[thelist] Meta Keywords and Punctuation?

Niklaus Haldimann nhaldimann at gmx.ch
Thu Nov 15 10:04:15 CST 2001

Hi Kristin

On 14 Nov 01, at 12:56, Jones, Kristin H wrote:
> I'm working on meta tags for a web site and the question has come up as to
> the use of punctuation in keywords. An example of a punctuation we are
> looking to use is "Dr.", "Ph.D.", etc. Will this be a readable keyword for
> a search engine? Any information on punctuation useage with META Keywords
> would be helpful. Thanks!

Search engines treat punctuation as white space. I don't know 
specifically about punctuation in meta keywords, but I guess that 
text in meta tags isn't treated different than text in the body. 
Consider this Google search:


For searchers punctuation is a different matter, though. In Google 
searching for "Ph.d." will be interpreted as a phrase search (ie "ph" 
directly followed by "d"). It's explained here under "Phrase Search":


"Certain characters serve as phrase connectors. Google recognizes 
hyphens, slashes, periods, equal signs, and apostrophes as phrase 
connectors. Phrase connectors work like quotes; for example, mother-
in-law is treated as a phrase even if the three words aren't in 

I guess that most other search engines will treat punctuation in 
search queries as white space, though.

Confused yet? In the end you are probably safe with "Dr." and 
"Ph.d.", although it has probably the same effect as "Dr" and "Ph d".


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