Straight Talk on Meta Keywords: Get the Facts
In the early days of SEO, search marketers would utilize every square inch of available space to insert their keywords for purposes of ranking in the search engines. All of the usual suspects were fair play: page titles and all the meta tags, including meta descriptions and the meta keywords tag. Back then, many took advantage of the process and stuffed every keyword imaginable into these spaces. Eventually, Google and the rest of the search engines got wise to this and amended their ranking algorithms to all but ignore these parts of the website code-especially the meta keywords tag. For this reason, and many others, it just isn’t a viable practice to use the meta keywords tag as a part of a successful SEO strategy.
The search engines have “moved on” and progressed their ranking algorithms to a point where the meta keywords tag is irrelevant. As any self-respecting SEO should know, on-page factors such as keyword targeted copy, internal linking, and site structure have taken over the algorithms of search engines. Combined with the weighted importance of in-bound links, trying to optimize your meta keywords tag nowadays just seems silly.
. . . it just isn’t a viable practice to use the meta keywords tag as a part of a successful SEO strategy.
On a more practical note, meta keywords can cut off your nose to spite your face. Let’s say that you’ve completed your SEO keyword research and have begun the process of optimizing your website’s pages with those keywords. If you place your targeted keywords into the meta keywords tag, you are in essence “letting the cat out of the bag.” Any of your competitors can simply browse your website, view the source code, and in a heartbeat discover your keyword strategy. Play your cards more closely to your chest and keep the meta keywords tag empty.
Your competitors may still gain knowledge of your plans by simply reading the content on your site, but at least you won’t be handing it to them on a silver platter. And by avoiding the meta keywords tag, you will limit the amount of time wasted on a tactic the search engines no longer use to determine your ranking in the SERPs.
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