Meta Tag Manager

Meta Tag Manager® 2.0
Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction | Download | Register | Screenshots | FAQ | History | Meta Tag Manager Index |

How to process a folder of HTML files

Open the Meta Tags pane of the Meta Tag Manager (MTM) window by clicking on the “MetaTags” tab in the upper center of the screen if you are not currently in that pane. Click the “Choose Folder to Process...” button and select the folder of HTML files that you want to process. A list of all files in the selected folder will appear in the “All Files” list in the upper left of the screen and the current folder path will appear above that. MTM will display the number of valid (html) files in the folder.

How to process a single file

You can process only a single file by clicking the “Choose File...” button. This will have no impact on the files listed in the file list field.

Collecting all key terms into a master list

With a list of files appearing in the File List field, start building your master keyword list now by clicking the “Collect All Keywords” button. This will extract all the keywords from the keywords meta tag of all the files in the file list and place them in the “All Keys” field at the lower left of the screen. Under normal circumstance this will replace the key terms in the “All Keys” list unless you hold the option key down when you click the “Collect All Keywords” button. Note that as you continue to work with files, their keywords will be automatically added to the master keyword list.

Merging key terms with the master list

Holding the option key down when you click the “Collect All Keywords” button will merge keywords from the file list with those in the “All Keys” list.

Deleting key terms from the master list

You can click this “All Keys” list while holding the option key down to delete terms from the list.

Exporting a key term list to a file

You can use the “Export Keys...” button to write the master list to a file. You can use the same button to write just the file's keywords to a file (when you press the button you are asked to choose).

Import a list of keywords

Press the “Import Keys...” button to import a tab, comma, or return-delimited list of keywords. You will be prompted for the destination of the keywords (either the current file's keywords or the "all keywords" list).

How to load a file

Click on the first file (named “MTMTutorial1.html”) in the file list to read the file into MTM. In between the file list and the master keys list (“All Keys”) you should see first the current file name, then the contents of the title tag (if any), contents of the description tag, and contents of the keyword tag.

Checking the main meta tags (Character counts)

On the left side of the screen you will find information about the lengths of the title, description, and keywords for the current file. The length is displayed in characters and when you have enabled the “Character counts include HTML tags (from < to >) checkbox on Preferences screen (as is the default), you will also see how many characters are added for HTML tags when Meta Tag Manager checks tags. If you ever feel that Meta Tag Manager is out of sync with its character counts you can click on the button “Recount All” or on the “MetaTags” tab at the top of the screen or use the keyboard-shortcut: command-equals.

How to add master terms to the keyword tag

Double-click on the words “batch processor” in the “All Keys” list to add it to the file’s keywords tag. Note that the statistics for the file (on the left side of the screen) update to reflect the length of this addition.

Using the Def. Desc. (Default Description)

Enter some text into the “Default Description” field. Use the “Default Desc.” button (or the keyboard shortcut: command-D) to add the contents of this field to the file’s description (choose “Append” when asked. Check the impact on the character totals.

Using the custom fields

Besides the Default Description field, there are two "Custom" fields, one named “Custom 1” and the other named “Custom 2.” Here you can enter text that you may want to append to every file in a group (or in a batch -- see below). Press the “Add Custom 1” button (or the command-1 keyboard shortcut) to append the contents of the “Custom 1” field to the current file’s keywords.

Special options of the custom fields

If you click on the “Add Custom 1” or “Add Custom 2” buttons while holding down the option key, you can redirect those fields to the “Description” tag by holding the option key down while clicking. Click the “Add Custom 2” with the option key held down to append it to the current file’s description. Note that this might have an impact on status of the description tag.

Checking tag content lengths

If any of the tag-counts exceed the preferred settings (from the “Prefs” pane of this window), which they should if you’re following this tutorial correctly, you will see its information displayed in red. You can display how much of an item exceeds the minimum search engine settings by pressing the lowest radio button in the group of three (red characters, if any, are beyond the minimum length that is specified in the Prefs pane). Alternatively, you can display how much of an item exceeds your preferred settings by pressing the middle radio button the left of the field (blue characters, if any, are beyond your preferred length).

How to check additional meta tags (Eye button)

Note the possibilities to add additional meta tags to the current file at the lower right of this screen: eight buttons allow you to edit the contents of any of these meta tags which are controlled by the “Add/Replace more meta tags” button. You can view the current settings of all meta tags for the file (as it is on the disk) by clicking on the “eye” button while holding the option key down. Click on the field (or click on the eye again with the option key) to hide this field). Click and hold the mouse down on the eye (without the option key) to display the current settings of the eight additional meta tags that are specified for adding to the current file (those that are checked).

How to add additional meta tags

Click on any of the additional meta tag boxes to add it to the current file (checked items). For example, if you might click the “robots” checkbox and enter “index,follow” for this file (this will instruct and search engine spiders to index this file and follow the links contained in it). Or, click on the “distribution” checkbox and chose between “Global” or “Local.” You can set other tags the same way. Remember, you can always press (click and hold down the mouse button) on the “eye” button to see which tags will get added the next time you make an update to the current file using Meta Tag Manager.

