Common SEO Myths: Meta Keywords Can Improve Your Site’s Rank In Google

Part of learning SEO is getting past the myths and legends that have been built-up over time. The SEO world is always changing which means that things that might have worked years ago, no longer work today. This is also very important when you’re picking an SEO firm as one stuck in their ways may have not evolved with changes in the industry.

One of the most common SEO Myths I’ve come across is regarding the impact of Meta Keywords in ranking. While the Title Tag absolutely plays a role, and the Meta Description shows-up in search, poor old Meta Keywords got left behind. That’s right, those Meta Keywords that you may have spent hours perfecting aren’t going to impact your rank, at all.

If you’re still not convinced you can hear it from Google themselves, on their blog, Matt Cutts was quoted as saying:

“They simply don’t have any effect in our search ranking at present.” (Official Google Webmaster Central Blog)

So what happened to our old friend, Meta Keywords?

“About a decade ago, search engines judged pages only on the content of web pages, not any so-called “off-page” factors such as the links pointing to a web page. In those days, keyword meta tags quickly became an area where someone could stuff often-irrelevant keywords without typical visitors ever seeing those keywords. Because the keywords meta tag was so often abused, many years ago Google began disregarding the keywords meta tag.” (Official Google Webmaster Central Blog)

You can also see a video of Matt Cutts discussing this topic below, in the video Matt clearly says, “We don’t use the keyword meta tag in our search ranking, other search engines might but Google doesn’t.”

So next time you hear this myth, make sure to send someone to this post or Google’s blog. Heck, you’ll save them some time and it’s always fun to debunk a myth, especially one that seems so alive and well after all these years!

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Startup Dispatch March 13, 2012, 11:38 am

    Yes! This seems obvious to us SEO guys, but when you see the kind of out-dated misinformation being circulated online, it is easy to see how so many people tend to fall for this meta-keywords crap. Meta keywords do absolutely nothing for SEO. In fact, with the February 2012 algo update, it appears that Google is even downvoting anchor text keyword as a ranking factor.

    In many ways, we seem to be entering a ‘post-keyword’ age in SEO. 

    • Morgan Linton March 13, 2012, 4:36 pm

      Great point Startup Dispatch and interesting way to look at it, in a way we really are entering a “post-keyword” age. I think social media will continue to play a greater role as search engines like Google will look at these platforms as a good indicator of user engagement!

  • Top Rank SEO March 17, 2012, 6:14 am

    to be honest i thought this was a well known fact, although you do still yet SEO wannabes chirping on about META Keywords and promising to create your meta tags for a fee!!! It’s frightening how so many website owners fall for the SEO amatuers and believe their site is being optimised

    • Morgan Linton March 17, 2012, 9:29 am

      I thought the same but am surprised how many people still think this impacts search rankings.

      Well you have to start somewhere, I’m glad I was able to put an end to this myth for my readers!


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