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The word “meta” literally means “situated behind.” In the world of technology, meta means “an underlying definition or description.” Sometimes the prefix means “more comprehensive or fundamental.” If you're talking about website Search Engine Optimization, all three definitions apply.
Meta tags have been employed for years by SEO experts in order to achieve higher search engine rankings on web pages.
Meta tags, along with meta keywords and titles, provide the search engines with more information about the website's topic. The information, placed within the code – literally behind -- the content on a website, cannot be seen by visitors.
In recent years, keyword stuffing, misleading meta tags and other SEO “black hat” practices have caused meta tags to fall out of favor. But reputable SEO experts know that meta strategies still have a place in Search Engine Optimization. Conservative use of meta tags and meta keywords may help a website's search engine ranking and particularly the click-through rate.
Before you place any meta tags on your website, you'll want to use a tool such as Google's AdWords Keyword tool to find the keywords that work best for your business or industry.