seoram - 4:59 pm on Dec 14, 2006 (gmt 0) In my experience, Meta tags do help a lot for ranking of pages.
In highly competitive keywords and long disc keywords have higher rate of conversion. what I mean to say is that instead of ranking 10th for a generic short keyword, I always feel its better to rank first for a less conpetitive keyword which is very specific.
I prefer optimizing one keyword a page.
In my experience, Meta tags do help a lot for ranking of pages.