FP: Using the META Element with Web Spiders, Robots

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 170555 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q170555
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

For a Microsoft version of this article, see 194310.
Expand all | Collapse all


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.


Article ID: 170555 - Last Review: October 7, 2013 - Revision: 2.0
  • Microsoft FrontPage 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft FrontPage 1.0 for Macintosh
kbnosurvey kbarchive kb3rdparty kbinfo KB170555

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com