Google Doesn’t Use Keywords

Just this morning I received another update from GoogleWebmastersBlog – a little gem if you’ve never heard of it … full of little tit-bits we all really should know… and a few slightly more complicated things too but hey thats life.  Anyway this weeks subject was “Google Doesn’t Use the Keywords Meta Tag in Ranking” … I decided this was worth a read (most the time I pass on the opportunity given that I read so many blogs and GMB seems to go over the same subjects without so much depth).
It won’t be a surprise given the title of the post that Google claim they never really use this meta tag and they haven’t for a while… no surprise at all if you’ve worked in SEO for more than a couple of days… this theory is years old (and now seemingly confirmed).

Without going over what has been said in the blog post I want to draw a few conclusions about the post.

Although Matt Cutt’s is completely open about everything (it appears) and posts this kind of thing on a regular basis, I’ve began to question why … for so long Google were secretive about things and now they are letting slip a little… I don’t think so … I think its more likely that Matt is regurgitating old news. – So don’t take anything as gospel.

In the post they even state they do have the option to implement this on enterprise search but don’t keywords “simply don’t have any effect in our search ranking at present.” and “currently we [google] see no need to change that policy.”… to me this means they are more than likely to go back to using them at some point… maybe this post is their effort to slowly begin the process of removing this tag from the wild … so in a few years it can return hopefully in a much cleaner and less spammy format.

This I must repeat is fairly old news! All SEO’s have known for sometime a number of Search Engines discard them (to some extent) or maybe just don’t weight them … we all know Content is King! – and always will be. … but incase you need some in-depth help – here is my Stupidly Simple SEO guide.

So the question now really is will you continue to use Keywords on your sites? (let us know below)

For myself I will continue to use them, I know some smaller engines still use them… I never ranked them highly enough for this post to matter to me as I know Content is King! But all of my sites will continue to have keywords in the meta … and in the future this may help … who knows when they will flick the switch to make them matter again?

5 Comments on “Google Doesn’t Use Keywords”

  1. I never use any meta tags .. except on one site – my own.
    The reason is that .. while I’ve never found they make any difference .. if I don’t have them then somebody’s son who’s just read SEO for Dummies 1996 will tell their mum “these guys don’t know what they’re doing”.

    I personally think the meta keyword tag is harmless .. but it can give your competition a bit of a hand on keyword research.

    Meta description on the other hand is downright dangerous .. precisely because Google does use it.

    While it’s possible to improve click throughs with a good description .. you need to do a lot of work to get this to function correctly .. and most people don’t bother .. or have a tight budget so it’s not worth spending it on that.

    I don’t see Google taking such a backwards step. Within weeks of introducing it they’d have a 997 situation all over .. with spammers competing for how many times they could fit “porn” in the meta keywords tag.

  2. Google has not used the keywords meta tags for a number of years. As far as I’m aware though MSN and YSM do still use them.
    I think Dave has a point though, why not still include them, there seems to be no negative affects to leaving it in, and I know big G is around 85% of search volume, but is it not still worth ranking highly for YSM and MSN?

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