In this post I wanted to turn my attention to an oft-misunderstood basic SEO practice—and one that I get a lot of questions about: the title tag.
What Is It and Where Is It Found?
The title tag is one of if not THE most important piece of text information that search engines look at as a signal of relevance on a web page. These innocuous words and phrases appear at the top of your browser. They also appear in search results and sometimes as link anchor text, from external links.
By HTML and XHTML law, a title tag is required on every web page document. Title tags are located in the source code within the Head section. For anyone not familiar with code, you don’t necessarily need to know that but it helps if you want to ask the right questions. It looks something like this:
<title>Unlocking the Mysteries of the Title Tag</title>
Title tags are often lumped together with Meta tags, which also appear in the Head section of a web page. There are two main Meta elements that you will see in discussions about SEO: Keywords and Description. You can take it on good authority that you DO NOT need to bother with the Keywords tag, since search engines do not give them weight anymore. By adding keywords, you are potentially allowing your competitors a cheap look at which keywords you are trying to optimize for.