Is the keyword meta tag important to achieve desired SEO rankings?
This is not an easy question to answer as it’s not clear how search engines utilize the tag. Several years ago the tag was highly relevant and when used properly played a critical role in website page rankings. However, over time search engines have devalued the tag as black-hat tactics such as keyword stuffing made the tag less reliable. This ultimately led search engines to place much less emphasis on the tag.
Does this mean the tag is useless and offers no benefit? The fact of the matter is no one really knows with the exception of the search engines themselves as there is no simple way to run a conclusive test in terms of the weight of the keyword tag. Today there are many factors that effect rankings so it’s difficult to determine which are the most and least important. But one thing is for sure, keywords must be used in the content of a site and in the title and description meta tags.
In terms of the keyword tag, the best advice is as follows:
- Use the keyword tag
- Leverage approximately 3 to 5 keywords on each page, which should also be reflected in the content of the page
- Vary keywords from page to page, rather than having the same each time
- Don’t keyword stuff
The thinking here is that while the importance of the keyword tag is up in the air, it can’t hurt to use it as long as you don’t abuse it. Leveraging a simple best-practices approach as listed above can only help your page rankings.