I wanted to put up a quick post to address a disturbing trend I am seeing when working with people new to SEO, or folks who learned a few things years back and are now in a position where they need to do some optimization work again. Here it is:

“Meta Keywords” have absolutely NO impact on your rankings. Google does not crawl your meta keywords. Do not think about, talk about, or otherwise acknowledge the existence of meta keywords as a ranking factor. LET THEM DIE!

Because I know this means far less coming from me than it does coming from the head of webspam at Google, here is the head of webspam at Google saying it:

Need more? Here is the actual wording from Yoast’s WordPress SEO Plugin under the meta keywords field:

When you are optimizing a page of content, here are the on-page areas where you need variations of your target keywords to appear:

Title

H1

Meta Description 

URL

Body Content (let it fit naturally in your writing. 3-4 occurrences every 400 words is best practice)

The idea to take away here is that, Google and the other major engines should be able to easily deduce what your content is about by crawling the same content that humans are reading. They should not (and do not) have to rely on an invisible coded set of phrases to determine the relevance of a given page. If this was necessary to determine the relevance of a page, then that content would be serious garbage anyways. Thank you for listening, and please, carry on.

September 17, 2012 | On-site SEO

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