I am the developer of an HTML checking tool. I want to check meta names to make sure they match case-sensitively when it matters. All I've come across so far (according to Google) is that this meta name ("google-site-verification") should be case sensitive as in:

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

That is, you would not want to use this:

<meta name="GOOGLE-SITE-verification" content="XXX">

Are there any other meta names that are case-sensitive? I'd like to check for this in my tool.

UPDATE: Looks like Microsoft has many more that are case-sensitive, most of which are msapplication-*: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ie/dn255024.aspx


Google is a little bit over exact on this to avoid requests on the verification topic. It's the content="" part of the verification meta-tag which has to be case sensitive. Not the name="" part as you post it in your answer. Google verifies with help of this meta tag even if the name-part is NOT written as they provide it. So

<meta name="goOgle-sIte-verIficatiOn" content="CaseSensitiveStringASGoogleProvidetIt">

will work fine as does

<meta name="GOOGLE-SITE-VERIFICATION" content="CaseSensitiveStringASGoogleProvidetIt">. (I have tested that.)

This is also consistent with their webmaster help: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/79812?hl=en

With the exception of verify, case is generally not important in meta tags. (This is also the official answer to your question, the case in meta-tag-names is generally irrelevant. As it is according to my own experience.)

If your HTML-checking tool should work like Google did, you could generate a warning, but the website should pass your check, even with this "problem" because it still works fine.

As to the "verify-v1" name, I'm not sure if this is still a valid method? On the recent official tools and help pages Google only talks about the google-site-verification tag...

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  • FWIW I believe it's the same with other meta-tag verification setups, like those from Yandex and Bing. – John Mueller Aug 6 '14 at 7:10
  • So what you're saying is that the google info on the page you reference about google-site-verification is actually incorrect and the case of google-site-verification actually doesn't matter like the page says it does? I think it may be best to play it safe and check for a case-sensitive match for google-site-verification anyway because the google page seems to make it clear that the name value must case match as well. As for "verify-v1", I think that is an old name but it still appears on some sites. – Albert Wiersch Aug 8 '14 at 15:11

In HTML5, there are two sets of metadata names:

For the standard metadata names, it is required that they are case-insensitive:

Names are case-insensitive, and must be compared in an ASCII case-insensitive manner.

For other metadata names, it says:

The name should not be confusingly similar to any other defined name (e.g. differing only in case).

Note the "should". So registered values may be case-sensitive.

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  • Good point... that "should" statement seems to imply that meta names could be case-sensitive. And I'm on the hunt for the ones that are. Even the ones that seem to be per documentation might not actually be so this is a point of confusion... best to play it safe I suppose, and check the case of these anyway. – Albert Wiersch Aug 8 '14 at 15:14
  • @AlbertWiersch: But even if a registered name foobar is defined to be case-insensitive, there is (AFAIK) no restriction (only a recommendation) not to register FooBar with a totally different meaning. So a formerly case-insensitive value would now be forced to be interpreted case-sensitive, so it can’t be confused with the new value. -- So I assume, unless it is defined to be case-sensitive on this wiki page, you can never be sure, so your tool should probably display only a warning/note (and not an error). – unor Aug 8 '14 at 17:00
  • I doubt there would ever be foobar (case insensitive) registered with FooBar (case sensitive) type situation. I am just looking for very specific names that are defined or documented to be case sensitive, of which there only seem to be 2 so far (even though the practical case-sensitive nature may be questionable). I am currently generating an error for them but the developer could easily change it to a warning if they want, or disregard altogether. I think these errors will rarely happen though, but just in case the program will now find it and bring it to their attention. – Albert Wiersch Aug 8 '14 at 18:48

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