About The 'Keywords' Meta Tag
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 I'm not sure why, I think perhaps due to outdated training materials.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.