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I realized my site was SEO optimized but only using the <title> tag and not the <meta name="title" content="My Website title"> tag.

Can I have both, the <title> tag and the <meta name="title" content="My Website title"> tag displaying the same phrase? Would this impact the SEO?

6

Google maintains a list of all the meta tags that it uses. It lists the <title> tag (although it notes that it is technically not a meta tag). It does not list <meta name="title"> tags.

Most websites rank very well without meta tags named "title". I've never used such a tag myself before. Your use of a meta title tag would be ignored by search engines and have no impact on your rankings.

You already know that it is very important to use a <title> tag on each page for SEO. The <title> tag is the place on the page where Google gives the most weight to the keywords you use.

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For HTML5, there is no title metadata name. You may only use values defined in the HTML5 spec or registered in the WHATWG wiki, and as title is not registered, you can’t have an element like:

<meta name="title" content="…"> <!-- invalid in HTML5 -->

In HTML 4.01, you may use any value (there is no registry):

<meta name="title" content="…"> <!-- valid in HTML 4.01 -->

But what’s the purpose if there is no definition/specification for this name? A metadata name is not useful to anyone if you can’t be sure what it should contain.

If you don’t know a definition/registration/specification of the title metadata name (i.e., you don’t have a specific consumer in mind that looks for this value), I’d simply omit it.

  • HTML5 is so much looser in other areas such as unquoted attributes and arbitrarily named data-* attributes. I'm a bit surprised that they chose meta tag names as an area in which to be stricter. – Stephen Ostermiller Nov 11 '14 at 13:40
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    @StephenOstermiller: I think it makes sense. data-* attributes should not be used by external consumers (so there is no need for a central registry), while metadata (e.g., within meta elements) is typically intended to be useful for consumers. Without a central registry, extracting anything useful would be way harder, and name conflicts would certainly occur. – unor Nov 11 '14 at 13:45
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To answer your question specifically, No. The <meta title="" content=""> has no effect on rank; for one simple reason; it is not content. Google pays attention to the title tag, h1 tag, other lesser header hags (h2, h3, ...), img tag alt text, URLs, links, and to a much lesser degree, the description meta-tag giving no or little weight to the terms found in this tag.

Google has moved to become a semantic search engine beginning with Google Scholar in 2008 increasing over the years to be more focused on content and tags related to content. While Google can read format tags and may pay attention to them for various reasons, the terms contained within them is not indexed or weighted.

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