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What is a Meta Refresh?

You may have experience experiencing a web page being reloaded or refreshed while browsing. This process is more useful for sites that need to provide up-to-date content (such as news sites). Either you as a webmaster may want to redirect the user to a new page after a while or move the URL of all 404 page to the main page. All of this is possible using the refresh meta tag. In this article, we provide a definition of refresh meta tag, how to use it, its advantages, and disadvantages. We have already introduced you to diverse types of meta tags.

What are HTML tags?

HTML tags are pieces of code that can be used to describe our content in search engines. We can use HTML tags to highlight important parts of text, describe images, and even instruct search engine robots.

HTML tags also affect the ranking of our pages in search results.

What is a Meta Refresh?

The Meta Refresh tag is an HTML element on the page that instructs the web browser to reload or refresh the page after a specified period. This tag can be used to automatically update the content of the page while the user is still on the same page and its content is constantly changing and you want to provide them with the most up-to-date information.

Also using this tag, the refresh URL can be set to another URL and the redirect time can be set very low or 0, so it acts like a redirect. This type of redirection is done on the user side, rather than on the server side (such as 301 or 302 redirects).

Reload The Current Page With The Meta Refresh Tag

Example 1
Example Code:

 <html xmlns="">    
    <title>The Tudors</title>      
    <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;URL=''" />    
    <p>This page has moved to a <a href=""></a>.</p> 

Put the following meta tag in the header of your HTML document. This tag for refreshing the current page looks like this:

1&amp;lt;meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”300″&amp;gt;

This snippet of code refreshes the current page after 300 seconds.

Redirect To A New Page With A Refresh Meta Tag  

Redirect is another use of the refresh meta tag. When refresh meta tags are used to redirect a user to another web page, the code is as follows:

1 2 3 4 5&amp;lt;head&amp;gt; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; … &nbsp; &nbsp; &amp;lt;meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”2; URL=’”&amp;gt; … &nbsp; &amp;lt;/head&amp;gt;

The part of the code that content = “2; reads url = http: // “, specifies the waiting time for the browser to redirect and load the page. In this case, the redirect is done in two seconds and the page is redirected to

Refresh Meta Tag Problems

Using refresh meta tags can also be problematic. Sites that use them may be considered spam by search engines. A very quick redirection can get users with older browsers stuck on a page and refreshing the page can confuse the user. The use of meta refresh tags also raises security concerns. There are concerns about why it is better to use HTTP or server redirection.

The most common mistake when using the refresh tag to redirect to a new page is to add an extra quotation mark in the middle. For example, this method is incorrect:

1 content = “2؛ url =” “.

If you have set a refresh meta tag and your page has not been redirected, check for that error first.

Why Is Refresh Meta Tags Important?

In general, using meta tag refresh is a weak and old technique and should be avoided (especially for redirects). Many search engines, including Google, have not used in their webmaster guidelines to avoid SEO problems and the ability to use refresh meta tags:

Refresh meta tags are not acceptable when used for redirects or any Juicy links.

This is a common web spam technique that is used to crawl or display various content to users and search engines. If not done correctly, your site may be marked as spam.

Refresh meta tags often cause the browser back button to not work properly. Clicking the back button will take you back to the page you are on.

If you cannot solve these problems, if you do not engage in cloning (intentional or unintentional), it should not have much impact on your SEO. However, to maximize the Joyce link process and minimize user experience issues, it is best to avoid using refresh meta tags.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on


There are better alternatives to redirecting or updating the page that should be used instead of the refresh meta tag:

For redirects – use 301 server-side redirects. These redirects redirect all or most of the joysticks to the desired URL and provide a much better user experience.

To update pages – Use AJAX to update page content after a specified period. This method is much simpler, does not confuse search engines and offers a better user experience. Most news sites or social media sites that regularly update their site pages use this technique.

Disadvantages of using refresh meta tags

Refresh meta tags have drawbacks:

Spammers use meta redirects to be honest with search engines. Search engines often remove these sites from their database. If you use a lot of refresh meta tags to redirect your pages, search engines may detect that your site is spam and remove it from their list. If you need to redirect an old address to a new one, it is best to use a 301 Redirect server instead. This redirect indicates to the search engines that a page has been permanently moved and they should move the ranking of the links from that old page to the new page.

A quick redirect (less than 2-3 seconds) may be an efficient problem. These settings prevent older browsers from using the back button.

If a quick redirect occurs and they reach a non-existent page, your readers may see a 404 page.

Concluding remarks

Using meta-refresh tags can also cause problems. Sites that use them may be identified by search engines as spam. Amazingly fast redirects can keep users on older browsers on one page and reloading the page can confuse the user. The use of meta-refresh tags also raises security concerns. Because of these problems, it is best to use HTTP or server redirection. Do you have experience using refresh meta tags? You can contact us about refresh meta tags in web designing the comments section and ask your questions and experiences.


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