Keyword Meta Tags – Pointless?

By: Mike Banks Valentine

First, a quote “… implementing meta tags – more specifically the keyword meta tag – is not going to have any affect on your rankings.” – Jill Whalen of said recently in LED discussion list.
Two list members then (who claim to be SEO’s) quoted Jill Whalen’s above comment suggesting they believe that keyword meta tags still have an effect on ranking. Can keyword meta tags possibly still matter? Title tags still matter – critically, description tags may, sometimes matter … a little, but keyword meta tags? Uh-uh.

It’s long past time to stop wasting energy on that tag and I hope those two SEO’s who both claimed they found meta tags useful will spend their energies elsewhere in the future. It’s old news that keyword tags are worthless.

I wrote an article in 1999 or 2000 titled “Keyword Meta Tags Search Phrase Tutorial” listing the top 8 ingredients to ranking well in the search engines.

I went back today to review it and found that remarkably few things have changed. So I massaged and edited a few things, added a small type disclaimer 😉 and linked to some online tools from that page, including a “Search engine simulator tool” and an “HTML source code viewer” and a also linked to a previous article I’d written in 2002 called “SEO Keyword Voodoo: Invisible Meta Tag Mumbo Jumbo” because, as you might guess from the title, I am 100% with Jill Whalen on the futility of mucking around with keyword meta tags.

Keyword Meta tags went south in about 1998-99 or so when webmasters began keyword stuffing and the search engines stopped paying attention to them. They are not used, nor are they trusted at all by any search engines. If they are not purposely abused, they are completely misunderstood by webmasters still. Don’t waste your time fussing with them or tweaking them. They’re an old and badly abused element of HTML code that no longer does a thing for ranking.

To further prove my point, I’ve created a Rollyo search tool, available from a link in my resource box below, which allows you to search only the top 25 SEO bloggers and the Official Search Engine Blogs for the search phrase “keyword meta tags.”

At the time of this writing, only 9 results came back on that search. Nine. Keyword meta tags are no longer being discussed by anyone, let alone being used in SEO. After visiting each of the nine search results from that searchroll, I discovered that most of those results are either derisive comments about “keyword meta tags” from the SEO blogger or are derisive comments left by visitors about the folly of meta tag massaging!

My favorite blog post from among the results of that SearchRoll are from Aaron Wall of SEObook when he said,

“… an old client wants me to rewrite their meta tags. A total waste of time, but if it makes them happy, oh well … Meta tags? … hehehe”

Convinced yet that keyword meta tags are pointless? SEO bloggers say … Ding! hehehe!


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