Revisiting the Keyword Meta Tag


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As everyone in Web marketing knows, keywords are the lifeblood of any website. The keywords meta tag fell by the wayside years ago for being abused by spammers. When it comes to Web page structure, however, we want to be careful when “throwing out the baby with the bath water.” In hindsight, eliminating the keyword meta tag also eliminated a “best practice” for mark up code.

Bing recently announced that they do, in fact, factor the keyword meta tag into their algorithm, but they do so as a “spam” indicator. Apparently, Web developers who abuse this meta tag still exist. What many of us have forgotten, myself included, is that meta data exists to communicate to search engine robots what a page is about.

Industry veteran, Shari Thurow, commented on why the keyword meta tag is still important for site search on

“I’ve used it for site search engines, and it has been quite helpful (particularly with misspellings).

I also use it to “force” people to really define what each page is about, its uniqueness. In other words, I use the tag’s content for its true intended purpose.

It’s a shame that the tag has been abused so much when it can be helpful. Since I work on large sites with site search engines, I do find that it is necessary for site SEO. Maybe not Web SEO….”

A few years ago, I was a contract SEO working on enterprise-level websites. The keyword meta tag was almost all we had to work with since the SEO team had no control over content or inbound links. Just focusing on the Page title, description and keyword meta tags made an enormous difference in site search. In fact, we recommended using the keyword meta tag as a best practice after search volume was validated and verified.

Using Structured Data for Competitive Advantage

If we look at the purpose of meta tags, or rich data, we would stop trying to “game” the system with keyword spamming and, instead, learn how to write clear, concise, keyword-focused content both on the page and in the code and stop blaming search engines for filtering our pages out of the main index when we trip a spam filter.

Structured data is a way for search engine robots to make sense of content in your HTML. The standard search engines created is called It can be a little intimidating, at first, to make sense out of the various microdata that’s possible to be placed on a Web page. Not to worry.

The geniuses at RavenTools created Schema-Creator to provide you a “quick start” to creating HTML with microdata.

I believe that when a search engine compares two pages of similar “value,” the Web document that is better structured will edge out one that is not. This is the future of search. Consider yourself warned.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Nicolette Beard
As a former publisher and editor, I'm passionate about the written word. I craft content to help drive the autonomous customer experience (CX) revolution. My goal is to show call center leaders how to reduce the increasing complexity of the customer journey.


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