Software Development Terms

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Metadata

Metadata is everywhere on your website, so it is crucial to know what it does for your company. Simply put; Metadata is data about data.

It is data with information. This information makes it easier to discover, use and manage the content in your websites. It also summarises information about your data which makes finding particular instances of your data far easier.

On your website, possibly developed by Tentacle’s Glasgow-based team, there will most certainly be a series of digital images. Each of those images will include metadata that will describe, for example, how large the image is. It can also define the color depth, the image resolution, and even when it was created. Going one step further, it could even contain the shutter speed!

There is a wide variety of metadata depending on its purpose:

- Descriptive metadata - As the name suggests, it is descriptive information used for discovery and id. It may include elements such as title or keywords

- Structural metadata - This is a little more technical information that indicates how compound data objects are put together. An example would be how the pages on your blog are ordered to form chapters.

- Administrative metadata is information that helps manage a resource, like resource type, permissions, and when and how it was created.

- Reference metadata - contains information about the contents and quality of statistical data.

- Statistical metadata-  describes processes that collect, process, or produce statistical data.

- Legal metadata - as the name suggests, this provides information about the creator, copyright holder etc.

On your company’s website, there will be metadata that will contain descriptions of the page’s content and keywords linked to the content. These are called Meta Tags.

Meta Tags were once a great tool that search engines used to rank websites relevancy on certain topics. However, they were overly misused, with techniques like “keyword stuffing”, so their use by search engines has been rapidly declining.

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