Does Google look at the keywords meta tag?

Posted on October 7, 2009

 

It never ceases to amaze us here at StuckOn at how different opinions on search engine optimisation techniques can lead to entirely opposing opinions of SEO. One aspect of SEO which couldn’t be more clean cut, yet still manages to divide SEO ‘experts’ is the relevancy of using the keywords meta tag.

Google has, for many years, ignored this tag making its use in SEO fairly pointless. However, when you speak to anyone with a passing knowledge of SEO they’ll roll off a short list of things to do when you SEO a website, and adding keywords to your keywords meta tag is almost always included.

Why? Probably because the keywords meta tag optimises the purpose of SEO. It’s a meta tag (which most people understand) and it’s named ‘keywords’, which couldn’t be more obvious as to its use. Therefore, adding keywords to your keywords tag must surely be of use in SEO???

No, no use whatsoever. Despite the claims of some SEO companies and many people who have read a forum post about SEO so understand better than anyone how to SEO a website, the keywords meta tag is not used by Google as a part of its ranking algorithm… not even an iddy biddy small part

Google even blogged about its disinterest in the keywords meta tag here on its Webmaster Tools blog, together with a video showing little Google cares about the keywords meta tag.

About a decade ago, search engines judged pages only on the content of web pages, not any so-called “off-page” factors such as the links pointing to a web page. In those days, keyword meta tags quickly became an area where someone could stuff often-irrelevant keywords without typical visitors ever seeing those keywords. Because the keywords meta tag was so often abused, many years ago Google began disregarding the keywords meta tag.

As we mentioned in a post back in August, it was the abuse of the keywords meta tag ten years ago that caused it to be ignored by Google.

Will this stop SEO companies from talking about it? Will this stop threads on SEO forums descending into arguments over whether Google uses the keywords meta tag or not, with some SEO ‘expert’ insisting that they do? No, of course not. You can save yourself some time though, and ignore it.

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3 Comments »

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