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Aside from the stylesheet linking, and other linking scripts– what are some ESSENTIAL things to place in the
Disregard the keyword metatag completely. It doesn’t have any effect on search ranking.
HTML5 Shiv/Shim within a conditional comment.
it’s not essential per se, but i almost always include modernizr. http://modernizr.com/
it includes both an HTML Shiv (which allows old browsers to recognize html5 tags), and also enables device/browser feature detection by writing conditional css and js. which really helps with progressive enhancement.
Language attribute on your “html” tag. Discovery “link” to your rss feed (if you have one). meta “viewport.” Unique meta description for every page. rel canonical tag.