31/97">

The NAME attribute declares a variable for the page and the CONTENT attribute assigns a value to the variable.

A META element standard for Robots has evolved which consists of two parts:

  • Description A brief description of the Web page.
  • Keywords One or more words that refer to the content that can be found on the page.

Two examples of this standard follow.

Example 1

<META NAME="description" CONTENT="Web Spider Information">
<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="robots, spiders">

Example 2

<META NAME="description" CONTENT="The Jogging Page">
<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="jogging, health, fitness">

NOTE: Some robots ignore the NAME attribute and use their own algorithm to generate a description of the page.

To add a META tag like the ones shown in the examples to your Web page, follow these steps:

  1. Open your page in Front Page Editor.
  2. On the File menu, click Page Properties.
  3. Click the Custom tab.
  4. In the User Variables section, click Add.
  5. In the Name box, type the meta name.
  6. In the Value box, type the meta content.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click OK again.
  9. Save the page to your Web.

Additional query words: 97 kbhowto search engine engines

Keywords: kbinfo kb3rdparty KB170555