Element of
HTML Document Structure
What does <meta> do?
The <meta> element is used to add machine-readable information to an HTML document. Information added with the <meta> tag is not displayed to website visitors but is provided for use by browsers and web crawlers.
Null element
This element must not contain any content, and does not need a closing tag.

Defining Metadata

The <meta> element holds information about your page that you want other computers to understand. The contents of this element will not be printed on the page, and are not known to the human reader. They are designed to aid with categorization, search engine indexing and browser behavior.

This element is always placed within the <head> section of the page. It cannot overlap the </head> closing tag.

Note that <meta> is an empty element, and does not need a closing tag.

Changes in HTML 5

There are two important changes to the behavior of the <meta> tag in HTML 5:

  • The scheme attribute is no longer valid
  • A new attribute, charset, lets you set the character set for the page, as in the following example
<meta charset="ISO-8859-1">

Browser Support for meta