Is the Meta Keywords Tag Good for SEO? - No and Here is Why

Last Update: February 20, 2019


Lately I have seen people asking questions about the Meta Tags at the bottom of the WordPress editor, in the SEO plugin area. I have also seen questions asking is the meta keywords tag good for SEO? Too often some WA members will say, yes it is.

THIS ANSWER IS INCORRECT

I just recently created a tutorial to explain what Google has to say about which meta tags matter and which one does not and why that is. The tutorial also answers questions about why the WordPress editor will say No Title, No Description and No Keyword.

For anyone who has not followed Neil Patel, when it comes to SEO he knows it quite well. Neil Patel is a Seattle Washington entrepreneur and is the co-founder of three companies including KISSmetrics. He is also known for helping big companies like Amazon & Viacom to grow their revenue streams.

The image above is a screenshot from one of his SEO training videos on YouTube. He says the following in the video...

"The meta keywords tag is useless. Do not use it. Reason being... Google has said years and years ago that they ignore meta keywords tags. And I have played around with this so much and other marketers and SEOs have as well. It does not help one bit with your seatch rankings."

OLD NEWS DIES HARD

As I have said several times in my training blogs and tutorials on the use of keywords and SEO, there is still a lot of old SEO techniques that people keep spreading that is no longer valid. Using the meta keywords tag is one good example of old SEO practices.

You do not hear Kyle saying in the WA training to put keywords in that tag. I know I have never said it either. Why? Because Google knows what keywords to rank you for without needing that tag. The video on my tutorial from Google explains why they ignore it.

My tutorial will also show you information on both the Title and Description meta tags. These are the only two tags in the SEO plugin area under the WordPress editor that DO matter. The Google video will also explain why the Meta Description Tag is important.

DO YOU WANT HIGH RANKINGS?

So for now and until you read my tutorial, just ignore using the meta keywords tag. Google and the other search engines ignore it as well. It is a total waste of time. If you want to get high search rankings you need to focus on thorough helpful content written for people.

Include your target keyword in the title of your post and once again in the first paragraph of your content. I did exactly that with the target keyword of this post. Then you write your content to answer the query your keyword is asking. If you do that, Google will rank you.

TIP 1: When you create your title at the top of your website content, like I did at the top of this post, that title is the SAME AS your meta title tag. However after creating your URL you can edit the meta title tag to perhaps make it more eye catching.

TIP 2: Normally the first 140 to 160 characters of your content will be used for your meta description tag, especially if you are using the All in One SEO Pack plugin and have the autogenerate description check box checked in the AIO SEO settings.

NOTE: If you do not like the description snippet used, I highly recommend you retype your meta description tag and include your target keyword. Make it compelling enough for someone who reads it will want to click on your link.

ALSO NOTE: Because YouTube videos do not play well in WA tutorials you may have to copy the YouTube URL of the Google video and then paste it into your browser to watch it.

To learn more about which meta tags matter and why the meta keywords tag doesn't matter, make sure to read my tutorial at the link below. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/training/best-meta-tags-to-u...

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gartnerf Premium
Thank you for your research and explanation on this SEO topic. I have been complying with your tips and believe I have been tagging my content correctly. It's good to know the meta keyword tag is no longer useful and I can forget about it.

I will have to give a listen to your SEO source on Youtube too.

Thanks!
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome and I hope you have continued success. If you haven't yet seen the video explaining why the meta keywords tag should be ignored and why the description tag is important, click the below link.

https://youtu.be/RBTBEfd7z_Y
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SondraM Premium
Thank you for clarifying this. I trust Neil Patel. I trust you and Kyle.

Unfortunately, there are too many "SEO experts that really are not experts." It takes a bit to learn how to recognize the ones that are all hype from those that know what they are talking about.

Lately, I've listened to someone that has caused me to waste a lot of time. This issue is strike two against him. That is one too many....

Thank you!!! I'll be bookmarking your training to share with other people.
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Sondra. Before I knew anything about SEO, I put my trust in Kyle because he is teaching us what Google is telling us all.

Now I do the same thing. I go by what Google says is right and wrong. This always lines up with what Kyle teaches here at WA and real SEOs like Neil Patel.

But like I have said, there are many so called SEO experts who are still spreading old and outdated techniques. Whenever what is said doesn't line up with Google, I ignore it.
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derekmarshal Premium
The meta tag actually causes bot inefficiency, something google cracked down on last summer (julyish). Also, there is the aspect of site speed as a ghost copy of your content is created bt using the meta tag.

i.e yoursite(.)com/article-title (original article)
i.e yoursite(.)com/tag/article-title (original article)
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boomergp08 Premium
Yes, I have heard about this and interested in learning more about it.
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pasionazul Premium
Many thanks, important information I must to consider
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boomergp08 Premium
My pleasure to share this with you.
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Wdcope Premium
Valuable information. thanks,
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome.
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MMelnick1 Premium
Very clear and very concise. Thanks for this, it's very valuable!
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome. Happy you found this tutorial as a valuable source of information.
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Ahimbe Premium
You have give me great information here. Thank you.
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boomergp08 Premium
My pleasure happy to have helped you.
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BobRoman Premium
Great information - very useful!

