What Are Meta Refresh Tags?

What are meta redirect tags or meta refresh tags?

The meta redirect (meta refresh) tag is a meta http-equiv tag which, when inserted into the header of an HTML document, will cause the visitor’s browser to load a new web page after a specified number of seconds have passed after the initial document has loaded, basically redirecting the visitor to the new page. The webmaster specifies the new page to be loaded and the number of seconds that must pass before the new page is loaded. The meta redirect or refresh tag takes the following form:

<meta http-equiv=”Refresh” content=”4;url=http://www.domain.com/link.html”>

In the tag above, you can substitute any number for the 4, and you can substitute any URL for http://www.domain.com/link.html. The meta refresh tag should not be used on any page that you want the search engines to index. You should never set the meta redirect to 0, as that will cause problems with Google. The tag is useful for turning your website into off-line slideshow presentations, but should not be used online on an optimized site. To learn optimal methods for redirecting your visitors from one page to another, visit Will changing our URL affect our search engine rankings? How can we change urls without losing the traffic we’re already getting?

To learn more about meta tags in general, visit What are meta tags?

For more technical information about meta tags, visit The global structure of an HTML document – W3C Recommendation. Also see Performance, Implementation, and Design Notes – W3C Recommendation.

Use our free Meta Tag Generator to build meta tags for your site. If you’ve already created your meta tags, use our free SEO Analyzer to check them.