Meta keywords… yes or no?
To add meta keywords or to not add meta keywords? That is the question. And the debate on the topic has been raging for years. Meta keywords are still being used on many websites but should they be? The official answer is no.
The meta keyword tag is ignored by Google, Yahoo, and Bing when indexing, ranking, and serving search impressions for your website's content.
In fact, Google's search algorithms have ignored the meta keyword tag since 2009 and the engine has no intention of including it in their line-up of ranking factors again.
Yahoo ignores the meta keyword tag unless there are absolutely no other SEO ranking factors available to the search engine on your page. If this is the case the engine may still use the keyword tag to rank your content.
Bing's search algorithm continues to review the meta keyword tag - but not for ranking purposes, for penalty purposes. If any meta keywords are found in the tag that do not exist in the visible, on-page copy Bing flags the page as spam and gives it a negative ranking.
Because meta keywords pass no search equity to your site’s content and can actually harm rankings if used incorrectly, a website that is otherwise optimized for search should no longer use the meta keyword tag. Instead, help drive search equity by optimizing your site's technical SEO components; focusing on your keyword strategy; creating optimized, compelling content, page titles, and meta descriptions; optimizing site media content; and by ensuring that your site has a search-friendly URL taxonomy.
From Jax and the Team at New Example
Jacqueline Harvey is a regular contributor to New Example’s SEM Center. Jax brings more than 15 years of technical SEO, web development, UX design, and ecommerce strategy experience to the team through our partnership with Yummy Consulting, where she is Principal Consultant.
New Example Internet Consulting is a Florida, New York, and Los Angeles based Search Engine Marketing agency that delivers comprehensive, integrated Technical SEO solutions and Pay-Per-Click advertising campaign plans developed using proven SEM strategies that meet, and exceed, the search engine industry’s current best practices.