Thanks so much for sharing!

All the best!

Bob
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boomergp08 Premium
My pleasure Bob. It is information worth repeating.
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jivitaa339 Premium
Thanks Robert, really useful:)

Regards,
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome. Happy to be of help.
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TeamIceCream Premium
Hi Robert

Yes, I was surprised to see this question surface so regularly lately, after your thorough and helpful training.

Glad you cleared this up for all the new members who haven't seen your previous training.

Wishing you all of the very best, Robert!
Sharlee (Chocolate IceCream)
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boomergp08 Premium
Thank you Sharlee. And who doesn't like chocolate ice cream? Heck, chocolate anything!

But I too was surprised to see this question popping up more regularly lately. Just hope people would stop wasting time with the meta keywords tag and focus more on writing thorough content which does more for rankings.
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TeamIceCream Premium
> Heck, chocolate anything!
Fully agree! And besides, anybody who feels about chocolate this way, definitely knows what they are talking about! [wink] ;-) LOL!
Wishing you an awesome day, Robert! And have a chocolate ice cream on my behalf as well! ;-)
Sharlee
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boomergp08 Premium
I will go to Dunkin Donuts today and get one of their frozen hot chocolates topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. I LOVE that drink!
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nudge1969 Premium
Great post Robert
I generally place the one keyword I’m trying to rank for, in this field. Am I best to remove it, or will it make no difference?
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boomergp08 Premium
It makes no difference because the search engines will not rank you for any keywords placed in that tag. That is why it is totally useless to waste your time putting anything in there. You can leave the ones you have entered and just not do that going forward.
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heljam404A Premium
Very valuable lesson Robert it straightened me out about that very issue and I'm grateful. Thank you so much!
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Robert. With all of the new members coming into WA and asking questions about meta tags, I want to make sure to stress this fact.
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jetrbby80316 Premium
Thanks for another great post Robert.

Are you saying that AUTOMATICALLY, your post title becomes your meta title in AIO SEO? What about in Yoast SEO?

Or do you have to adjiust the settings in the plugin to make this happen?

When you are saying "...you can edit the meta title tag to perhaps make it more eye catching" you are only referring to the styling (font)?

Ideally do you want the SAME EXACT WORDS in your meta title tag as your post title for best SEO practices?
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boomergp08 Premium
Yes. The AIO automatically by default makes your page and post titles the Meta Title. If I remember correctly from when I used Yoast, it does the same thing.

Even though we do not have access to the meta tags, all WA content that gets indexed in Google does this as well. In essence, page and post titles are the same as meta titles.

The only difference is that you can edit the meta title to improve SEO. Example. I have a page on my website that is called Getting Started. But for SEO I wanted to add a keyword.

I saved/published the page as Getting Started. Then I went into the Meta Title Tag, retyped my title, put in a dash, and then added my keyword.

Now when you look at my website you see the page Getting Started but in the Google index it is displayed as Getting Started - My Keyword. Now my Getting Started page is ranked for that keyword.
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jetrbby80316 Premium
However, wouldn't it be a better SEO practice to just have "Getting Started" as your keyword (provided it was a great keyword by itself) without making the addition in the Meta Title Tag?
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boomergp08 Premium
It is always best for SEO to have a page or post title be the keyword, this way the keyword will be in the permalink. But there will be times that a page or post title cannot be the keyword and it is these times where you would retype the meta title tag to add that keyword.
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jetrbby80316 Premium
Just an observation....

What you are saying here may not fully apply to Yoast Robert.
I just checked a post on my website:

1) Meta Title DOES get transferred from Post Title

2) However, Meta Desciption (Snippet) DOES NOT get transferred from 1st paragraph of post.

Screenshot below
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boomergp08 Premium
Your original question said nothing about the meta description.

As I have said and shown in my training, the Meta Description Tag is autogenerated by the All in One SEO plugin from the first 140 to 160 character spaces of your content.

This is one of the many reasons why Kyle and Carson recommend and pre install the AIO on our websites built here. The AIO does many SEO things behind the scenes so we do not have to waste time doing it ourselves.
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jetrbby80316 Premium
That's my point: the first 140-160 characters I show in my screenshot was not auto generated by the plugin (Yoast) into the meta description tag.
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boomergp08 Premium
Obviously Yoasr doesn't have that capability like the AIO does have. Or perhaps it does and you do not have it set up that way.

If you would like to use this feature with Yoast, go into the plugin settings and see if that feature is available.
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