The Fate of the Keywords Meta Tag: Misspellings

Posted by Michael D Jensen on October 31st, 2007

Meta Tags were once a major player in SEO. With the advancement of search engine algorithms, meta tags become less and less significant. The description meta tag is still used for your search engine snippets, but the keywords meta tag has been disregarded by all the major search engines.

In my SEO blog reading yesterday, I first found a post by Danny Sullivan about meta tags. Then just this morning I read a post by Matt McGee also about meta tags and he makes the same point:

The Keywords meta tag is useless, except for misspellings.

If your page has a product, service, or keyword that can be misspelled, instead of intentionally misspelling the word in your text, use your keywords meta tag. It won’t get you page 1 placement necessarily, but it definitely makes a difference.

If I had say in the Googlerithm, I would tie the spelling functions with the search functions, and if a page ranked well for a certain phrase, but the user misspelled the phrase, I would certainly give more relevance to a page that had the misspelling on it (albeit in a keyword meta tag).

With that said, I would certainly not focus much time at all working on the keywords meta tag, but while you’re under the hood making changes to your site, it wouldn’t hurt.

6 comments Visited 6465 times October 31st, 2007 Michael D Jensen

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  • Entry Filed under: Content and SEO,Search Engines,SEO

    6 Comments Add your own

    • 1. Stephan Miller  |  November 1st, 2007 at 6:23 am

      This is what we use them for on our ecommerce site. We also add part numbers.

    • 2. Boris  |  November 1st, 2007 at 5:34 pm

      Where is your evidence that keywords are useless?

    • 3. Michael D Jensen  |  November 2nd, 2007 at 12:46 pm

      @Boris – I didn’t say keywords were useless, but that the keyword meta tag is useless EXCEPT for misspellings.

    • 4. Buy Links  |  November 6th, 2007 at 10:12 pm

      I disagree. I noticed my rankings go up when I started taking Keyword Meta tags more seriously.

    • 5. Nascar  |  November 16th, 2007 at 8:41 am

      Meta keywords are useless only if you are spamming. It is a valid application towards misspellings, synonyms, and variations of industry jargon.

      Displaying misspellings to the users is bad user experience, and the only remaining place to do that is meta keywords.

    • 6. Stuart Jenner  |  December 5th, 2007 at 5:16 pm

      I have a client who had written metatags, including the keywords, before I started assisting. The keywords tag has a misspelling, and has been left alone for several years. The site has never been picked up on the misspelling. Interestingly, another site had copied their metatags into its page text, so that one does show. I don’t think Google is looking at the keywords tag.

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