meta tags and attributes that Google supports

This page explains what meta tags are, which meta tags and HTML attributes Google supports to control indexing, and other important points to note when implementing meta tags on your site.

meta tags

meta tags are HTML tags used to provide additional information about a page to search engines and other clients. Clients process the meta tags and ignore those they don't support. meta tags are added to the <head> section of your HTML page and generally look like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <meta name="description" content="Author: A.N. Author, Illustrator: P. Picture, Category: Books, Price:  £9.24, Length: 784 pages">
    <meta name="google-site-verification" content="+nxGUDJ4QpAZ5l9Bsjdi102tLVC21AIh5d1Nl23908vVuFHs34=">
    <title>Example Books - high-quality used books for children</title>
    <meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow">

Google supports the following meta tags:

List of meta tags that Google supports


<meta name="description" content="A description of the page">
Use this tag to provide a short description of the page. In some situations, this description is used in the snippet shown in search results.

robots and googlebot

<meta name="robots" content="..., ...">
<meta name="googlebot" content="..., ...">

These meta tags control the behavior of search engine crawling and indexing.

The <meta name="robots" ... tag applies to all search engines, while the <meta name="googlebot ... tag is specific to Google.

In the case of conflicting robots (or googlebot) meta tags, the more restrictive tag applies. For example, if a page has both the max-snippet:50 and nosnippet tags, the nosnippet tag will apply.

The default values are index, follow and don't need to be specified. For a full list of values that Google supports, see the list of valid rules.

You can also specify this information in the header of your pages using the X-Robots-Tag HTTP header rule. This is particularly useful if you wish to limit indexing of non-HTML files like graphics or other kinds of documents. More information about robots meta tags.


<meta name="google" content="nositelinkssearchbox">

When users search for your site, Google Search results sometimes display a search box specific to your site, along with other direct links to your site. This tag tells Google not to show the sitelinks search box. Learn more about sitelinks search box.


<meta name="googlebot" content="notranslate">

When Google recognizes that the contents of a page aren't in the language that the user likely wants to read, Google may provide a translated title link and snippet in search results. If the user clicks the translated title link, all further user interaction with the page is through Google Translate, which will automatically translate any links followed. In general, this gives you the chance to provide your unique and compelling content to a much larger group of users. However, there may be situations where this is not desired. This meta tag tells Google that you don't want us to provide a translation for this page.


<meta name="google" content="nopagereadaloud">

Prevents various Google text-to-speech services from reading aloud web pages using text-to-speech (TTS).


<meta name="google-site-verification" content="...">

You can use this tag on the top-level page of your site to verify ownership for Search Console. Note that while the values of the name and content attributes must match exactly what is provided to you (including upper and lower case), it doesn't matter if you change the tag from XHTML to HTML or if the format of the tag matches the format of your page.

Content-Type and charset

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="...; charset=...">
<meta charset="...">

These tags define the page's content type and character set respectively. Make sure that you surround the value of the content attribute in the http-equiv meta tag with quotes—otherwise the charset attribute may be interpreted incorrectly. We recommend using Unicode/UTF-8 where possible.


<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="...;url=...">

This tag, commonly called meta-refresh, sends the user to a new URL after a certain amount of time, and is sometimes used as a simple form of redirection. However, it is not supported by all browsers and can be confusing to the user. We recommend using a server-side 301 redirect instead.


<meta name="viewport" content="...">

This tag tells the browser how to render a page on a mobile device. Presence of this tag indicates to Google that the page is mobile friendly. Read more about how to configure the viewport meta tag.


<meta name="rating" content="adult">
<meta name="rating" content="RTA-5042-1996-1400-1577-RTA">

Labels a page as containing sexually-explicit adult content, to signal that it be filtered by SafeSearch results. Learn more about labeling SafeSearch pages.

HTML tag attributes

HTML tag attributes are additional values of HTML tags that configure the parent tag. For example, the href attribute of the <a> tag configures the resource the anchor tag points to: <a href=""...>.

Google Search supports a limited number of HTML attributes for indexing purposes. Attributes like src and href are used for discovering resources such as images and URLs. Google also supports various rel attributes that allow site owners to qualify outbound links.

The data-nosnippet attribute of div, span, and section tags allow you to exclude parts of an HTML page from snippets.

Other points to note

  • Google can read both HTML and XHTML-style meta tags, regardless of the code used on the page.
  • To ensure machine readability, the head section must be valid HTML and in case of attributes, all parent tags closed accordingly.
  • With the exception of google-site-verification, letter case is generally not important in meta tags.
  • You can use other meta tags if they are important to your site, but Google will ignore meta tags that it doesn't support.
  • If you're considering using JavaScript to inject or change meta tags, proceed with caution. We recommend that you avoid using JavaScript to inject or change meta tags whenever possible, and if you must use it, test your implementations thoroughly.
  • To check the meta tags and attributes on your pages, use the URL Inspection Tool.

Unsupported tags and attributes

The following tags and attributes aren't supported by Google Search and are ignored. We're including them here because they're either very common in HTML or we used to support them.

Unsupported tags and attributes
meta-keyword tag <meta name="keywords" content="..."> The meta-keyword tag is not used by Google Search, and it has no effect on indexing and ranking at all.
HTML tag lang attributes Google Search detects the language of a page based on the textual content of the page. It doesn't rely on code annotations such as the lang.
next and prev rel attribute values
<link rel="next" href="...">
<link rel="prev" href="...">

Google no longer uses these HTML <link> tags, and they have no effect on indexing.