SEO - The Header section

October 2016

First: the DOCTYPE declaration

Placed before all things, it is the first line of code of any html page. Neglecting the doctype, will prevent proper indexing and sometimes affect the readability of pages.

In summary, this is the "Document Type Definition". An indication of the computer language in which a page is coded, to allow web browsers to correctly interpret the code and provide proper rendering.


Indicates that: the HTML language (set by the W3C) is used in the DTD (DocTypeDefinition), it is version 4.0 of the language and the tags are shown in English (EN for English) and for now they only exist in this language ....

The header

The head tags can normally provide a description of your site through keywords and phrases that describe your site. It has other features, like the automatic redirection to a URL...etc

The main tags found in the header includes the meta tags and link tags.

The Meta tags


  • Syntax: <meta name="keywords" content="keywords">
  • Maximum number of characters: 1000
  • Compatibility: All search engines.
  • Separate each word or phrase with a comma. You should also know that only the first 200-300 characters will are useful. (Other options: fr for French, en for English, en-us for American, ..etc)
  • Example: <meta name="keywords" lang="en" content="html, javascript, xml">


  • Syntax: <meta name="Description" content="Description of website and/or of page...">
  • Maximum number of characters: 200
  • Compatibility: All search engines, however avoid accents.

Declaration of the language

  • Syntax: <meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en" />
  • Compatibility: All search engines.
  • Note that; If the site is 'multilingual': <meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="fr, en" />


  • Syntax: <meta name="category" content="name">
  • Maximum number of characters: no limitation.
  • Compatibility: Some search engines.
  • Example <meta name="category" content="internet">


  • Syntax: <meta name="author" lang="en" content="Name">
  • Maximum number of characters: no limitation
  • Compatibility: All search engines.
  • You can add several authors (separated by commas).

Restrictions for search engines

  • Syntax:<meta name="robots" content=".....">
    • The dotted lines must be replaced by "index" or "noindex" (to allow or not the indexation of pages pages) and "follow" or "nofollow".
    • Instead of using "index, follow" use "all"
    • "noindex, nofollow" can be replaced with "none".
  • Compatibility: All search engine.
  • Exclude all protected or sensitive directories using a .htacess file.

Page URL

  • Syntax: <meta name="identify-url" content="url of page">
  • Maximum number of characters: No limitations
  • Compatibility: All search engine.
  • Put a single URL.

The software used

  • Syntax: <meta name="generator" content="software">
  • Maximum number of characters: No limitations
  • Compatibility: Some search engine.

Email address of the owner/manager/creator

  • Syntax: <meta name="reply-to" content="your@email">
  • Maximum number of characters: No limitations
  • Compatibility: All search engine. Beware of spams!!

Other tags

Title page

  • Syntax: <title>Title of the site</title>
  • Maximum number of characters: 100
  • Compatibility: All search engine.

Related :

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