When analyzing webpages, quite often I come across meta keywords tags jam-packed with keywords. Masses of independently developed content management systems bestow vast attention to this field, there is even a WordPress plug-in with a function of filling out this meta keywords tag. But the question is simple: Does Meta Keywords tag do anything good for your SEO?
If you or your colleagues have struggled with filling out this tag, my news for you is that meta keywords tag wouldn’t function concerning web searching. It has no sense.
Matt Cutts is kind of a “teller” at Google, though this might be not the best word for him. He is a big mover in the shaker, working for Google since 2000, being the boss of the team fighting against web spam. Enough to say he knows how to play the game concerning search engine optimisation. I don’t want to be long-winded: Matt Cuts told in an interview in September 2009 that Google ignores meta keywords tag in web searching. So no matter what kind of keywords you insert here, it will have no effect on your search results.
This raises the question for me: Why on earth are you giving yourself trouble over filling out meta keywords tag when you are flooded by other fine working possibilities for SEO-ing your site?
Concerning search engine optimization (SEO), there is none. Of course, Google is not the only search engine, though it’s used in approximately 90-95% of all searches worldwide. On the other hand, why would any reasonable search engine deal with this tag when it is packed with keywords only site-owners wish to rank for, and not keywords what are really useful for the visitors?
In case of bigger companies or sites, this tag may be useful because of internal search engines. It may serve for identifying which department a document belongs to or if it may be disclosed to the customers or only for internal use. Though, I repeat, it has no effect on search results in traditional SEO.
If interested in whether this tag is filled out or not, simply take a look at the html source of your webpage. Open it in a browser and pressCTRL+U. What you get is the source code of your site. Then search for “keywords”. The line would look something like this:
<meta name="keywords" content="Lotsa lotsa keywords we'd like to get on the top of search results but just wouldn't succeed" />
If you find any word with a sense within the quotation marks after “content”, then someone in your company is filling this tag out and wasting your time and money.
I guess you don’t wonder why I don’t use the meta name keywords tag on any of my sites anymore and I don’t recommend it you using it either.
There is however one great use of the meta keywords tag for SEO purposes which I find quite funny.
And this is spying effectively on your competitors.
You don’t have to do more than just look at the source code of your competitor’s site (see the example above) and find the list of keywords they are trying to compete for by looking at their meta keywords tag. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. But quite a few times you find interesting keywords that are just worth enough to target. A simple, free yet effective way of keyword research.