The days of stuffing keywords into meta keywords tag to rank well in search engines may be long gone. Over the years, the value of this tag has diminished. Search engines have since improved their algorithm and introduced many factors to evaluate a page’s ranking that don’t rely on the keywords tag. Google and Yahoo already declared they will not be using keywords tag data for the ranking purpose and while Bing might be still using them for ranking or indexing the information to better understand the page, it gives a low priority to this tag.
So is there any point to using the meta keywords tag any longer?
What is a Meta Keywords Tag and Where Does it Reside?
The meta keywords tag is additional information about a page that search engines use for various purposes, keywords provided in this tag are supposed to be picked from the page content only. Sometimes similar meaning words are used to fill the space. This meta tag resides in the HEAD part of the webpage, you can see it by viewing the page source. Here is an example,
<meta name=”keywords” content=” keywords, meta keywords, tag, html” />
Should You Still Care about Keywords Tag?
In short, my answer is yes. Looking into trends, there is hardly any future left for this tag to be considered as a factor for ranking well in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), but I still add a list of keywords for a page that I have written because this will build my tag cloud and these words become my true meta information for the page that I can use for later reference.
There is still some value and these best practices I have compiled will help you use them properly to positively impact your site’s search engine optimization.
- How many words can you put into this tag? It is not like Meta Description or Title Tag that I can clearly mention the length but the best practice will be 10-15 keywords and try not to repeat the words.
- How do I enter these keywords? Write all the keywords separated by a comma and a space “, “.
- Can I skip this tag all together? Yes, at least your ranking will not be affected in Google or Yahoo.
- What if I use too many keywords? Abusing this tag and putting in too many keywords can generate a flag in search engines and negatively impact your site. For better results don’t over use the space.
- Can I add some typos in this tag as a good SEO practice? Avoid doing so, as I said the content in this tag will not help in ranking so why to use typos that are not on the page also.
- Should one use the same keywords on all the pages? No, each page’s keywords tag should have the page specific keywords only.
- Can I just copy the keywords from the competing website’s keywords tag? No, it will not help your page or website as those keywords were not specifically generated from your content.