The Meta Keywords

Meta Keywords are Just Hype - You Can Ignore Them

SEO Whiteboard Chart
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What is the Meta Keywords

Meta keywords were originally created to allow search engines to know what keywords you wanted your page to be found when searching for. But many people used them to spam search engines with popular search terms that had nothing to do with the page, so many popular search engines stopped using meta keywords for anything at all. In fact, according to SearchEngineWatch, only two search engines used this tag: Inktomi and Teoma and Teoma's use is "unofficial".

So, if you're going to put meta keywords on your Web pages, don't spend more than 3 minutes thinking of them. And don't put more than a few, as it's just a waste of time, for the most part.

How Many Keywords to Include

The best use of meta keywords is for your own use. So the length isn't terribly important. I use the meta keywords to remind myself of the keyword phrase I'm targetting in the article as well as any (1-3) alternate phrases I might target.

You should note, however, that I only use keywords in my About.com articles, and I only use them because their CMS requires them. In every other page I write, I don't spend any time on keywords. I'd rather have a sharp opening paragraph and good use of my target phrase in the document than spend any time on meta keywords.

How to Write a Meta Keywords

The meta keywords are placed in the head of your HTML. You use the meta tag with the name="keywords" and the content="" containing your keywords.

The meta keywords tag for this article is:

<meta name="keywords" content="meta keywords, meta tags, meta data, seo, search engine results">
  • separate keywords with commas
  • don't use any other punctuation beyond commas
  • put the keyword phrase you're targetting first
  • don't repeat phrases

Bottom Line: Stop Worrying About Meta Keywords

Do yourself a favor and stop spending any time worrying about the keywords.

Unless you get the majority of your traffic from Inktomi, your keywords won't make a difference to your search engine rankings and they just create one more thing to worry about. Spend time creating SEO-Friendly Content that your readers want to read and leave the keywords to other people who have more free time.