First things first, what are meta keywords? Meta keywords are keywords that SEO advertisers use in the code of their site to drive traffic and increase their site rankings organically. Don’t get meta keywords confused with meta titles, aka page titles or meta description. These are two different aspects of SEO that are important and should be included in your SEO strategy.
Why you shouldn’t bother using meta keywords? A quick answer, the search engines don’t put as much weight on meta keywords any longer. Back in the day, meta keywords were a great way for search engines to rank sites organically based on their meta keywords. The search engines were assuming that if people put particular keywords in their site, those keywords were relevant to their site content. However this wasn’t the case for all websites. It’s pretty common for people to begin abusing this once they learned how the search engines worked. Putting keywords that have a high search volume in your site when that’s not what your site is about at all is one practice called black hat seo. Well, the search engines are relatively smart, and caught onto this rather quickly.
Another thing people began to do with their meta keywords is what we like to call ‘keyword stuffing’. Which is repeating your keywords over and over again in your site in order to try and rank higher. Well the search engines caught onto this as well, and you can actually get penalized (minimally) by doing this.
Now -a- days, search engines no longer put much weight on meta keywords as a result. Instead they focus on page titles, meta descriptions, body copy, etc.
Another negative aspect to using meta keywords is that any competitor of yours can view your page source and see which keywords you’re trying to target for each page of your site. It may not seem like a big deal, you’re both probably targeting some of the same keywords. However if there is a keyword you are targeting and you’re competitor isn’t, well they are now, and you just gave them the idea for it!