In the absence of any other information, Search Engines will index all words in your document (except for comments), and will use the first few words of the document as a short abstract.
It is however possible for you to control how your page is indexed by using the META tag to specify (1) additional keywords to index, and (2) short description.
In the Description Field, enter a short description for the PAGE you are doing at present. (This is not a site description) Limit to 200 charactors.
In the Keywords Field, enter the keywords that are pertinent to that page. Limit to 500 charactors.
In the Content Field, enter the content for the page. This is a synopsis of what your site is about. Limit to 200 charactors.
A very brief on how search engines work.
The search robot will go and 'index' your page or pages. In other words, a robot will read your page and try to figure out what words on the page are relevant to index. The small common words are ignored. Most robots think the most relevant words are near the top of the document, and some robots will index every word on your page. Most use the META tags, if they are there, and some do not use the meta tags and read only the body of the page. So we try to cover all the bases.
When the user enters search words at one of the search engines, the search program tries to match the users words with ones it finds in it's index of web pages. Then returns those pages most relevant to the query.
The single most important item in getting your pages found is your choice of key words. Give much thought to what the user is going to be looking for, and what words they are likely to use when looking for your site!! Even though you may think of 100's of key words that fit your site, pick six to use as your main words, the 6 words you think are most important. Use them in your TITLE and description. The more times a keyword appears on your page, the more relevent your page becomes to that keyword.
* THE FOLLOWING DOES NOT WORK *
<META Name="keywords" Content="pottery,pottery,pottery,pottery,pottery,">
USING THE SAME WORD OVER AND OVER IN SEQUENCE WILL BE IGNORED BY THE ROBOT!
The title of your page <TITLE>John's Page</TITLE>
It is very important to have a descriptive title. "John's Page" could be a title, but tells nothing of the page.
<TITLE>John's Page of Tropical Plants and Herbs</TITLE>
Now John is telling users what he does, with just the title of the page.
Also the search engines use the title of a page for about 50% relativity
to users search words. The more key words in your title, the more likely
your page is to be found.
It is important to describe the PAGE with the title, NOT your site.
There are two META tags that your page should have. These are the description tag and the keywords tag. The META tags go in the HEAD of your page. Your description should be about 150 characters long. It can be longer, just be sure to include your key words in the first 150. The keyword tag should have no more than 1000 characters, I have examples below.
<HEAD> <META name="description" content="Search the net for Art and Crafts. Artist's, Fine Art, Country Crafts, Graphic Artist's, Web Designers, Art Software . . .">
<META Name="keywords" Content="pottery, sculpture, glass, country crafts, art prints, wood crafts, jewelry, musical instruments, books, art catalog, art directory, craft catalog, craft directory, art search, art software, graphic arts, web designers, art resources, art stores, museums, art schools, art designers, art decorators, sculptors, photographers, potters, clay pottery, art index, "> </HEAD>