Should I Use the Meta Keyword Tag? NO

Meta Keyword Tag - Tag CloudI know it has been said hundreds of times by hundreds of SEOs, but after conducting numerous website reviews I can no longer remain silent. Do not use the Meta Keyword Tag on your website. It provides zero value yet it is always abused which can hurt your website. The Meta Keyword Tag appears in the header section of your website code and looks like this:

<meta name=”keywords” content=”keyword, keyword, keyword”>

This tag had some importance a long long long time ago, but provides zero value for your website today. In fact most of the time this tag hurts your website. If this tag adds zero value and the search engines ignore this element how can this tag possibly hurt a website? It can hurt because just about everyone that utilizes this tag ABUSES this tag. For example, you really should only target one primary keyword per page to be successful, and that means using only one to three related keywords for this tag. Yet I often see this as a keyword tag:

<meta name=”keywords” content=”business attorney, business lawyer, seattle business attorney, seattle business lawyer, bellevue business attorney, bellevue business lawyer, washington business attorney, washington business lawyer, washington state business attorney, washington state business lawyer, wa state business attorney, wa state business lawyer”>

Repeating the same word over and over again is SPAMMING. How many times does “business,” “attorney” and “lawyer” appear in that tag? Way too many times. The search engines will not be impressed with this kind of “optimization” and you can very well incur a penalty. Most webmasters of small sites and editorial staffs of enterprise sites create the keywords for this tag and they do now know what they are doing. It is best this tag is simply removed from the source code.

Speaking of enterprise websites such as, or, this tag is a pain to implement for scale purposes. Are you really going to have your editorial staff review and research the proper keywords for the hundreds of pages you publish on a daily basis? Is this really worth your staff’s time? Are you going to bank your algorithm is really going to determine the proper keywords for the published article? Best not to spend development or editorial resources on a tag that provides zero value. Even if your editorial staff or algorithm properly implements the Meta Keyword Tag it is still a waste of their time.

Some of my colleagues have disagreed with me, yet we always found abuses by our editorial staff. Why put your site at risk for zero gain? Do not use the Meta Keyword Tag.

<meta name="keywords" content="seattle dui attorney, seattle drunk driving, washington state dui"><meta name="keywords" content="seattle dui attorney, seattle drunk driving, washington state dui">


Author: Garth O'Brien provides SEO, Social Media and Community Management consulting services. He can help boost the online presence of a small local business or global enterprise corporations in both Google and Bing.

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