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The HEAD Section in Your HTML Page

A web page is divided into two sections: the head and the body.  Tags in the head section help search engines to list your page in their data bases. Even though all search engines don't use these tags, it's important to include them in your page. The title, meta, and link tags all aid in showing the relationship of the current page to the rest of your site. When you need to update your files later, knowing how the page relates to the rest of your site is going to be important. 

Below is a list of the standard tags that you'll find in the head sections as well as the different META tags that you can use. The META and LINK tag will be covered in the next two sections of the guide.

<DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>Fantasy, Horror, & Science Fiction</title>
<META NAME="TITLE" CONTENT="The Head Section">
<META NAME="DESCRIPTION" CONTENT="Head Tags.">
<META NAME="KEYWORDS" CONTENT="head, tag, html, meta">
<META NAME="OWNER" CONTENT="sclark@frodo.net">
<META NAME="AUTHOR" CONTENT="Steven Clark">
<META HTTP-EQUIV="EXPIRES" CONTENT="">
<META HTTP-EQUIV="CHARSET" CONTENT="ISO-8859-1">
<META HTTP-EQUIV="CONTENT-LANGUAGE" CONTENT="English">
<META HTTP-EQUIV="VW96.OBJECT TYPE" CONTENT="Document"> 
<META NAME="RATING" CONTENT="General">
<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="index,follow">
<META NAME="REVISIT-AFTER" CONTENT="4 weeks">
<META NAME="GENERATOR" content="Guild Generator">
</head>

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC"//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">



The first element in the list is not a true html tag. Instead, this tag helps the server identify what version of html is being used. You should include this tag in every web page that you create. Cut and paste this tag as is. No extra spaces or formatting should be added. 

There's been a number of html standards in the past. As each new standard was adopted, the tags from the previous version were included in it. This was done so that old web pages would not have to be redone each time a new standard was adopted. Some tags have been depreciated through time however. Depreciation is the practice of urging a specific tag not be used. This is done by the WC3 (the organization that sets the HTML standard) group. Tags that have been depreciated are still in the standard, and they will still be shown in browsers that support the new version. The current standard is 4.0. 

<HTML> and </html>
Of the regular HTML set, this element is the first and the last tag that will be on the web page. <HTML> tells the browser where the web page begins, and what kind of file it is about to display. </html>1 tells the browser where the web page ends. 

Within an HTML document, you can identify a tag by the brackets that surround the command. The < and > are called angle brackets. An element in a web page is identifyed by its html tags. The opening tag for the html element looks like this: <HTML>; the closing tag like this: </html>. You can tell the closing tag by the slash before it. 

<HEAD> and </head>
Just as the HTML tag denotes the beginning and ending of the web page, the head element shows the beginning and ending of the head section. Everything that you find between the opening and closing head tags is said to be part of the head section. 

<TITLE>name of page</title>
The information that is between an opening and closing tag is said to be held. The information held in the title tags is displayed in the title bar of the browser.

The information in the TITLE tags is displayed in the title bar of your browser
It isn't displayed on the web page itself. The title tags are required for every web page. 

The closer that your web page is to the searched for key words, the higher your page will be in the search results. Because of this you should make sure that the title is germane to the topic and that it has some of the same words that you might expect in a search query.

Hints for the title of your page: 
  • Make the title of your page reflect the topic.
  • Use words that you would search for if you were looking for the same subject on a search engine.
  • The title tags must be placed in the head section of your web page. They may be placed anywhere in the head section, but they're generally put right after the opening head tag.
Go onto the next page to read about META tags. 



1
For your sanity's sake it may be easier to think of </html> as closing html, and <HTML> as opening html.
Putting words in for the symbols may help you digest the information a bit easier.






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2001 Thomas Rumley
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