Meta-tag keywords were previously used to provide both descriptions and keywords about a webpage and make it easier for search engines to find pages of a website on the web. However, in 2009 Matt Cutts (Google) announced that Keyword Meta tags were no longer used to calculate web rankings. Despite this, many people still believe that other search engines are influenced by them, with speculations over Yahoo! and Ask.com. More recently, Yahoo! (2010) in their “How to Improve the Position of Your Website in Yahoo! Search Results” described that distinct lists of keywords relating to each specific page should be used, implying that it would be beneficial to do so. On the other hand, it is important to realise that a broad set of keywords for the entire site should be avoided.
Should websites still use the Meta Tag Keywords?
Don’t spend to much time on it, there are more important elements to consider. Meta tag keywords are useful for incorporating key terms for on page searches, to target common misspellings, abbreviations and semantically similar keywords. One perception is that web pages may still rank better with keywords employed than the ones that do not use tags.
Best Practices of Meta Tag Keywords
If you do decide to use Meta tag keywords, the following principles should be considered:
- Limit the tag to eight to 10 key terms.
- Place more important terms towards the beginning of the tag.
- Ensure that most of the keywords in the tag are also in the body text.
- Avoid using a lot of repetition or the same keyword tag in all of your pages.