Order of Head Meta Tags

Order of Meta Tags

Annie form the world of Gmail asks: Meta tag order : I would like to enquire if while putting the meta tags into the head of my website, is there an order of things, like descriptions, keywords, abstracts etc. for SEO purposes.

99% of SEOs will tell you that the order of Page Title and meta tags isn’t important and they may well be right in their assumption. We have tested the order of meta tags, extensively, on different sites over the years, and have come to the conclusion that placing the title tag at the top, directly under the head tag, gives us the best results. I would argue that placing the description tag second, after the title,  also has it’s benefits, although I don’t have sufficient test data to confidently claim it is the case. Many of the forum gumflappers that will tell you it doesn’t matter, have never tested the theory and still fill the head area full of pointless meta tags, like “revisit-after”, which has NEVER been used by any of the main search engines!

When ordering your head tags and meta tags, the best practise is to place your two most important tags at the top, after your head tag:

<meta name=”description” content=”">


<meta name=”keywords” content=”">
<meta name=”title” content=”">

The keyword meta tag is not currently used by Google but we include it in the order of things as they may decide to use it in the future and there is evidence that Yahoo uses it on occassion. The meta title tag is one we use on all of our sites. Many will tell you it is worthless. That’s good, it means they aren’t using it! Use it - trust me on this.

And if you want to block ODP and yahoo directory titles and descriptions:

<meta name=”robots” content=”NOODP”>
<meta name=”robots” content=”NOYDIR”>

Obviously, if you are working in XHTML, rather than HTML, you would need to use the XHTML closing tags.

These are the only head tags with any real value to optimisation and this is the order in which I suggest you place them. If I am wrong, using best practice and uniformity in your code will certainly do you no harm, as you have to use them anyway and it may just give you a small benefit :)

I hope that helps.

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