How to check the current file's headings

Click on the Headings tab at the top of the window to go the Headings screen. Note that you can still view and edit the main tags of your file while checking the headings. Checked levels of headings are read in and examined during the file-loading process, unchecked levels are ignored. While in the Headings screen, you can turn all headings off by clicking on the Headings tab with the option key down, or turn them all on by clicking on the Headings tab without the option key. Another shortcut is to click on one of the individual heading level buttons while holding the option key down; this sets all the other checkboxes to the opposite of the one you clicked on.

How to add headings to the current file's keywords

Double-click on the line in the headings to append that line to the Keywords list for the current file.

How to view and edit the HTML for the current file

Click on the HTML tab at the top of the window. This will bring you to Meta Tag Manager’s HTML screen. Here you can edit the raw HTML of your file if you need to. Note that you can also still view and edit the main tags of your file. Click the “More” button to temporarily widen your view of HTML with excessive line wraps. To edit the HTML, first you must unlock this field by clicking the little latch at the upper right. Note the “Update HTML” and “Update File” buttons at the upper right of the screen. The first updates just the HTML displayed on this page while the second updates the file on disk (see below).

How to view just the text of your file

Click on the Text tab at the top of the window. This will bring you to Meta Tag Manager’s Text screen. Here you can see the contents of the current file without any HTML tags. Edits in this field are not reflected in the file when updating (unlike those made on the HTML screen which are reflected in the update). The option to unlock this field is to allow you to copy text out of it. If you need a more accurate preview of your file, click the “Browser Preview” above the text field.

How to get Advice from Meta Tag Manager

Click on the Advice tab at the top of the window. This will bring you to Meta Tag Manager’s Advice screen. In the white fields at the right, you will see Meta Tag Manager’s comments about this file, if any. You can move the cursor (without pressing the mouse button) over the fields to get a further explanation (in blue type) at the top of the screen. The upper four fields (if visible) give comments about the file items immediately to the left of them while the lowest (fifth) field of comments analyzes the interaction of your keywords with your headings and body text which can be extremely important in search engine relevancy ranking (you may need to scroll down a bit to see the body text comments).

How to bring your tags to acceptable limits

After examining Meta Tag Manager's character counts for the three main fields field, bring any overly lengthy ones down to acceptable limits, if necessary, by deleting superflous text. Click the “Advice” tab at the top of the screen (or click into another field) to have Meta Tag Manager recalculate the advice for this file. Corrected fields should lose all their red warning characteristics. Click the bottom radio button next to the field you're editing to display how many characters of it will be displayed under the conditions of the minimum search engine settings. Often, you will want to leave excessive text for searhc engines that can handle it (provided the minimum text makes sense as in the tutorial).

The Preferences screen

Click on the Prefs tab at the top of the window. This will bring you to Meta Tag Manager’s Preferences screen. The left side of this screen is where you enter the limits of various search engines. The default figures were gleaned from Reading the headings across the top of the quazi-spreadsheet they refer to: number of characters in the Title tag, Description meta tag, Keywords meta tag, Description tag plus keywords tag, and number of keyword repetitions before a page is rejected search engine as spam. Reading down, the rows correspond to the values of seven popular search engines. You are welcome to change any of the values for any of the search engines and there are three empty rows for you to add additional search engines. You can save these settings to “Profile” files (from time to time, YAV may make new profile files available at the Meta Tag Manager web site). If you change or add any values on this left side of the screen, Meta Tag Manager will recalculate the impact upon the current file when you leave the Preferences screen.

How to launch search engines from Preferences

Clicking on the label “Character Count Limits” will take you to (provided you have set a default browser at the lower left of this screen). Similarly, clicking on any of the search engine names at the left of the screen will launch that search engine in your browser.

Statistics on the Preferences screen

Meta Tag Manager uses the character count limits (in the quazi-spreadsheet on the left of the screen) to calculate the statistics in the center of the screen. Checkboxes to the immediate right of the character count limit fields tell Meta Tag Manager to exclude or include search engines in the statistics and Target popup menu. Although these values are usually calculated automatically, you can force a recalculation by clicking on the “Calc.” button or on the Prefs tab at the top of the screen.

How to set target (preferred) values in Preferences

The values in the statistics area and those above are used to create the Target popup menus (little triangles above the Target fields). Note that you are not restricted to using the values in the popup menus for the Target fields, you can type anything you want in the fields. These targets are the preferred values that Meta Tag Manager uses to determine whether or not to issue a warning about a tag and when calculating advice. Checkboxes below the “Desc.+Keys” and “Key Repeat” columns let you exclude those columns from Meta Tag Manager’s consideration.

The right side of the Preferences screen

Most of the other preference are self-explanatory, however, several require a bit of explanation. “Don’t convert HTML” refers to not converting the HTML into straight test (for the Text screen) while a file is being loaded. “Pause after local HTML update” tells Meta Tag Manager to update the HTML field and then stop (you must then press the “Update File” button to actually write the update to the disk). “Remove unselected meta tags if present” applies when you use the “Add/Replace more meta tags” option on the Meta Tags screen. When you enable “Remove unselected meta tags if present”, unchecking boxes among the eight additional meta tags at the lower right of the MetaTags screen will result in tags of that type being removed if they are found in the file while updating. Otherwise, the tags corresponding to the checkboxes are simply left untouched, as are any other meta tags encountered.

