SEO That Doesn’t Work – No.3 – META Keywords (Tag)

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The third in our series of search engine optimisation (SEO) practices that do not work.

keyword meta tag

META Keywords (Tag)

Definition: The <meta> tag provides metadata about the HTML document. Metadata will not be displayed on the page, but will be machine parsable. Meta elements are typically found within the head (top) of a website page and are used to specify page description, keywords, author of the document, last modified, and other metadata.

The meta keywords tag contains a (comma separated) list of keyword relevant to that website page. Back in the old, dark days of SEO some website owners were prone to what was commonly referred to as ‘keyword stuffing’. One part of this involved stuffing the keyword meta tag with hundreds and hundreds of keywords that had some connection to the subject matter of the website page.

Often within the (keywords) meta tag the keyword was repeated, repeated, repeated, really repeated, badly repeated, repeated, repeated well, only repeated………… You get the point!!!!?

Search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask Jeeves etc.. quickly cottoned on to this blatant technique and gradually phased down the importance and value attributed to the meta keyword tag. Surprisingly, in 2013, there are still people with websites who overrate the importance of the keywords meta tag as an important SEO tactic.

In a nutshell then, the meta keyword tag is NOT to be treated as a part of any SEO on-page strategy. It is totally useless for SEO purposes when it comes to all the major search engines!

Q. Does that mean that it should be left blank?

A. In our opinion – NO. Your keywords meta tag should incorporate a comma separated list of no more than 5-12 relevant words that pertain to the subject matter of that individual website page. In addition, there is no need to repeat a word more than once!!

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