Does Google use the meta keyword tag?
UPDATE: Google confirmed this article a few years later in a video tip:
Ahh, a bastian of crap and unethical search engine optimisation companies – the meta-keywords tag! How many crap seo companies mention cleaning and optimising this tag in their presentations? Companies that waste time on these waste clients money.
<meta name="Keywords" content="seo, search engine optimisation, optimization" /
I have one piece of advice with the meta keyword tag, which like the title tag, goes in the head section of your web page, forget about them.
If you are relying on meta-keyword optimisation to rank for terms, your dead in the water. From what I see, Google + Bing ignores meta keywords - or at least places no weight in them to rank pages. Yahoo may read them, but really, a seo has more important things to worry about than this nonsense.
What about other search engines that use them? Hang on while I submit my site to those 75,000 engines first lol :)
Yes, 10 years ago search engines liked looking at your meta-keywords (those were the days!). I’ve seen OPs in forums ponder which is the best way to write these tags – with commas, with spaces, limiting to how many characters….
Forget about meta-keyword tags – they are a pointless waste of time and bandwidth. Could probably save a rain-forest with the bandwidth costs we save if everybody removed their keyword tags :)
I’ll be removing most of mine shortly to do my bit for the environment, and I certainly don’t waste valuable client time putting them in new sites. Even (maybe especially) if I can auto-generate them.
Tin Foil Hat Time
So you have a new site….. you fill your home page meta tags with the 20 keywords you want to rank for – hey, that’s what optimisation is all about, isn’t it?
You’ve just told Google by the third line of text what to sandbox you for :) And wasn’t meta name=”Keywords” originally for words that weren’t actually on the page that would help classify the document? Sometimes competitors might use the information in your keywords to determine what you are trying to rank for, too….
I had better take this tin foil hat off because now I am thinking if everybody removed them and stopped abusing Google would probably start looking at them but that’s the way of things in search engines.
Ignore them. Not even a ‘second order’ effect, in my opinion – and that’s all this is, remember.