Keyword Meta Tags don’t influence SEO rankings says Google
In a recent video uploaded on YouTube on March 15, 2022, Google’s John Mueller discusses keyword meta tags. The video is part of the #AskGooglebot series that is aimed to educate SEO geeks all around the globe.
John Mueller addressed the following question:
“Is the keywords meta tag still important for SEO?”
To which, John Mueller replied:
“The answer is still no. We do not use the contents of the keyword meta tag in Google Search.”
For folks who don’t know what keyword meta tags are, here’s a quick explanation. Keyword meta tags can be placed in the HTML of a page to help search engines understand the overall context of the page.
The syntax looks like this:
<meta name=”keywords” content=”meta tags, meta tags are obselete, google on meta tags”>
In the past SEO decade, many users exploited this feature to stuff keywords in the hope of gaining SEO rankings. However, on September 21, 2009, Matt Cutts who was an engineer at Google at that time, confirmed that Google does not support “keywords” meta tags. You can find the video here.
Will you get penalized for using the keywords meta tags?
The quick answer is No. You won’t get penalized by Google if you use keywords meta tags on your pages.
“It’s fine, however, for you to use the keywords meta tag if you want to use them for something. It doesn’t cause any problems with Google Search. It’s usually small enough to not change the overall page size. So there’s no strong reason to remove them from a page”, said John Mueller.
It is totally up to you whether to use keywords meta tags or not. Google has validated on multiple occasions that they will not help you get better SEO results. So we encourage you to not invest much time in optimizing them. You can rather focus on the more valid and supported meta tags by Google such as the description tag and robots meta tag.
For a detailed explanation of Google’s take on the “keywords” meta tag, you can read the following article.
Watch the entire video of John Mueller discussing meta keywords tag here: