Metadata is data about data. In terms of your Web pages it is additional descriptive information about the page. Typical information might include keywords, a description, author, date of update and other information. Including metadata in your Web pages can help you manage them and can help other people find them.
Why should I bother with metadata?
Metadata can help other people find your pages. It can be used to relate pages of similar topics or authors. It can help you and others determine the freshness of your pages.
How do I include metadata in my pages?
Use the <meta> tag within the <head> section of your document to include metadata. The keywords and description elements (see example below) are used by many search engines to help with indexing of pages and adjusting search results. For example, a page with accurate descriptive metadata will be more likely to appear higher in a search results list.
<meta name="keywords" content="web standards, web guidelines, web publishing, metadata">
<meta name="description" content="What metadata is and how it can be implemented in web pages">