Does the keywords meta tag really matter anymore? Is it important for SEO? Should you bother with It?
Deciding on and putting in the all important keywords into the meta tag keyword in your html head used to be life and death of getting a better ranking on the search engines. Spending ages strategizing over what to use and where to put it, was in some others eyes a total waste of time.
Or you could take the easy street option, go to your competitions web site, view the source, copy the keywords in the head and paste into yours then add some new keywords that you know are also being searched on and then repeat them over and over again – a process to become known as keyword stuffing.
There has been a source of debate on whether these meta keywords are being used or not by the search engines as they have been overly abused by black hats and spammers, the correct way to use them was to include the keywords and also the same keywords as regular text also in the actual content of the pages so with the two elements combined producing a better result in a search results display.
Anyway now we have a concise answer from Google, in September 2009 Matt Cutts has come out and said that they don’t use them. Yahoo made a similar announcement in October 2009 at a Search Engines best practice gig.
Bing’s response is:
Meta keyword tag
The tag’s keyword attribute is not the page rank panacea it once was back in the prehistoric days of Internet search. It was abused far too much and lost most of its cachet. But there’s no need to ignore the tag. Take advantage of all legitimate opportunities to score keyword credit, even when the payoff is relatively low. Fill in this tag’s text with relevant keywords and phrases that describe that page’s content.
So there you have it all 3 are ruling it out, don’t bother with it just get your creative writing juices going and build up that decent body copy for your internal pages.
But are we really sure we should leave that tag out – I was always told to tuck it back in. Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land recently experimented by putting a unique word in the keyword meta tag which after a while returned a search result from Yahoo, which was not in the general body of his page, article here.
So in conclusion maybe just slap a few old keywords together and stick ’em up there but don’t fret over it too much as it’s one hill not worth fighting for.