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While reading this question on webmasters:
Why don't websites have a "description" meta tag in the head section?, I also checked out StackExchange's source code. Indeed the 'description' meta-tag is missing, just to save a few bytes as Jeff noted in his answer to the question. I found it rather strange to see a 'title' meta-tag in there.

This tag essentially duplicates the html 'Title' tag. My research didn't really turn up any reason on why this tag is there, basically just 'wasting' another few bytes.

Why is this tag there? Why bother including it?

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+1 True, it's odd. I checked also STACKOVERFLOW and serverfault questions and they have no meta TITLE tag, so maybe it's something new added here. –  Marco Demaio Aug 27 '10 at 13:06

2 Answers 2

I wouldn't worry about using the meta title tag. It almost certainly has no SEO value since it is redundant with the true <title> tag but unlike the <title> it has no effect on the page's content or browser display so it is ripe for abuse and serves no actual purpose content wise. (FYI, that's also why the keyword and description meta tags have no SEO value).

<speculation>If I was going to attribute any meaning to that meta title tag it would be to convey the actual title of a document as opposed to the <title> tage which may be used simply to display a title in the browser window. In other words the author will use the <title> tag to make sure the user sees something helpful in their browser title bar and the meta title tag provides the user agent with the true title of the document. I can't think of too many cases where this would be useful but it may be possible.</speculation>

On the side, I wonder why the StackExchange sites don't use the meta description tag? Since it may be what is displayed on SERPs it can only be a good thing. Then again, they tend to do so well in search anyways due to their popularity (aka link popularity) that they simply may not need them.

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Here is the reason why StackExchange decided NOT to use META DESCRIPTION tag in question: webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/1721/… –  Marco Demaio Aug 27 '10 at 13:15
    
Thanks for the link. Looks like I was just about spot on. –  John Conde Aug 27 '10 at 13:21

I found out this article, here they used to say some SEO in India think using the meta tag title is benifical for rankings. But I believe this can not be the answer because if StackExchange does not add such meta tag, I don't see the purpose of adding a META TITLE tag.

Moreover Google official webiste list the tag they understand and the META TITLE tag is not there.

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That article has a publish date much later than your answer, so maybe it's been updated (or maybe they've just changed the date for SEO?!), but it does state: "the SEO boost as a Google Meta Tag ... is nonexistent according to my testing." –  w3d Jul 20 '12 at 9:27
    
@w3d: true they updated the date of the article and probably also the text of the article. –  Marco Demaio Jul 25 '12 at 18:02
    
Quick summary of the linked article. Definitely use the <title> tag that's been part of HTML since its inception, everybody uses it. Meh on the <meta name=title> tag as it's not consistently used and is redundant. –  Fiasco Labs Dec 7 '13 at 18:35

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