Project

meta-tags

1.4
A long-lived project that still receives updates
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugin for Ruby on Rails applications.
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 Dependencies

Development

~> 13.0
~> 3.13.0
>= 3.2.0, < 8.1
~> 2.5.0
~> 2.25.0
~> 0.6.0
~> 0.22.0
~> 1.31

Runtime

>= 6.0.0, < 8.1
 Project Readme

MetaTags: a gem to make your Rails application SEO-friendly

Tests Gem Version Ruby Style Guide Code Climate Test Coverage Gem Downloads Changelog

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugin for Ruby on Rails applications.

Ruby on Rails

The MetaTags main branch fully supports Ruby on Rails 6.0+ and is tested against all major Ruby on Rails releases.

Note

We no longer support Ruby versions older than 3.0 and Ruby on Rails older than 6.0 since they reached their end of life (see Ruby and Ruby on Rails).

Installation

Add the "meta-tags" gem to your Gemfile.

gem "meta-tags"

And run bundle install command.

Configuration

MetaTags follows best practices for meta tags. Although default limits for truncation have recommended values, you can change them to reflect your own preferences. Keywords are converted to lowercase by default, but this is also configurable.

To override the defaults, create an initializer config/initializers/meta_tags.rb using the following command:

rails generate meta_tags:install

By default, meta tags are rendered with the key name. However, some meta tags are required to use property instead (like Facebook Open Graph object). The MetaTags gem allows you to configure which tags to render with the property attribute. The pre-configured list includes all possible Facebook Open Graph object types by default, but you can add your own in case you need it.

MetaTags Usage

First, add this code to your main layout:

<head>
  <%= display_meta_tags site: "My website" %>
</head>

Then, to set the page title, add this to each of your views (see below for other options):

<h1><%= title "My page title" %></h1>

When views are rendered, the page title will be included in the right spots:

<head>
  <title>My website | My page title</title>
</head>
<body>
  <h1>My page title</h1>
</body>

You can find allowed options for the display_meta_tags method below.

Important

You must use display_meta_tags in the layout files to render the meta tags. In the views, you will instead use set_meta_tags, which accepts the same arguments but does not render anything in the place where it is called.

Using MetaTags in controller

You can define the following instance variables:

@page_title = "Member Login"
@page_description = "Member login page."
@page_keywords = "Site, Login, Members"

Also, you could use the set_meta_tags method to define all meta tags simultaneously:

set_meta_tags(
  title: "Member Login",
  description: "Member login page.",
  keywords: "Site, Login, Members"
)

You can find the allowed options for the set_meta_tags method below.

Using MetaTags in view

To set meta tags, you can use the following methods:

<% title "Member Login" %>
<% description "Member login page." %>
<% keywords "Site, Login, Members" %>
<% nofollow %>
<% noindex %>
<% refresh 3 %>

Also, the set_meta_tags method exists:

<%
  set_meta_tags(
    title: "Member Login",
    description: "Member login page.",
    keywords: "Site, Login, Members"
  )
%>

You can pass an object that implements the #to_meta_tags method and returns a Hash:

class Document < ApplicationRecord
  def to_meta_tags
    {
      title: title,
      description: summary
    }
  end
end

@document = Document.first
set_meta_tags @document

The title method returns the title itself, so you can use it to show the title somewhere on the page:

<h1><%= title "Member Login" %></h1>

If you want to set the title and display another text, use this:

<h1><%= title "Member Login", "Here you can login to the site:" %></h1>

Allowed options for display_meta_tags and set_meta_tags methods

Use these options to customize the title format:

Option Description
:site Site title
:title Page title
:description Page description
:keywords Page keywords
:charset Page character set
:prefix Text between site name and separator
:separator Text used to separate the website name from the page title
:suffix Text between separator and page title
:lowercase When true, the page name will be lowercase
:reverse When true, the page and site names will be reversed
:noindex Add noindex meta tag; when true, "robots" will be used; accepts a string with a robot name or an array of strings
:index Add index meta tag; when true, "robots" will be used; accepts a string with a robot name or an array of strings
:nofollow Add nofollow meta tag; when true, "robots" will be used; accepts a string with a robot name or an array of strings
:follow Add follow meta tag; when true, "robots" will be used; accepts a string with a robot name or an array of strings
:noarchive Add noarchive meta tag; when true, "robots" will be used; accepts a string with a robot name or an array of strings
:canonical Add canonical link tag
:prev Add prev link tag
:next Add next link tag
:image_src Add image_src link tag
:og Add Open Graph tags (Hash)
:twitter Add Twitter tags (Hash)
:refresh Refresh interval and optionally URL to redirect to

And here are a few examples to give you ideas.

