Google Does Not Use Keyword Meta Tags!

As professional website designers we are always conforming to the latest techniques in SEO (search engine optimization) in order to be successful in the SERP’s (search engine result page’s). We found that our new customers are now doing their history before choosing a web design firm to make sure their final product will perform correctly in all search engines. The term used mostly by our new customers is “keyword meta tags”. They want to make sure we include these meta tags, in hopes their website will increase in the SERP’s. They then pass us a huge list to embed into their website header. At JVF Consulting we do include keyword meta tags to all of our custom websites, but we really hate to break the news, Google does not use keyword meta tags! 

Next time you’re reading an article on SEO and it tries to convince you to optimize the keyword meta tags to your website remember this. Googlebot does not even bother to index or interpret those keyword meta tags, but rather extract the keywords from the content of your website. When Matt Cutts the famous Google SEO software engineer was asked, “Does Google ever use the keyword meta tags in its web search ranking?” His response was, “In a word, no. Google does sell a Google Search Appliance, and that product has the ability to match meta tags, which could include the keywords meta tag. But that’s an enterprise search appliance that is completely separate from our main web search. Our web search (the well-known search at that hundreds of millions of people use each day) disregards keyword metatags completely. They simply don’t have any effect in our search ranking at the present time.” 

If you still do not believe us, here is a Google Webmaster video explaining it all. This is not breaking news by any means, but there are still people out there who are putting too much thought and effort into their meta tags.

  • Tony

    This is what i am looking for, Keywords Meta Tags might still be used my other search engines for indexing.It is well known for quite some time. In fact does not use keywords meta tag at all.

  • McLaughlan Craig

    This really reminds me of that ridiculous trend of hashtagging. One or two of them were good, but now it’s like everything is being tagged that it makes it impossible to streamline the searches at all. It’s entirely diluting the website marketing and making internet strategy redundant. It would definitely make more sense to redefine things so that keywords actually count for something.

  • I have been trying like crazy to get my website on the first page of google for “Houston Roofing” any suggestions?

  • This is complete bull. I have tested meta keywords and they do help. If you don’t have meta description then they will just randomly pull data from the site to show as snippets.

  • rog

    Google does not mind at all. Meta keywords also reveal to the competition on what keywords you are targeting to rank.

  • Its not shocking at all. It make sense. When googlebot can find the “keyword” in content than why bother looking at metatag for keyword. Saves time for SEO guys. Google wants show whats on the page, not whats in keyword meta tags.

  • I agree. Meta Keywords can be foregone. Google does not mind at all. Meta keywords also reveal to the competition on what keywords you are targeting to rank.

  • Google stopped using meta keywords because you all stuffed your tags with so much garbage it made them useless.Keywords Meta Tags might still be used my other search engines for indexing.It is well known for quite some time. In fact does not use keywords meta tag at all.

  • I think that it is good that google is not supporting meta keywords, because other wise all irrelevant sites could have appeared on top of search results just for picking up right keywords.

  • Yeah thats true, Mattcutt reveals the secreat but you never know he is really revealing the secret, no doubt he always gives nice and really informative words, well now when i know google doesnt use meta keywords but still am using this tag as it is still relevant to other search engines

  • Good to know but I have one question still. Keyword density is commonly used as a ranking factor � does the meta keyword tag still affect keyword density on page or does it skip it?

  • Zara

    As has been posted before, this is old news really. I mean they are officially clarifying it now, but it has been well known in the internet marketing world for a good few years now that the meta tag has lost its’ relevance.

  • Hello Garrett,

    Google doesn’t take the meta tag keywords into account for a long time (I guess for a few years). In fact, other search engines probably doesn’t care about this tag too, even though some of them never talked about that.

    The problem of this meta tag is simple — it can be manipulated by the website owners. Looking at the keywords in the website body is more accurate and together with off-page factors works very well.

  • Spencer

    That’s old news. Really. Nevertheless, other search engines might still be using the tag, so I try to incorporate them if there is spare time, but it’s not essential.

  • Good information in this post! I agree with Article Directory that it can’t hurt to add your keywords anyway!

  • I don’t care to see the keywords tag influence Web search but it would be helpful to Webmasters if you used it in your Custom Search Engine solution and/or site-specific searches.

    There are still people in the SEO community who wrongly say that none of the major search engines use the keywords meta tag. Both Ask and Yahoo! still seem to look at it, but of course they don’t allow it to have significant influence in competitive queries.

  • Hunter

    I have seen many keyword stuffed meta keywords tags. I agree that they are useless. Google says so!

  • Good post. Google has not used meta keywords for a long time now. It doesn’t hurt to have it, and i would recommend that you spend a few seconds adding keywords to all your pages. Just my 2 cents.

  • Interesting, but as Jeanette said, what about other Search Engines like Yahoo, Bing etc…? Do they still pay attention to the Keyword Meta Tag?

  • So, does it mean, I have to use my keyword in content for several times??

  • Yes, but i think it is still important.