About The 'Keywords' Meta Tag

Last Update: October 28, 2019

This topic on the use of the 'Keywords' meta tag comes up from time to time. I'm not sure why, I think perhaps due to outdated training materials.

As many of you know, Google stopped using the keywords meta tag quite a few years ago. Yahoo stopped as well, and Bing has said in the past that is uses it as a spam signal and may actually penalize you if it finds keywords in the meta tag that are not in your post content.

So why did the search engines stop using it?

Basically because it was being abused. People stuffed the keywords meta tag with words and phrases that weren't even relevant to the content in the post. Due this abuse the search engines simply stopped reading it and/or using it to determine what keywords applied to your post.

Should you use the keywords meta tag?

In my opinion, no. While using it will not hurt your rankings in Google, Bing could penalize you.

In addition, your competitors will be able to easily find out what keywords you are targeting. If you take a look at your competitors pages on Google and view the page source, try searching for the phrase 'keywords'. I'd be willing to bet you won't find 'meta keywords' in the vast majority of the websites you look at. Why make it so easy for your competitors to get the upper hand?

What you can do to essentially 'turn off' the keywords meta tag on our site

Both All-In-One-SEO and Yoast have a setting that allows you to enable or disable the keywords meta tag. In AIO the setting is the very bottom of 'General Settings' under the header 'Keyword Settings'. In Yoast I believe it's under 'Advanced Settings'. Disabling this feature will cause the keywords meta tag to be removed from your posts and pages.

Hope this is helpful to anyone curious about use of the keywords meta tag.

Cheers,

Michael

Join the Discussion
Write something…
Recent messages
FKelso Premium Plus
Not sure what you mean by a "keyword meta tag." When I am doing meta tags on images, I use my keyword for the image title.

Do you mean the place below your post where it says "keyword?" I always fill that in.
Reply
Tmgreen Premium Plus
Yes. It's the keywords in the All-In-One SEO section. You can disable it by going to the AIO SEO General settings.
Reply
ExpatMark Premium
Thanks Michael. Good stuff to know.
Reply
Tmgreen Premium Plus
Your welcome
Reply
Twack Premium
Thanks for this Michael. I'm on my site this afternoon so will check.
Reply
Tmgreen Premium Plus
No problem
Reply
EdwinBernard Premium Plus
I had no idea about these turn of events. I religiously added meta tags in WordPress for every article I write. I use the exact title as my article so it is relevant. Regardless if I used the meta tags or not, it would still be easy for competitors to know what my meta tags are.

Regardless, thanks for the tips.

Edwin
Reply
Tmgreen Premium Plus
No problem!
Reply
Matthuk Premium
Thanks for the insights
Reply
Tmgreen Premium Plus
Your welcome.
Reply
Top