You would think this blog article would be redundant by now: people know that the meta keyword tag is useless nowadays, right? The truth is that we still see site owners using meta keywords on their website. In addition to that, people are still searching for meta keywords according to Google Trends, although there seem to be fewer queries than 5 years ago. That’s why we republish this post about the uselessness of meta keywords for SEO once again.

What are (or were) meta keywords?

The meta keywords element dates back to 1995. People were still searching the web using AltaVista and Infoseek and the web was still gloriously innocent. You could add a meta tag on a page, indicating that page’s main keywords. It looked something like this:


This meta keywords element (like all meta elements) is invisible to visitors but visible to search engines. The keywords you put into this element’s content attribute would then be used as a ranking factor by the search engines.

If this sounds like you’re asking Google directly to just rank you for whatever keyword you want: that’s what it was. If you think “that’s too easy”: you’re right, it turned out to be. Of course, as the web became more commercial, people started spamming this keywords element and search engines began ignoring it.

It’s important to note that the meta keywords tag has nothing to do with the focus keyword in your SEO plan. The focus keyword is a feature of your SEO that is used to determine whether you’ve optimised your page well for the keyword you want to rank for. It’s not a signal that we give to search engines in and off itself.

If you’ve got a site that hasn’t been optimised, had an SEO review and update in the last few years – you might be using these… get in touch and ;et’s have a look at it for you. Call Andy on 07787 151613, he’ll be happy to chat to you about it.

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