HTML Tutorials - <head> tag

Sept 2000 being revised May 2006
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This tutorial covers the contents of the <head> tag in depth. The audience is those writing professional/commercial grade websites.

The xml tag, and DOCTYPE are covered in the Introduction to cgi scripting section."

1   HTML head Tag

2   title tag

The contents of this tag appear on the browser title bar, so you want this to be strictly relevant to the page being seen so the user can easily determine the content of this particular window on the desktop. The first few letters are the most specific part of the title when it is iconised in any form so they should relate strictly to the page content and more general stuff should follow.

The title tag is no longer as important for search engine priority as it once was. Search engines use meta tags and page content to assess search priority. So now the title's functional purpose is singular, it should be optimised to serve its purpose in the window title bar.

Because of its use, the title should be no longer than 80 chars. Because it typically has the browser program name appended to it, its length should ideally be much less than 80 chars..

3   meta tags

DevGuru XHTML reference

Slacker's Guide

Submitexpress provides useful tools for search engine analysis.

In particular the description metat tag is used by search engines to describe the page content, and so is should be a very brief precise of the page content. For models of this look to such works as books published in the Victorian age which contain keyword summaries of their chapter content. Darwins "Origin of Species" is an excellent example.

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