Looking to add Meta Keyword Tags to boost your SEO results?
What are keywords?
In layman’s term, Keywords work as oxygen for the Search Engine Optimization efforts with a focused goal i.e. to drive the organic traffic via search engines. Using the right keywords can boost your rankings. Every keyword has unique number of searches. Once you have selected the right keywords for your business, you need to then optimize the keywords on your site.
What are Meta Tags?
Meta Tags are most essential elements of SEO. There are three important parts of Meta tags:
- Title – The title tag is the heading of the page/website that is shown in search engine listings.
<title>Title text here</title>
- Description – Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide brief explanation of the contents of landing pages in SERP.
<meta name=”description” content=”Your site’s summary”/>
- Keywords – Meta keywords tag are used to insert focus keywords on the backend of the web page to provide search engine the useful information about the web page.
<meta name=”keywords” content=”Keyword 1, Keyword 2, Keyword 3, Keyword 4”/>
Do Meta Keyword Tags help with SEO rankings anymore?
Meta Keywords tag is the most commonly misused tag when it comes to SEO. Therefore, search engines have started giving less importance to meta keyword tags in their algorithm for rankings.
To understand why meta keyword tags are not so important nowadays, let’s get into a little history:
- In 1995-1997, when Alta Vista was the major search engine, the keyword tag was used to inform the search engines that the website that has used this tag has content related to the tag on its pages . Some websites used this tag for dumping keywords (also known as keyword stuffing) with an intention to increase the keyword density of the targeted keyword to improve their search rankings for that particular keyword(s)
- Around 1997, Many SEO professionals started keyword stuffing, because of which major search engines decided not to index the words present in keyword tag. Most of them also went further by starting to penalize those websites which indulged in keyword stuffing.
Now let’s talk about the current scenario. According to search engines,
In 2009, Google announced that they will not consider ‘Meta Keywords Tag’ in their algorithm as a ranking factor. If the websites indulge in keyword stuffing, it will negatively affects their SERPs.
Here is an example:
Jenny started a new business and launched the website. She copied all the keywords from the other websites including the name of that business and added irrelevant keywords to influence the Search engine rankings for her domain
This is a wrong practice, and eventually, Jenny’s website was penalized and she had to suffer potential loss at a very early stage.
To stop the “stuff keywords and get ranking” practice, Google doesn’t consider “meta keywords tag” as search ranking factor any more
In the case of Yahoo, words that appear in any other part of the webpage, including the body, title, description, anchor text etc., will take high priority in ranking the webpage.
If these factors are not present on the webpage, yahoo will consider meta keywords tag as a ranking factor but gives very low priority.
Bing has similar views as yahoo that it does not give much priority to meta keywords tag for ranking signal.
Hence if you are still using the meta keywords tag it should be used carefully. Again, it is recommended not to include keywords which are not relevant to your webpage.
Meta keyword stuffing may lead to boost in organic rankings in certain search engines which still work on old algorithms, but if one wants to be in the good books of leading search engines such as Google, one should not use keyword meta tags using spammy methods. Excessive use of keyword tags would definitely lead to the penalty and one can easily lose out on organic traffic which will affect the business in long term
Instead of focusing of Keyword Meta, you can optimize your website with the keywords you want to rank for
- Your main keyword(s) should appear in the following locations in your content for the best results:
- Title of the content
- First sentence of your first paragraph
- Once each in subsequent paragraphs
- Paragraph subheadings, when possible and appropriate
- You need to create SEO friendly URLs as clearly shows the hierarchy of the information on the website
- You need to create alt text for your images using keywords
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At the end of the day, you might not gain much traffic and ranking from using meta keywords tag, but if you stuff keywords, you could get penalized.