Post Meta World?

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I recently build myself a meta-tag based search engine
( ) - not because I think its worth doing on its
own but because there where a heap of functions I wanted to write in PHP
and that was a good base.

One thing I have noticed is that a large proportion of the sites
submitted do not actually use meta tags.  While I can understand the
keywords tag not really being used because the search engines got wise
to people loading up on key terms rather than describing their content
the description tag offered at least the potential of a concise
description that might actually be useful.

What I don't understand is while so much if the content online now has
descriptive information that you can access prior to downloading pages
that websites and pages themselves in general have no mechanism for this.

The meta tags may have been good for this but having them included
within the page themself may have partially defeated the purpose.  I
dunno quite where I am going but it'd be nice to mouse over a link in a
browser and get the descriptive information appear before having to
visit the site or download 50k of html just to decide it wasnt what you

Where does one affectivly add this descriptive information to pages
these days -- are there any services that actually use it?  I was
looking at the Dublin Core and wondering if anybody actually ever used
it with pages? -- I have used it to transfer data between services but
not as descriptive information yet -- I dont see how or where it is
applied online.

Whats the skinny with meta-data for webpages/sites these days?  Or is it
just something of a hangover from a the long passed age when AltaVista's
meta search was the greatest thing online?? :D

Just seems ironic that I can get RSS info on the inane blog of a 19 year
old highschool dropout yet with the exception of RSS/RDF on the web you
get nothing but the web page itself.

It just seems so --- unordered.  We do all the standards stuff, the
XHMTL, the CSS, but no meta, unless I am truely missing something I
should know about.

Clue me in huh?


Re: Post Meta World?

"Manchild" wrote:

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You mean this descriptive information should be obtained directly from the
target page? That would only invite more spamming and misinformation.
There's also no way of telling which parts of the target page are relevant
to the current context. The best thing you can do is add title attributes to
your own links.

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Google still uses "description" meta-tags to provide page summaries in some
circumstances (e.g., when there are no search string matches in the page
content). Other meta-tags are generally quite useless (e.g., Revisit-After).

These are the only meta tags I normally use:


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I don't quite see the difference there. If you download a RSS feed, you get
the whole XML file. If you access a web page, you get the whole HTML file.
The process is identical.

phil [dot] ronan @ virgin [dot] net /

Re: Post Meta World?

Manchild wrote:

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I discovered a situation where the keywords have a use. My online
resume is, on occasion, grabbed and put in an recruiter's database,
where it is subjected to searches by software that is far less
sophisticated than the software the search engines use.  So, if your
pages are likely to end up in a database (resumes, articles in medical
journals, some kinds of help files) you might want to consider filling
all of the the meta-tags with relevant information.

Guy Macon <

Re: Post Meta World?

Manchild wrote:
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Go and read some academic papers, particularly by museums and
libraries, on "Dublin Core" or "Open Archives Initiative (OAI)"

Re: Post Meta World?

Manchild wrote:

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I got myself tonnes of <META> elements on my site.

Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
Contact Me  ~

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