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Removed Meta Keywords and dropped in SERP

 2:06 pm on Aug 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

My site is a year old website, I created the pages with many keywords in the metatag and later replaced with only 2 header tags. I am using a CMS and in the meanwhile kept feeding keywords for all the pages I upload daily. Just realized I donít use them anymore so I changed at the site wide level to show more keywords in the metatag and this was over 60% of the total pages. These keywords were not just stuffed but related to the pages and might be in a range of 8-10. I also heard that google stopped looking into keyword metatag, thatís why I did this. I thought I will do well in other search companies. This seems to have a negative impact on my site and I lost my ranks in serp of google in a week only, I lost almost 80% of the traffic.

I have removed that and rolled back to only 2 header tags as the keyword metatag. I donít know what else I should do or what else can be the reason. Please help me if you can.



 9:34 pm on Aug 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

The timing might seem suggestive, but I have doubts that anything you do with meta keywords can affect ranking.

However, I'm not sure what you did, exactly:

Thread title: "Removed Meta Keywords"
Post says: "I changed at the site wide level to show more keywords"

Can you clarify? And did you make any other changes to your exisitng pages at the same time?


 9:56 pm on Aug 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

1. I had title(h1), subtitle(h2) as my keywords before for all my pages. before 7 days i changed that to title, subtitle, a, b, c, d, e (max 8-10 keywords) on 60%(250 pages) of my pages. Around the same time PR update was given where i lost 1 to my index page but many of my internal pages went to 1 from 0. Many other pages also came out of the supplement list.

2. I didn't do anything other than this major change.

3. Whenever i introduce a new category to my site that shows on the index page and on all my internal pages along the top 5 pages from that category.

Thanks tedster for replying this post, I know you also helped me before where i was struggling with huge number of supplemented pages and trying to get them out.


 10:03 pm on Aug 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

So the rankings drop came after you changed the content of the H tags - not the meta keywords element. That's a whole different story than what I was thinking. In fact, I believe your title was edited because your post sounded like you changed the meta keywords element.

Yes, significant changes to H1, H2 on 60% of your pages might cause your rankings to fall.


 4:02 am on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)


I only changed the meta keywords of 250 pages out of 400 pages.

Previously my pages were like this:

Title: Hello World

SubTitle: Hello Everyone

Article: Hello World, this is just an example.

Meta Keywords: hello world, hello everyone


Later I changed only the Meta Keywords:

Meta Keywords: hello world, hello everyone, hello, hi, etc....

This is what i have done. This happened on major part of the site. I have not done anything other than this. I can't guess PR drop can cause this as that doesn't happen over night and i have not seen minor PR drop ever caused any major loss to the SERP rankings.


 8:11 am on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

The way you described it, it is something your CMS does for you. Do you know which meta tags are being affected by changing 'Meta Keywords'? Check the source after applying the change.


 11:50 am on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I also heard that google stopped looking into keyword metatag, thatís why I did this.

Don't believe everything you hear. You should take care of keywords and other meta tags and make sure they are unique for every page on your website. Show Google that you WORK on every single page and it will help in rankings.


 1:12 pm on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

You mentioned category changes - does your site happen to be a blog?

Did you start seeing this problem last week?



 1:36 pm on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

It is not exactly a blog, it is not running with wordpress or with a similar software. I have a customized CMS, it is very simple and doesn't do anything with social bookmarking, RSS, etc. I saw this problem last week and till last week there was constant increase in traffic.

Google is not considering the meta keyword tag was said by a google guy in a conference so i was bound to believe that. All my pages are unique starting from meta data to real content but it is just i added little more data to keyword list for 60% of my pages. They all are unique as well.

Initially it was hard coded to print the title and subtitle as my only keywords later it was data driven from a field of the database(i_KEYWORD). This was published to meta keyword tag only.


 1:50 pm on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Meta keywords do not have any effect on Google rankings, according to Google, and have not for years.

But that does not mean that the keyword tag is ignored.

It may hold evidence of keyword stuffing, or other deprecated behaviours, and they will be noted.

If you use keyword tags, then you should use them appropriately.

Having said all that, I think your serps drop is entirely coincidental. Look elsewhere for the cause.

The only way I can envisage keywords contributing to a drop, is if someone successfully reported you for keyword stuffing. But that is pretty unlikely.

Go back and review actions you took previously - up to a few months ago - and double check your outgoing links for danger signs.


 2:15 pm on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)


I have 10 blogs on separate IPs and top level domains, that did the same thing last week, around Thursday. 80 plus percent of the traffic is gone after climbing steadily for a long time.

Just guessing right now, but was thinking Google may be reaching blog bloat and is trimming the fat.

Many sites that aren't traditional blogs (wordpress, etc) end up in blog.google.com because Google sees them as blogs. You may want to search and see if your site is there.

For what it's worth, my keywords are in place.



 2:29 pm on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

- I don't sell links from my website, there are only little outgoing links (10) and they are very reputed sites.

- Incoming links should matter but not like this, this is what happened in a time frame of 1 week. which is very unusual. This is a kind of flag what i guess. I am suspecting it might be the major change in keyword tag might be the issue.

- I crosscheck all my comments for adult content and don't permit any links. I also crosscheck for duplicate content when any user leaves a comment. I also don't think all these going to get me a sharp drop, these can be slow killer.

- Yesterday, google has crawled my site massively. almost all the page. As i said i already rolled back to previous version of keywords.


 2:36 pm on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

- I crosschecked my site in [blogsearch.google.com...] and it shows up here.

- My other site is not affected which runs with similar concept and CMS.


 2:43 pm on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

- I am not coming in blog.google.com for any of my search terms where i was coming in top 5.

- Just a look how my traffic dropped: <snip>

[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 2:50 pm (utc) on Aug. 10, 2008]
[edit reason] No screenshots, please [/edit]


 3:21 pm on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)


You said you have a lot of links going to relevant content. How many would you say are on any given page? Do you have any pages that have more than 10 out-bound links?

We do! We have created almost directory like links relevant to the content on the page.



 3:27 pm on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

My SITE has only 10-20 out-bound links. No page has more than 2 out going links from the content. I bet this is not an issue.

I constantly check my incoming links, nothing that i received over last 45 days and i have not also seen any weired links till date.

I also checked google webmaster tool to see any alert message, nothing there as well. There is a clear message saying no duplicate content, no adult content found.

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