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Ignoring keyword tags

From: Analyzing Your Website to Improve SEO

Video: Ignoring keyword tags

Well, this is going to be quick, because the keywords meta tag just isn't very important. That surprises many people, because so many have heard that SEO is all about the keywords meta tag: you pick the right magic keywords, put them in the keywords meta tag, and you are done. The funny thing is, despite this misconception, the keywords meta tag hasn't been important since literally the last century. In the early, naive days of the World Wide Web, the keywords meta tag was intended to be used to provide keywords that described the contents of the page, so the page could be indexed like a book in a library. That was before web site owners started trying to one-up the competition by stuffing the tag with all sorts of keywords, relevant or not, just to attract traffic.

Ignoring keyword tags

Well, this is going to be quick, because the keywords meta tag just isn't very important. That surprises many people, because so many have heard that SEO is all about the keywords meta tag: you pick the right magic keywords, put them in the keywords meta tag, and you are done. The funny thing is, despite this misconception, the keywords meta tag hasn't been important since literally the last century. In the early, naive days of the World Wide Web, the keywords meta tag was intended to be used to provide keywords that described the contents of the page, so the page could be indexed like a book in a library. That was before web site owners started trying to one-up the competition by stuffing the tag with all sorts of keywords, relevant or not, just to attract traffic.

So the search engines stopped paying attention to it, many years ago. Today the keywords meta tag is virtually irrelevant. Google states that it doesn't do anything with it; it just ignores it. Yahoo used to claim to use it. Then they claimed they didn't. Then they said they did but didn't give it much wait. But in any case, Yahoo is gone as search index. Yahoo results now come from Bing. It appears that Bing probably doesn't use the keywords meta tag either. In fact, the whole, 'who uses the meta tag?' question is frequently debated in the SEO community, but it's more of an academic exercise and anything, because almost everybody believes that even if a search engine does index the tag, it gives it very little right weight for ranking.

So, my advice: Use the keywords meta tag, but don't spend much time on it. Throw a few relevant keywords in there, separated by commas, keywords that also appear in the body text. Don't overdo it. Keep it under say 150 characters, include common misspellings of keywords of interest, and then quickly move on to more important things.

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Analyzing Your Website to Improve SEO

26 video lessons · 27803 viewers

Peter Kent
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