Metabot from Watchfire
Metabot is a product that allows you to scan a website, and examine metadata information currently on that site. It also allows you to insert or update meta information on individual web pages or across a set of pages.
Metabot integrates with Allaire's Homesite, Macromedia's Dreamweaver or Microsoft's Frontpage or you can simply use it as a stand-alone application.
Metadata is data about data. Basically, this means that metadata tags are meant to give additional information to documents. For HTML, <meta name="author" content="Lynn Alford"> could be added to the <head> part of any HTML documents that I write to ensure appropriate credit is given.
Are meta tags important?
Well, they can be. Some major search engines do use certain meta fields (Altavista uses Description and Keywords). There are other specialist search engines which can examine more of your metadata.
So how can it be used? Let's say that you have set up <meta name="DC.Lastmodified" content="2000/03/11"> then you know that the date the document was last changed. You can then set a review date to re-examine the page to check the information is still current.
How do I know I'm not just making it up?
Actually, you can just make one up. It's just that if you have done so, no one else (or no one outside of your company) will know what it means. But there are some standard metadata tags that have a known meaning. The most important set is the Dublin Core metadata.
What metadata does Metabot support?
The Metabot template has over 50 meta tags including; the Dublin Core set, originator tags, a number of contact information tags and a number of tags commonly used by programs such as FrontPage. Metabot also can create new templates, so you can remove tags your organisation never plans to use and add in any speciality tags that you like. Save that as a template, and your job of checking metadata and making it consistent across a web site has just become much easier.
Adding meta information can be a tedious, time-consuming chore. Using an automated system can alleviate that. If you don't need metadata, you don't need this product. If meta information needs to be carefully crafted for each individual page, this product may or may not be helpful. But if you need to able to set metadata over a site, then this is definitely a product you should trial.