A wonderful Cre8asite Forums thread has an SEO discussion around meta data and SEO.
As many SEOs know, Google and other search engines want you to submit and tag your pages with meta data so they can better understand the context of your pages. This is done from using XML sitemaps, to marking up your pages with microformats for Rich Snippets or even using standard HTML tags that are interpreted in a certain fashion.
Administrator at the forum, IAMLOST, said:
It can be interesting to see which metadata are likely considered and think how that knowledge might be helpful. For instance, for some years - long, long ago - the keywords meta tag was so helpful it was abused until largely dropped from SE consideration, although the original keyword stuffing advice lives on to confuse new comers.
eKstreme, another Cre8asite administrator touched on the what and whys of meta data. He added:
The short summary is: meta data can be (and sadly is) everywhere. A trap many people fall into is that they generate too much meta data that is not actually useful. By "useful" I mean of use to the perceived end user: a librarian certainly has a need for meta data but that meta data is not what a library user would necessarily want/use.
And this is the salient point: it's about semantics. The whole point of meta data is to add another dimension your content to communicate its meaning, with this communication being useful to someone.
This conversation is a very useful one and I'd recommend all SEOs check it out.
Forum discussion at Cre8asite Forums.