Refresh Meta Tag - does it still have a place in optimisation?

Refresh Meta Tag

Sudhakar from Frontlinesoft, wrote  - I have a doubt, does Google crawl a page that features a meta refresh tag? Somebody told me Google simply ignores the page? Is this true?


The refresh meta tag is used to either reload or redirect web pages. The refresh tag has been misused as a cloaking technique in recent years, so is now a dangerous meta tag to include in the head area of your site. The refresh meta tag still does it’s job, but if your intention is optimisation - my advice is not to use it, as Google spiders can flag it as cloaking, which could lead to a penalty or a ban.


The direct question from Sudhakar was, does Google crawl a page that features a meta refresh tag? and the evidence would suggest that it doesn’t - but as mentioned it the previous paragraph, if the purposes of the redirect is anything to do with optimisation - don’t risk using a meta refresh tag in the first place.


If you genuinely want to redirect your traffic to a new website, use a permanent 301 redirect, which is within the Webmaster’s Guidelines and shouldn’t attract penalties or bans, due to spiders misreading your intentions - although it can happen is a very small minority of cases. It’s certainly safer than using meta refresh tags.


One Response to “Refresh Meta Tag - does it still have a place in optimisation?”

Sudhakar Kodati Says:

Thanks. Could I use Javascript in place of a meta refresh tag, in the footer?

The Big Man replies:

If you are redirecting to another site, no, use a 301 redirect. Using Javascript to redirect a page is unethical and won’t help optimisation anyway – it is also used in cloacking techniques.

If it’s for a legitimate automatic refresh of a page, to update content, you can use javascript, or Ajax to achieve this – again, as long as it is not being used as a method of cloaking. You don’t say why you need to use a meta refresh tag, if you let me know whay you need the tag, I’ll try to give you the best options to consider.

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