First, we have seen the tags necessary for your SEO. A second time, those that can have an effect on SEO under certain specific conditions. It is now time to see those that are totally useless. They are just a superfluous waste of time! There are many of them, we have selected the most common ones for this article.
You will see in this article, that these tags are either repetition of what already exists elsewhere on your page or antediluvian meta tags with an informative purpose before Google …
Repetitive meta tags
Expiration/date – “Expiration” is used to note the expiration of the page and “date” is the date the page was created. Are any of your pages going to expire? Simply delete them if they are (by redirecting to a page that does not expire). And for “date”, create an XML sitemap and keep it updated. This is much more useful. No search engine takes them into account, so updating these two tags is useless.
Copyright – Look at the footer of your site. I assume it says “Copyright 20xx” in some form. So why say it twice?
Abstract – This tag is sometimes used to place a summary of the content. There is already the meta description, so why use this tag?
Cache-control – This tag is defined to control when and how often a page is cached in the browser. This information is best found in the HTTP header.
Resource Type – This is used to name the resource type of the page, such as “document”. Save time, the DTD (Document Type Definition) statement does it for you.
Antediluvian meta tags
Author – This tag is used to name the author of the page. It is simply not necessary.
Distribution – The “distribution” value is supposed to control who can access the document. However, it is usually set to “global”. This implicitly implies that if the page is open (not password protected, like on an intranet), it is for the whole world. So, if the page is not password protected, Google will browse it no matter what the value of this tag is… So it is useless!
Generator – This one allows us to note which program created the page. Like “author”, it is useless.
Rating – This tag was used to indicate for which audience the content was intended: all audiences, 16 years and older, adults. Thus, it allowed indicating to search engines if the contents, and particularly the photos could be shocking for a young audience. Although interesting, this unique tag has been replaced by a plethora of others that have also fallen into disuse.
Revisit after – This meta tag is a command for robots to return to a page after a given period. It is not followed by any major search engine.
We’ve finished our three-part series on the different tags that can influence (or not) your SEO. We will come back in future articles on schema.org tags.
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