<%= display_meta_tags separator: "&mdash;".html_safe %>
<%= display_meta_tags prefix: false, separator: ":" %>
<%= display_meta_tags lowercase: true %>
<%= display_meta_tags reverse: true, prefix: false %>
<%= display_meta_tags og: { title: "The Rock", type: "video.movie" } %>
<%= display_meta_tags alternate: { "zh-Hant" => "http://example.com.tw/base/url" } %>

Allowed values

You can specify :title as a string or array:

set_meta_tags title: ["part1", "part2"], site: "site"
# site | part1 | part2
set_meta_tags title: ["part1", "part2"], reverse: true, site: "site"
# part2 | part1 | site

Keywords can be passed as a string of comma-separated values or as an array:

set_meta_tags keywords: ["tag1", "tag2"]
# tag1, tag2

The description is a string (HTML will be stripped from the output string).

Mirrored values

Sometimes, it is desirable to mirror meta tag values down into namespaces. A common use case is when you want the open graph's og:title to be identical to the title.

Let's say you have the following code in your application layout:

display_meta_tags og: {
  title: :title,
  site_name: :site
}

The value of og[:title] is a symbol, which refers to the value of the top-level title meta tag. In any view with the following code:

title "my great view"

You will get this open graph meta tag automatically:

<meta property="og:title" content="my great view"></meta>

Note

The title does not include the site name. If you need to reference the exact value rendered in the <title> meta tag, use :full_title.

Using with Turbo

Turbo is a simple solution for getting the performance benefits of a single-page application without the added complexity of a client-side JavaScript framework. MetaTags supports Turbo out of the box, so no configuration is necessary.

In order to update the page title, you can use the following trick. First, set the ID for the <title> HTML tag using MetaTags configuration in your initializer config/initializers/meta_tags.rb:

MetaTags.configure do |config|
  config.title_tag_attributes = {id: "page-title"}
end

Now in your turbo frame, you can update the title using a turbo stream:

<turbo-frame ...>
    <turbo-stream action="update" target="page-title">
        <template>My new title</template>
    </turbo-stream>
</turbo-frame>

Using with pjax

jQuery.pjax is a nice solution for navigation without a full-page reload. The main difference is that the layout file will not be rendered, so the page title will not change. To fix this, when using a page fragment, pjax will check the fragment DOM element for a title or data-title attribute and use any value it finds.

MetaTags simplifies this with the display_title method, which returns the fully resolved page title (including site, prefix/suffix, etc.). But in this case, you will have to set default parameters (e.g., :site) both in the layout file and in your views. To minimize code duplication, you can define a helper in application_helper.rb:

def default_meta_tags
  {
    title: "Member Login",
    description: "Member login page.",
    keywords: "Site, Login, Members",
    separator: "&mdash;".html_safe
  }
end

Then, in your layout file, use:

<%= display_meta_tags(default_meta_tags) %>

And in your pjax templates:

<!-- set title here so we can use it both in "display_title" and in "title" -->
<% title "My Page title" %>
<%= content_tag :div, data: { title: display_title(default_meta_tags) } do %>
    <h1><%= title %></h1>
    <!-- HTML goes here -->
<% end %>

SEO Basics and MetaTags

Titles

Page titles are very important for search engines. The titles in the browser are displayed in the title bar. Search engines look at the title bar to determine what the page is all about.

set_meta_tags title: "Member Login"
# <title>Member Login</title>
set_meta_tags site: "Site Title", title: "Member Login"
# <title>Site Title | Member Login</title>
set_meta_tags site: "Site Title", title: "Member Login", reverse: true
# <title>Member Login | Site Title</title>

Recommended title tag length: up to 70 characters in 10 words.

Further reading:

Description

Description meta tags are not displayed by browsers, unlike titles. However, some search engines may choose to display them. These tags are utilized to provide a concise summary of a webpage's content, typically within 2 or 3 sentences.

