ASP.NET 4 SEO Improvements (VS 2010 and .NET 4.0 Series)
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by Scott Guthrie
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Page.MetaKeywords and Page.MetaDescription properties

One simple recommendation to improve the search relevancy of pages is to make sure you always output relevant “keywords” and “description” <meta> tags within the <head> section of your HTML.  For example:

Figure 1

One of the nice improvements with ASP.NET 4 Web Forms is the addition of two new properties to the Page class: MetaKeywords and MetaDescription that make programmatically setting these values within your code-behind classes much easier and cleaner. 

ASP.NET 4’s <head> server control now looks at these values and will use them when outputting the <head> section of pages.  This behavior is particularly useful for scenarios where you are using master-pages within your site – and the <head> section ends up being in a .master file that is separate from the .aspx file that contains the page specific content.  You can now set the new MetaKeywords and MetaDescription properties in the .aspx page and have their values automatically rendered by the <head> control within the master page.

Below is a simple code snippet that demonstrates setting these properties programmatically within a Page_Load() event handler:

Figure 2

In addition to setting the Keywords and Description properties programmatically in your code-behind, you can also now declaratively set them within the @Page directive at the top of .aspx pages.  The below snippet demonstrates how to-do this:

Figure 3

As you’d probably expect, if you set the values programmatically they will override any values declaratively set in either the <head> section or the via the @Page attribute. 

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