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Meta Keywords - Ignored or Negative

9:36 pm on Sep 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm working on a site that still includes the meta keywords tag on a lot of pages. No one is actively spending time optimizing these (they are a legacy thing). I know this tag is ignored by most search engines, but I've heard speculations that just the presence of the tag on a site may actually be a negative factor. Does anyone have opinions or even concrete evidence whether or not meta keywords is a negative ranking factor? The tags on the site I'm looking at are not particularly spammy. It is a US based site doing business in the US.
8:39 am on Sept 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I have heard just about the same as you. No importance of any kind; could be seen as negative, if applied in a 'spammy' fashion. But, I have no hard evidence at all. However, we removed the tag completely from our soon-to-be new site. I expect no impact of any kind, just 'cleaning up'.
10:11 pm on Sept 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@shariseo ... Welcome to Webmasterworld!

meta keywords have been largely ignored for many years. I don't use them at all, and stopped using them completely by 2002. I've seen nothing negative for not having them, and truthful never saw anything positive when originally used.

10:00 am on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The meta keyword tag is ignored by many search engines but use of them doesn't have a negative impact on the ranking of the website. Many SEO experts avoid using meta keywords is because it unnecessarily increases the code size.