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Meta Keywords Tag


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7 replies to this topic

#1 krenerr

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 06:21 PM

I am pretty new to SEO. Since day 1, I have been aware of the debate over the use of the meta keywords tag. Some say that Google has not paid attention to it for years and that only Yahoo and Bing pay any attention to it. Yet from my own experience dealing with yahoo, I am certain that the keyword tag has had a direct result on rankings in the SERPs. It still seems very difficult to get a straight answer...and maybe there isn't one, but I thought I would ask all the experts out there!

Thanks.

#2 Michael Martinez

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 09:21 PM

QUOTE(krenerr @ Oct 4 2010, 04:21 PM) View Post
I am pretty new to SEO. Since day 1, I have been aware of the debate over the use of the meta keywords tag. Some say that Google has not paid attention to it for years and that only Yahoo and Bing pay any attention to it. Yet from my own experience dealing with yahoo, I am certain that the keyword tag has had a direct result on rankings in the SERPs. It still seems very difficult to get a straight answer...and maybe there isn't one, but I thought I would ask all the experts out there!

Thanks.


As far as pre-Bing Yahoo! goes, yes, the keywords meta tag helped (in some fashion). It also (has) helped with Ask (I haven't checked lately).

Google and Bing ignore the keywords meta tag. Since Yahoo! is now using Bing's database/algorithm, it follows that the meta tag is probably no longer helping with Yahoo!.

#3 qwerty

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 09:37 PM

The subtitle for this thread is "what's the final word?" The thing is, there isn't a final word. For years, the only reason I've used the meta keywords tag (when I've used it at all) has been as a note to the owner of the site, so they'll know what we're targeting for a given page. But five years from now, who knows? It could be vitally important. I doubt it, but who knows?

Right now, Google is suggesting that we start using microformats to identify things like addresses as addresses, so that Google won't be in danger of thinking text like "123 Main Street" is something other than a street address. OK, I'm willing to give them a hand if they want. So what's to stop them from recommending the use of the meta keyword tag at some point in the future?

#4 Jill

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 12:47 PM

There is no debate. Use your meta keyword tag to provide additional keywords that aren't already in the content if your internal site search engine indexes it.

The end.

#5 krenerr

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:09 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Oct 5 2010, 10:47 AM) View Post
There is no debate. Use your meta keyword tag to provide additional keywords that aren't already in the content if your internal site search engine indexes it.

The end.


I have been using the keywords tag on site that I have worked on. I cannot verify that it "works" or not, but the impression I get is that it does seem to help on some level. The way I figure it, the search engines are parsing the content, so they must do something with this tag...even if it is antiquated. Wouldn't it be similar to a deprecated html tag that still renders okay in various browsers. Even though it is not "officially" supported, it still has to be supported to some degree?

BTW isn't the best practice to only include keywords in the meta tag that are actually in the page content?


#6 Jill

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 03:07 PM

QUOTE
impression I get is that it does seem to help on some level.


Sorry, but it doesn't.

QUOTE
BTW isn't the best practice to only include keywords in the meta tag that are actually in the page content?


No. That's the exact wrong way (yet an SEO Myth). What would be the point if the words were already on the page. It's to provide those engines that support it with ADDITIONAL information that they may not already know because there's no other way for them to know.

#7 microbe

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 02:39 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Oct 6 2010, 09:07 PM) View Post
Sorry, but it doesn't.
No. That's the exact wrong way (yet an SEO Myth). What would be the point if the words were already on the page. It's to provide those engines that support it with ADDITIONAL information that they may not already know because there's no other way for them to know.


Jill, I seem to recall that, back in 1996/1997 when Altavista claimed to support the keywords tag, their guidelines were that keywords were to be used to highlight words within the content which were important.

Having said that, when I tested the effect of using keywords on Altavista (batch submitting pages on their instant submission system) they only ever seemed to have a negative effect on rankings.

#8 Jill

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 07:23 AM

QUOTE
heir guidelines were that keywords were to be used to highlight words within the content which were important.


Nope, it was to use keywords that were not already there. Synonyms, misspellings, technical terms, etc.




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