How to change keyword delimiters

“Change keyword delimiter” lets you use commas, spaces, or space+comma as the delimiter of terms in the keywords meta tag. There are some advantages to using space as a delimiter. For example “Dutch,tulip,horticulture” (delimited by commas) will not score as high in searches as “Dutch tulip horticulture” (delimited by spaces) when the search string is “Dutch tulip”, “tulip horticulture”, or “Dutch tulip horticulture”. Selecting the “Auto” option uses commas only when key-terms of multiple words are detected, otherwise spaces are used. An advantage to not using the setting of “comma, space” is that it adds a number of characters to the keyword tag equal to the number of terms in the meta tag.

How to change program Defaults

Before setting the defaults for the preferences you may want to set the “Default browser” - click on the box directly below the words “Default browser” to set one. Also, you may want to check the “Auto-backup file before update. This will create a backup in the same folder of the current file with the filename plus the “.bck” extension. Click on the “Default” button while holding down the option key to replace the programs default settings (those that are recalled by pressing the “Default” button) to the current settings.

How to update the current file

There are two main scenarios for updating the current file (excluding batch options and menu shortcuts). Depending upon your setting for “Pause after local HTML update” in the Preferences, pressing the “Update Page” button on the Meta Tags screen will either immediately update the file on disk (and the HTML displayed in Meta Tag Manger’s HTML screen), or just the HTML displayed on the HTML screen. In the second scenario you will be taken to the HTML screen and the update will pause. On the HTML screen you can inspect the file’s HTML prior to pressing the “Update File” button at the upper right to write the changes into your disk file. If you had unchecked the “Pause after local HTML update” checkbox in the Preferences, then the first time you pressed the “Update Page” button would have resulted in the disk-based version of your file being updated.

How to retain some elements from the first file

(when you load the second file) Because some parts of a web site are related (like these three files), Meta Tag Manager provides a quick way to retain some elements from one file while loading in another. On the MetaTags screen to the left of the Description and Keywords fields is a checkbox labeled “Keep.” Check these boxes to retain these fields from the first file while you click on another file in the file list. A shortcut for these checkboxes is clicking on the file’s name in the file list while pressing the option key - that toggles the checkmark of the two “Keep” checkboxes; because they had been unchecked before, this would have checked both of them as the next file was loaded.

How to quickly update the current file

No matter where you are in the program, press command-U, the keyboard shortcut for “Update Page.” If you unchecked “Pause after local HTML update” the “Update Page” option immediately updates the file on disk rather than first updating the HTML field on the HTML screen and then pausing the update. If you checked “Auto-backup file before update” a file named with the same name as the current file (plus ".bck") will be created before the update takes place and that will be in the same folder as the original file.

How to prepare to run a batch

Batch processing can take some time to set up but can save you much more time in the end. Meta Tag Manager's batch options allow you to process a selected group of files (or all the files in the file list) as a batch. You can enter text in the “Default Description” field that you want appended, prepended, or as a replacement, depending upon other conditions, to the files in the batch list. You can similarly add the contents of the Custom 1 and Custom 2 files to the files in the batch list. You can specify that they will be merged with all the keywords tags (or appended, or prepended, etc). If you like, add some additional items under the “Add/Replace more meta tags” checkbox (these will be added to the meta tags of all the files in the batch).

How to configure the Batch Add window

Select all the files you want to include in the batch by dragging over them in the file list while pressing the shift key or the command key. Click on the “Batch Add Multiple Tags..” button on the MetaTags screen. Make sure to click on the log file field to set the name of the log file if you want to save a log file.

How to batch process all the files in your batch list

If you’ve named your log file you’re ready to run the batch. Press the “Process Batch” button and watch the status display. It should go quite quickly. When the status field displays “Done!” you should close the “Batch Add” window.

You may want to spot-check your batch

Go to the MetaTags screen and click on one of the files in the file list to verify that the batch process executed correctly. In this case the differences in the “Description” field or the “Keywords” field should make it evident. Depending upon your settings you may notice major differences in the other meta tags: Click the mouse on the Eye button while holding the option key down to verify that extra meta tags were added and that the delimiters were changed appropriately.

How to examine the Log file using the Text window

Choose “Open” from the file menu and select your log file. The log file will open in the Text window (you may have to confirm the overwriting of pre-existing content in the Text window).

How to generate a “Tag Report”

Back on the MetaTags screen, press the “Tag Report” button in the lower right of the screen. At the first prompt, where you have to choose the scope of the Tag Report, choose “All.” This will give you a report of all the pages in the file list. At the second prompt chose “Window.” That will assure that the report goes in Meta Tag Manager’s internal Text window where you can peruse it at your leisure.

Introduction | Download | Register | Screenshots | FAQ | History | Meta Tag Manager Index |

Copyright © YAV 1998, All rights reserved