Below is an example of how to set a description tag using Ruby:

set_meta_tags description: "This is a sample description"
# <meta name="description" content="This is a sample description">

It is advisable to limit the length of the description tag to 300 characters.

Further reading:

Keywords

Meta keywords tags are used to place keywords that you believe users would search for in search engines. It is important to avoid unnecessary repetition of keywords, as this could be considered spam and may result in a permanent ban from search engine results pages (SERPs).

set_meta_tags keywords: %w[keyword1 keyword2 keyword3]
# <meta name="keywords" content="keyword1, keyword2, keyword3">

It is recommended to keep the length of the keywords tag under 255 characters or 20 words.

Note

Both Google and Bing have publicly stated that they completely ignore keywords meta tags.

Noindex

By using the noindex meta tag, you can signal to search engines not to include specific pages in their indexes.

set_meta_tags noindex: true
# <meta name="robots" content="noindex">
set_meta_tags noindex: "googlebot"
# <meta name="googlebot" content="noindex">

This is useful for pages like login, password reset, privacy policy, etc.

Further reading:

Index

Although it is not required to add "index" to "robots" as it is the default value for Google, some SEO specialists recommend adding it to the website.

set_meta_tags index: true
# <meta name="robots" content="index">

Nofollow

Nofollow meta tags tell a search engine not to follow the links on a specific page. It is entirely possible that a robot might find the same links on another page without a nofollow attribute, perhaps on another site, and still arrive at your undesired page.

set_meta_tags nofollow: true
# <meta name="robots" content="nofollow">
set_meta_tags nofollow: "googlebot"
# <meta name="googlebot" content="nofollow">

Further reading:

Follow

You can use the Noindex meta tag in conjunction with Follow.

set_meta_tags noindex: true, follow: true
# <meta name="robots" content="noindex, follow">

This tag will prevent search engines from indexing this specific page, but it will still allow them to crawl and index the remaining pages on your website.

Canonical URL

Canonical link elements tell search engines what the canonical or main URL is for content that has multiple URLs. The search engine will always return that URL, and link popularity and authority will be applied to that URL.

Note

If you follow John Mueller's suggestion not to mix canonical with noindex, then you can set MetaTags.config.skip_canonical_links_on_noindex = true and we'll handle it for you.

set_meta_tags canonical: "http://yoursite.com/canonical/url"
# <link rel="canonical" href="http://yoursite.com/canonical/url">

Further reading:

Icon

A favicon (short for Favorite icon), also known as a shortcut icon, website icon, tab icon, or bookmark icon, is a file containing one or more small icons, most commonly 16x16 pixels, associated with a particular website or web page.

set_meta_tags icon: "/favicon.ico"
# <link rel="icon" href="/favicon.ico" type="image/x-icon">
set_meta_tags icon: "/favicon.png", type: "image/png"
# <link rel="icon" href="/favicon.png" type="image/png">
set_meta_tags icon: [
  {href: "/images/icons/icon_96.png", sizes: "32x32 96x96", type: "image/png"},
  {href: "/images/icons/icon_itouch_precomp_32.png", rel: "apple-touch-icon-precomposed", sizes: "32x32", type: "image/png"}
]
# <link rel="icon" href="/images/icons/icon_96.png" type="image/png" sizes="32x32 96x96">
# <link rel="apple-touch-icon-precomposed" href="/images/icons/icon_itouch_precomp_32.png" type="image/png" sizes="32x32">

Further reading:

Multi-regional and multilingual URLs, RSS and mobile links

Alternate link elements tell a search engine when there is content that's translated or targeted to users in a certain region.

set_meta_tags alternate: {"fr" => "http://yoursite.fr/alternate/url"}
# <link rel="alternate" href="http://yoursite.fr/alternate/url" hreflang="fr">

set_meta_tags alternate: {"fr" => "http://yoursite.fr/alternate/url",
                          "de" => "http://yoursite.de/alternate/url"}
# <link rel="alternate" href="http://yoursite.fr/alternate/url" hreflang="fr">
# <link rel="alternate" href="http://yoursite.de/alternate/url" hreflang="de">

