4.3c How to embed basic metadata in the HTML 'head' section
Each metadata tag has a different purpose, but the overall objective of metadata on the Web is to facilitate discovery, retrieval and use.
Descriptive information about each Web page is to be included in the "head" section, i.e. the title (mandatory), keywords, description, author and other information. The metadata should be in the language of the Web page.
How to embed metadata in the XHTML <head> section
The "head" section of a Web page is used to store the metadata about that page. The meta tag of XHTML is designed to encode named metadata elements. Each element describes a given aspect of a document or other information resource. So, the basic format of a meta tag is:
The value in the "content" attribute is a defined sequence of characters from the document character set which may include character entities. Long values may be wrapped across multiple lines if necessary. (For examples with "prefix" see 4.4e FAO standards for encoded metadata.)
For example, to specify the author of a document, you may use the "meta" element in the "head" of an XHTML Web page as follows:
The meta element specifies a property (here Author) and assigns a value to it (here Dave Raggett).
The meta element syntax also allows us to provide more information about the value. For example, the content of a document can be assigned to the keywords property.
The "scheme" qualifier provides additional information about the content of the meta element (here keywords). The element keywords is assigned values from the AGROVOC thesaurus (here forestry, agroforestry, forest products and food security). In this case, the basic format of a meta tag which provides scheme information is:
There are several other important tags that can be used to create machine-readable information about your Web page, e.g. the "title" and "link" tags, all of which go within the "head" of an XHTML Web page. For further information see the Agricultural Metadata Element Set project (AgMES) Web site.
See also in the guide