I’ve talked about how much it bugs me that so many people still think the keywords meta tag is the “secret trick” for SEO. Well, back in October I put together a video demonstrating a test I did on this tag. I tested Ask.com, Bing, Yahoo, and Google. Does it work? Is it really the secret to SEO? You can see the results of how this turned out below.
I still hear from a lot of SEOs that are convinced the keywords meta tag actually makes a difference. Well, I thought I’d run a full test to see how much attention the search engines pay to it.
The test was as follows: I put a random string of letters and numbers together and slapped it into my keywords meta tag.
So there it is. And I let the engines go out and gobble up my site. After the robots had all crawled it, I did a check to see what each search engine found. And this might surprise you, but here you go:
And as you can see for yourself – only Yahoo and Ask seem to pay any attention to the keywords meta tag. Not only that, but it was very recently revealed that Yahoo will no longer use the keywords meta tag.
So, as I’ve said before – the keywords meta tag is only used by people who have not done the research to realize that it doesn’t do anything. For SEO, keep your optimizing solid – use the primary elements, the title tag, the description tag, header tags where valid. But remember to target humans, not just the search engines. If you keep that in mind, you’ll likely find yourself in better positions on the search engine results pages.
So I was reading through some SEO material recently (as all good SEOs should do), and found a few interesting things out. I knew that in the past, when the keyword meta tag was first introduced, it was the authority for ranking pages in the SERPs (search engine result pages). You could just put your primary keyword into your keyword meta tag 300 times, and you’d rank at the top.
Of course, this is silly. And most of the search engines realized this before too long. The tag was introduced in 1996, and a lot of changes happened in 1998. One particularly major change – a company named Google. When they came into the game, they didn’t even support the tag. Why? Because of the blatant abuse people did with it. And even to this day, Google doesn’t even acknowledge it. I know this is surprising at least a few of you. So is it even worth using?
Well, although Google doesn’t notice anything you do with your keywords meta tag, there are still search engines that do. Primarily Yahoo and Ask.com. However, the content placed into this tag doesn’t help your rankings much at all. It has about as much SEO power as normal page content.
If I had to give any reason for still using the keywords meta tag, it’d be only to put words that you would never actually use in your content. Primarily common misspellings and phrases that are impossible to use in your normal content, but that people still type when they search. And you’ll only get potential results from those two search engines – not from Google.
So keep your SEO solid, and do some good on-site SEO with the appropriate adjustments, plus good off-site backlinking (which is really where most of the SEO power comes from). And make sure to research as necessary, to find out what really helps (or hurts) your rankings on the SERPs, if you want to be a good SEO.