META builder

The form will generate HTML META tags suitable for inclusion in your HTML document. These tags allow better indexing by robot-driven search engines, such as AltaVista, Infoseek and searchBC .
Some HTML editors will generate some of these tags automatically.

You can also use the META generator at SafeSurf to generate a PICS header - a multi-valued, multidimensional ratings scheme for classifying Web pages for use with kid's Web software or PICS-compliant browsers such as MSIE.

Title (Strongly Recommended)

Your documents title will appear in user's hotlists, the banner of most browsers, and robot-generated lists. It should be a concise, one-line summary of what the page is about. Bear in mind that users may not reach your document through your homepage, but directly using a search engine or link at another site, so the title should ideally be self-sufficient.

Keywords (Recommended)

Space-separated list of key words for indexing your document.
Some robots look at keywords in context, so it is best to preserve word order and case, e.g. pizza, Vancouver, British Columbia rather than british vancouver columbia pizza

Description (Recommended)

The description is presented to the user along with the document's title as the result of a search.
Many robots use the first few lines of text as a description if the Description tag is not present. For documents using frames, it is possible that there is no such text present. For an academic text, this should probably be the abstract.

Owner (Recommended)

Legacy value. Some browsers (e.g. Lynx) use this to mail the document author; e.g. "".


DC.lite element. The name of the creator of the resource (author, graphic artist, photographer etc.), e.g. "Vincent Van Gogh"..


DC.lite element. The topic of the resource, or keywords or phrases that describe the subject or content of the resource.


DC.lite element. The entity responsible for making the resource available in its present form. The organisation hosting the Web page, perhaps.


DC.lite element. Persons or organisations other than the Creator who made a secondary contribution to the work.


DC.lite element. The geographic coverage of the resource. For each distinct area covered, use a separate element.
Placenames from a reference such as the Getty Thesaurus are recommended.

You may use comma-separated names, ( * Syntax in negotiation ) e.g. "Canada, Quebec, Hull", to define a region more exactly, if ambiguity exists (e.g. London, Birmingham, Vancouver, etc.).

It is intended that searchBC be enhanced to traverse pages with British Columbia in this element.


DC.lite element. The geographic location of the resource, if meaningful. x is Longitude, y is Latitude, in decimal degrees, East positive, North positive. z is elevation in metres. The WGS84 geodetic scheme (as used in GPS receivers) should be used, unless an accuracy of less than 200 metres is sufficient.

The form will perform some conversions. Any field may be filled in with a decimal number, so the following are all valid as Latitude:

See also DMS convertor to convert from degrees,minutes,seconds.

Expiry Date (Optional)

The date after which a page is considered stale, in RFC1123 date format. is used by browsers and proxies to delete documents from the cache. If you know your page will go stale, this is probably a good idea. Netscape Navigator honours the META tag; other agents and proxies may require the HTTP header. Netscape 3 will cache a document with an "Expires: 0" tag, but will issue a GET with If-Modified-Since (regardless of option settings), and thus retrieve an updated copy if one exists. The searchBC search engine uses the Expires value as a hint to schedule a revisit.

Object Type (Recommended)

Allows a document to be searched for in a particular category. Details of Object Types
Recommended where document is indexed elsewhere (ISSN, Library of Congress, etc.)
To make other Dublin Core Meta-tags, see the Dublin Core META Generator.

Revisit Interval (Optional)

Controls how often your document is re-visited (by the searchBC robot). Value = [integer][days|weeks|months]; e.g. "4 days". Obsolescent.

Rating (Optional)

A complement to (not a substitute for) the PICS system; modelled after the familiar Motion Picture ratings, to indicate adult content of a document.

Language (Optional)

Dialect (Optional)

Some browsers (Arena, Mosaic-L10N, Netscape) have the ability to perform content negotiation. What this means is that the user configures the browser to prefer certain languages based on the users fluency, by specifying an HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE header. For example, the list en-CA, en-GB, fr would say that you would accept (in order of preference) Canadian English, UK English, and French. Some servers, e.g. Apache, can use this information to serve a document in the preferred language. To function properly, the language/dialect combination must be available to the server (see the server documentation). The searchBC robot indexes a META tag for reference purposes.

For a demonstration of language negotiation and charsets, see the Multilingual page.

You may use the browser test script to discover if your browser is sending an HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE header.

Charset (Optional)

Charsets may be specified by the server; for instance:
Content-type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-5
Netscape 2.0 works properly with this method; unfortunately, most other browsers break. Netscape 3 will use a META tag to automatically switch fonts (X11 Netscape, at least), and provided the server does not parse HTTP-EQUIV META tags into real HTTP headers, other browsers will ignore it. Thus this method becomes recommended for non-ISO-8859-1 (Western European) character sets, as it will cause Netscape to select the correct font for each page.

SearchBC will index this META tag. The default HTML charset is ISO-8859-1 (Western European 8-bit).

See How to make a Multilingual Webserver for more information about using Charset and Language tags.

The Dublin Core element DC.language uses a 3-character string from Z39.53.
The Other input box in the form accepts a language from this list, e.g. Basque, and looks up the 2 and 3-letter codes in a table.

Robots (Recommended)

See the workshop report at W3 for the full text.

        default = empty = "ALL"
The filler is a comma separated list of terms:

Discussion: This tag is meant to provide users who cannot control the robots.txt file at their sites. It provides a last chance to keep their content out of search services. It was decided not to add syntax to allow robot specific permissions within the meta-tag.

INDEX means that robots are welcome to include this page in search services.

FOLLOW means that robots are welcome to follow links from this page to find other pages.

So a value of "NOINDEX" allows the subsidiary links to be explored, even though the page is not indexed. A value of "NOFOLLOW" allows the page to be indexed, but no links from the page are explored (this may be useful if the page is a free entry point into pay-per-view content, for example. A value of "NONE" tells the robot to ignore the page.

The META generator will build the HTML according to the buttons selected.


Data entered in the MetaGenerator form is not released to any other organisation. Currently, it is not saved and is used only for generating the results page. However, this is not a secure server and data could conceivably be monitored, the most likely places being on an Ethernet segment at your site or inside your computer by a trojan horse program.
Vancouver Webpages