If you need more than just multi-lingual links, you can use an alternative syntax:

set_meta_tags alternate: [
  {href: "http://example.fr/base/url", hreflang: "fr"},
  {href: "http://example.com/feed.rss", type: "application/rss+xml", title: "RSS"},
  {href: "http://m.example.com/page-1", media: "only screen and (max-width: 640px)"}
]

Further reading:

Pagination links

Previous and next links indicate the relationship between individual URLs. Using these attributes is a strong hint to Google that you want us to treat these pages as a logical sequence.

set_meta_tags prev: "http://yoursite.com/url?page=1"
# <link rel="prev" href="http://yoursite.com/url?page=1">
set_meta_tags next: "http://yoursite.com/url?page=3"
# <link rel="next" href="http://yoursite.com/url?page=3">

Further reading:

image_src links

Basically, when you submit/share this to Facebook, it helps Facebook determine which image to put next to the link. If this is not present, Facebook tries to put in the first image it finds on the page, which may not be the best one to represent your site.

set_meta_tags image_src: "http://yoursite.com/icons/icon_32.png"
# <link rel="image_src" href="http://yoursite.com/icons/icon_32.png">

amphtml links

AMP is a method of building web pages for static content that renders quickly. If you have two versions of a page - non-AMP and AMP - you can link the AMP version from the normal one using the amphtml tag:

set_meta_tags amphtml: url_for(format: :amp, only_path: false)
# <link rel="amphtml" href="https://www.example.com/document.amp">

To link back to the normal version, use the canonical tag.

Manifest links

By including the rel="manifest" attribute in the <link> element of an HTML page, you can specify the location of the manifest file that describes the web application. This allows the browser to understand that the web page is an application and to provide features like offline access and the ability to add the application to the home screen of a mobile device.

set_meta_tags manifest: "manifest.json"
# <link rel="manifest" href="manifest.json">

Refresh interval and redirect URL

Meta refresh is a method of instructing a web browser to automatically refresh the current web page or frame after a given time interval. It is also possible to instruct the browser to fetch a different URL when the page is refreshed, by including the alternative URL in the content parameter. By setting the refresh time interval to zero (or a very low value), this allows meta refresh to be used as a method of URL redirection.

set_meta_tags refresh: 5
# <meta content="5" http-equiv="refresh">
set_meta_tags refresh: "5;url=http://example.com"
# <meta content="5;url=http://example.com" http-equiv="refresh">

Further reading:

Open Search

Open Search is a link element used to describe a search engine in a standard and accessible format.

set_meta_tags open_search: {
  title: "Open Search",
  href: "/opensearch.xml"
}
# <link href="/opensearch.xml" rel="search" title="Open Search" type="application/opensearchdescription+xml">

Further reading:

Hashes

Any namespace can be created by simply passing a symbol name and a Hash. For example:

set_meta_tags foo: {
  bar: "lorem",
  baz: {
    qux: "ipsum"
  }
}
# <meta property="foo:bar" content="lorem">
# <meta property="foo:baz:qux" content="ipsum">

Arrays

Repeated meta tags can be easily created by using an Array within a Hash. For example:

set_meta_tags og: {
  image: ["http://example.com/rock.jpg", "http://example.com/rock2.jpg"]
}
# <meta property="og:image" content="http://example.com/rock.jpg">
# <meta property="og:image" content="http://example.com/rock2.jpg">

Open Graph

To turn your web pages into graph objects, you'll need to add Open Graph protocol <meta> tags to your webpages. The tags allow you to specify structured information about your web pages. The more information you provide, the more opportunities your web pages can be surfaced within Facebook today and in the future. Here's an example for a movie page:

set_meta_tags og: {
  title: "The Rock",
  type: "video.movie",
  url: "http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117500/",
  image: "http://ia.media-imdb.com/rock.jpg",
  video: {
    director: "http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000881/",
    writer: ["http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0918711/", "http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0177018/"]
  }
}
# <meta property="og:title" content="The Rock">
# <meta property="og:type" content="video.movie">
# <meta property="og:url" content="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117500/">
# <meta property="og:image" content="http://ia.media-imdb.com/rock.jpg">
# <meta property="og:video:director" content="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000881/">
# <meta property="og:video:writer" content="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0918711/">
# <meta property="og:video:writer" content="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0177018/">

