I don't think meta tags matter much for positioning at all anymore. As a matter of convention, I put my most important keywords first in the title, metas, h1 tag, first word of first paragraph of the body, (if it can be done naturally) and make sure it appears in anchors and in emphasized text.
I tend to use very focused keywords and titles on inner pages. I might have two or three keywords and variants that form natural phrase. The title always determines my keywords.
I also have several pages that rank well that contain NO meta tags at all.
Hello. Yes, actually meta tags and how you use them do still very much matter for spider based search engines. We have created an entire methodology that has helped us to achieve high rankings. It is more than just hte meta tags however. Much more actually. It has to do with the syncrhonization of your meta tags with your content..and more.
(edited by: Marcia at 8:29 am (utc) on May 30, 2002)