Google meta data is the umbrella definition of all meta tags that Google is able to understand and to follow. By implementing these meta tags into your website, you can tell the search engine how to treat your website, in terms of ranking and indexing it. This article is a brief overview of the most important Google meta data and of the ways it can help your website enjoy a better visibility in search.
If you search for anything in Google, you’ll notice that all results consist from two elements: a title and a short snippet that describes what that page is about. This combo is a very powerful tool, as it enables you to control how your website appears in Google. The more compelling your title and your description, the better chances you have that more users click on this result to visit your page. By optimizing these two elements, you can increase your traffic without having to do anything else. In order to do this, you need to tweak the two meta tags associated with them, which are the “title” and the “description” of the page. Each page of your website should have its own, unique title and description.
If you want to let Google know that your website is mobile-friendly, you should use the “viewport” meta tag. It will help browsers understand how to display your website in order to offer their users a seamless experience. This could give you a small boost in the SERPs as well, as Google’s ranking algorithm favors websites that cater to mobile users.
Sometimes, you may want to prevent Google from indexing some of your pages. In order to do this, you should use the “robots” meta tag. Keep in mind that all search engines will be able to read and follow the instructions you put here. If you need a Google-specific meta tag, use “googlebot” instead. Like this, all other search engines will ignore it. You can also use this tag to prevent the Google crawler from following the outgoing links on your pages, or from displaying the Cached link for a page. Nonetheless, you need to understand that Google may or may not follow your instructions. This doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong, so don’t try to fix it.
Although there’s nothing wrong with translating your website into other languages, you may want to prevent that. In this case, you should use the meta name “google” with the content “notranslate” to warn Google that you don’t want to benefit from this functionality.
Last but not least, you can use “google-site-verification” to verify that you own the website, for the purpose of using the Google Search Console. This service can help you understand how users navigate your website, what keywords they find it for, as well as how Google crawls and understands the content of your website.
By using all these meta tags, you’ll be able to analyze the performance of your website in Google, and to find ways to improve it.