Multiple images declared as an array (look at the _ character):

set_meta_tags og: {
  title: "Two structured image properties",
  type: "website",
  url: "view-source:http://examples.opengraphprotocol.us/image-array.html",
  image: [
    {
      _: "http://examples.opengraphprotocol.us/media/images/75.png",
      width: 75,
      height: 75
    },
    {
      _: "http://examples.opengraphprotocol.us/media/images/50.png",
      width: 50,
      height: 50
    }
  ]
}
# <meta property="og:title" content="Two structured image properties">
# <meta property="og:type" content="website">
# <meta property="og:url" content="http://examples.opengraphprotocol.us/image-array.html">
# <meta property="og:image" content="http://examples.opengraphprotocol.us/media/images/75.png">
# <meta property="og:image:width" content="75">
# <meta property="og:image:height" content="75">
# <meta property="og:image" content="http://examples.opengraphprotocol.us/media/images/50.png">
# <meta property="og:image:width" content="50">
# <meta property="og:image:height" content="50">

Article meta tags are supported too:

set_meta_tags article: {
  published_time: "2013-09-17T05:59:00+01:00",
  modified_time: "2013-09-16T19:08:47+01:00",
  section: "Article Section",
  tag: "Article Tag"
}
# <meta property="article:published_time" content="2013-09-17T05:59:00+01:00">
# <meta property="article:modified_time" content="2013-09-16T19:08:47+01:00">
# <meta property="article:section" content="Article Section">
# <meta property="article:tag" content="Article Tag">

Further reading:

Twitter Cards

Twitter cards make it possible for you to attach media experiences to Tweets that link to your content. There are 3 card types (summary, photo, and player). Here's an example for summary:

set_meta_tags twitter: {
  card: "summary",
  site: "@username"
}
# <meta name="twitter:card" content="summary">
# <meta name="twitter:site" content="@username">

Take into consideration that if you're already using OpenGraph to describe data on your page, it’s easy to generate a Twitter card without duplicating your tags and data. When the Twitter card processor looks for tags on your page, it first checks for the Twitter property, and if not present, falls back to the supported Open Graph property. This allows both to be defined on the page independently and minimizes the amount of duplicate markup required to describe your content and experience.

When you need to generate a Twitter Photo card, the twitter:image property is a string, while image dimensions are specified using twitter:image:width and twitter:image:height, or a Hash object in terms of MetaTags gems. There is a special syntax to make this work:

set_meta_tags twitter: {
  card: "photo",
  image: {
    _: "http://example.com/1.png",
    width: 100,
    height: 100
  }
}
# <meta name="twitter:card" content="photo">
# <meta name="twitter:image" content="http://example.com/1.png">
# <meta name="twitter:image:width" content="100">
# <meta name="twitter:image:height" content="100">

A special parameter itemprop can be used on an "anonymous" tag "_" to generate the "itemprop" HTML attribute:

set_meta_tags twitter: {
  card: "photo",
  image: {
    _: "http://example.com/1.png",
    width: 100,
    height: 100,
    itemprop: "image"
  }
}
# <meta name="twitter:card" content="photo">
# <meta name="twitter:image" content="http://example.com/1.png" itemprop="image">
# <meta name="twitter:image:width" content="100">
# <meta name="twitter:image:height" content="100">

Further reading:

App Links

App Links is an open cross-platform solution for deep linking to content in your mobile app. Here's an example of iOS app integration:

set_meta_tags al: {
  ios: {
    url: "example://applinks",
    app_store_id: 12345,
    app_name: "Example App"
  }
}
# <meta property="al:ios:url" content="example://applinks">
# <meta property="al:ios:app_store_id" content="12345">
# <meta property="al:ios:app_name" content="Example App">

Further reading:

Custom meta tags

Starting from version 1.3.1, you can specify arbitrary meta tags, and they will be rendered on the page, even if the meta-tags gem does not know about them.

Example:

set_meta_tags author: "Dmytro Shteflyuk"
# <meta name="author" content="Dmytro Shteflyuk">

You can also specify the value as an Array, and the values will be displayed as a list of meta tags:

set_meta_tags author: ["Dmytro Shteflyuk", "John Doe"]
# <meta name="author" content="Dmytro Shteflyuk">
# <meta name="author" content="John Doe">

Maintainers

Dmytro Shteflyuk, https://dmytro.sh