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  • SEO Recap – Meta Keywords

    Since Google no longer takes into consideration meta tags for ranking websites, many webmasters and even larger SEO firms have completely stopped using keywords in the meta tags. However, there are many search engines besides Google, and using meta tags has not been shown to be harmful in relation to Google rankings – just no longer part of the algorithm) so using them can still be beneficial in regard to other search engines.

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    Meta keywords were originally intended to provide search engines some additional information regarding your website. They give you the opportunity to relay to the search engines what you think are the most important keywords for your website, to help identify the category it should be listed i and what searches it should appear in relation to.  Now, many search engines overlook this data because too many black hat webmasters started stuffing  keywords in this section, which did not help search engines provide quality information for the search that was made.

    AS mentioned, this caused many to abandon meta keywords altogether, however, if you do want to add meta keywords, you must follow certain guidelines that will help you get the most out of it. The most important rule is to remain relevant and true to your content.  Only add keywords that are already found in your web web page’s text, since adding keywords that are not relevant to the page’s content cannot have any positive effect.

    The next important rule is not to stuff a long list of keywords in the tag. This is spammy activity, and will be penalized by search engines. Such stuffing means using the same keywords over and over in slightly different phrases. Limit yourself to one phrase per page, such as web design OR cheap web design OR web designers – not webdesign, cheap web design, web designers, etc etc etc.

    When meta keywords were a part of the algorithm, you would see this spammy behavior showing up as webmasters crammed up to 50 keywords in and some of them would not even be relevant to the web page’s content.  When you are adding keywords to the meta tags keep to a maximum of 5 to 6 keywords. This will keep you from inadvertently diluting the power of your primary keyword or keyword phrase.

    You don’t have to completely ignoring the meta keywords; we still believe that adding the meta keywords may help us with search engines that still consider them. If you do it correctly, it will not harm you in in any way. You just don’t want to be making a mistake by participating in spamming or stuffing. Also, just because meta keywords are no longer important does not mean that the meta tags are not important. Meta title tags and the meta description tags are still important and they have their own uses, which we will cover later in this series..

    In addition to search engine spiders, there are other directory bots that visit websites to list them site in smaller directories. In such cases, having proper meta keywords will be highly beneficial. Don’t eliminate this SEO tool from your arsenal. Your SEO firm should find it simple to do this extra step when they are helping you optimize your site.

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