The Keywords Meta Tag is dead

By Hester Stuart | July 16th, 2014

Forgive the slight nerdy approach to this article, but we are still being asked by clients about this topic, and although the subject has been around a while now, there’s still confusion on the use of the Meta Keyword tag.

Meta Keyword tags are no longer used for SEO purposes


The Meta Keyword tag is dead, and has been dead a long time.  What does this mean?  Google nor Bing use the ‘keywords’ meta tag in ranking web search results, so these do nothing for your SEO.  About 10 years ago search engines judged pages only on the content of web pages, not taking into account off-page SEO tactics such as in-bound linking.  In those days, the meta keyword field became an area for people to stuff keywords, often spammy and irrelevant.  It was a great opportunity as the website visitor never had sight of the keywords as they’re hidden in the page source.  Due to the levels of spam, Google started to ignore them.

Occupancy Marketing meta keywords example

Meta Keywords appearing in the page source

That’s not to say that all tags are irrelevant, meta tags still play an important role in SEO, it’s just the meta keyword tag that is disregarded.

Here’s word from the big-guns themselves, Google.

So what to do moving forward?

If you do have a Keywords Meta Tag field in your CMS populated, do check it.  If it is stuffed with  spammy keywords – take them out.  Even though Google doesn’t lend weight to having them in, it still penalises websites for ‘dodgy practices’.

If you don’t have one, then you can sit back and relax.



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