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Google may not use the keyword meta tag - but Bing does

     
3:26 am on Aug 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Many times in past years, various Google spokespeople have confirmed that Google's algorithm doesn't look at any keyword meta tag (although they do reserve the right to use it if they find a useful signal there.)

But right now there's a thread in our Bing Forum that anyone who has keyword tags on their pages should probably notice. The poster is "bingdude" - Duane Forrester who is Senior Product Manager of Bing's Webmaster Outreach Program.

I'll make this statement: meta keywords is a signal. One of roughly a thousand we analyze.

Getting it right is a nice perk for us, but won't rock your world. Abusing meta keywords can hurt you.

SEO for Bing - a discussion with Bing's Duane Forrester [webmasterworld.com]
3:29 am on Aug 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I also chuckled over the 1,000 signals comment (what Google, you've only got 200 plus?) But even more, the entire thread does a great top level job explaining SEO in the modern age, where rigorous reverse-engineering of any search engine's full algorithm is pretty much a lost cause.
3:31 am on Aug 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Can't help much but can do damage and are analyzed by a machine, that's not a glowing endorsement imo. He didn't say you'd suffer for not having them, or did he?
4:20 am on Aug 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It was a wake-up call for me. I've got legacy pages where the keyword meta-tag is still there and was, can I say, adventurous?
9:00 am on Aug 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I picked up on that the other day when I read it. I've never stopped completing the meta keywords "just in case" and especially so since it does not take me hardly any time to do.

I only use it for my widget synonyms some of which may have as many as 20-30 alternative valid trade names simply because of translations and common usage within a specific country.
7:22 pm on Aug 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I stopped bothering with the keywords tag ages ago - time to reconsider!
8:34 pm on Aug 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have never quit adding relevant keywords to the page. I feel it helps me go over the most important ones again, and then gives me a good feel of how I have the content on the page to reflect the title, keywords and description. I guess I am a visual type of guy.
3:21 pm on Aug 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have never quit adding relevant keywords to the page.
Same here. I have found some link directories and other sites make use of them to contruct tags and crosslinks. In some cases multiple backlinks from one submission were the result.

I also use it as a 'parking area' for the page's targeted keywords - the page is it's won record.
12:55 am on Aug 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like he's saying that using keywords for their intended purpose is a plus, abusing them will bite you. And that is as it should be. A six hundred word page probably shouldn't have any more than 4-500 keywords, eh?

:-0

I've always treated meta keywords as a sort of short-form summary in which to emphasize the handful of terms that best describe the pages' reason for existence.

And that could be why I'm happy to see a few thousand hits a month while other sites get that many a minute. But I'll take my properly-directed traffic and be happy with it ... I'm just tickled that anyone reads my gibberish at all.

If someone also wants to click on an ad once in a while, that's fine, too. I only costs me about $100 a year to keep the site active so it's not like I need a huge conversion percentage for the site to liquidate its own expenses.