Sounds like old wine in new bottle? Well, you are right. It is stale news. But the point is its true. In September 2009 Matt Cutts of Google confirmed it, thereby putting an end to all speculations and assumptions. So that brings us to the question why people still take so much trouble to do it. It could be that news hasn’t spread far enough. Or strong enough.
For those who are wondering what are meta keywords tag, you have no business to be in SEO. Because meta keywords tags have been a reason for a lot of hassles and suings and have been used, or rather misused, by many a web masters to raise their position in search engines. Very few in the SEO land would be unaware that meta keywords tags are those keywords that are present in the web pages but are not visible. They are normally added in the header portion of the website. Very often those who thrive on online marketing use these keywords meta tags to attract search engines. In fact, it used to be one of the most misused SEO technique until Google realized this and stopped considering it all together while ranking a site.
Meta keywords: The History
It is still not been recorded who exactly created the meta keywords tag for the first time. When the major search engines of the time got together in 1995 to discuss meta data, they created specifications for meta descriptions tag, but not for meta keywords. That year as well as the next most of them supported the website owners to use it. However, 1997 was the last year that meta keywords tag enjoyed support from the search engines. Since then search engines, including Google that had emerged by then, haven’t supported meta keywords tag as they had learned that some of the webmasters would insert the same keyword repeatedly on to the web page to rank better.
Speculations still hovered around whether meta keywords tag was considered or not by search engines. Yahoo! is one search engine that is still considered to use it. However, for Google, meta keywords tag has become totally nonexistent. According to Matt Cutts,
“It’s really not worth suing someone over because, at least for Google, we don’t use that information in our rankings even the least little bit.”
Happy? Relieved? Or worried? Depends on whether you have been using it or not.
So if not keyword tag what DOES Google use?
So now we know for sure that meta keyword tags are not useful at all in search engine ranking, at least not from Google’s perspective. Well, the world, and SEO for that matter, doesn’t end there. There should be something that Google considers, right? There is indeed, and that is meta description tag. And meta title tag. These can not only help in ranking but are also good marketing tactics for your website.
According to Google, providing a good description tag “gives users a clear idea of the URL’s content.” A description tag that accurately describes your website increases traffic to your website providing you faster results and reduces click-and-backtrack behavior. And as far as a title tag goes, a unique and relevant title tag has a crucial role to play in achieving ranking in search engine. It shows the quality of the site and serves to attract the users. dedicated
So should the meta keyword tag be completely avoided?
Not necessarily. Because, one, there are search engines like Yahoo! and Ask.com that indeed support the keyword tags and, two, keywords tag can be used for common misspellings or unusual words. A word in a tag is treated as a word in page. Hence, what you can do here is add the commonly misspelt variant of your keyword in meta keyword tag that cannot be seen by human visitors. You will now have the misspelt word on your web page will not be seen by your visitors and at the same time be read by search engines. By Yahoo! and Ask, and not by Google or MSN. Still, some recognition is always better than no recognition.
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