Meta Keywords: What They Are and Myths Behind the Meta Keyword

How useful are meta keywords today?

This is one of the big questions that often arise when referring to this term.

While most experts say that, currently, they are useless, some web pages continue to include them within their HTML code.

Taking all of the above into account, the question is: should we continue using them?

Next, we will explain what exactly they are and if they can really help in the SEO positioning of a web page or if they have been completely disused.

So, without any delay.

Let’s dive into it.

Importance of Meta Tags for Search Engines

Before starting to investigate the meaning and use of meta keywords.

It is important to know what meta tags are and some of their most important labels.

First of all, it is essential to know that meta tags, also known as meta elements, are HTML commands that describe the content of a web page so that search engines can find it.

This section includes a series of important data such as the title or a brief summary of the content.

So that the web is faster to detect.

Therefore, it can be said that meta tags are made up of basic information that a search engine needs to be able to include a website in its SERPs.  

In addition, thanks to these elements we can communicate with the search engines to indicate.

For example, which pages do we want to index and which do not?

Due to their importance and usefulness, these tags have become a very important factor for SEO positioning.

Most Used Meta Tags on a Web Page

Of all the meta tags that exist.

There are three that are usually the most used and to which more attention must be paid to ensure that a web page acquires a good position within the search engines.

Specifically, we are talking about the meta title, meta description, and meta robots.

Meta Title

This tag is responsible for informing search engines about the title of a web page.

This element is present in all the websites of an online portal and its content appears in the SERPs when users perform a search.

It is important that the keywords for which a web page wants to be positioned appear in this section.

In this way, Google will be able to display the appropriate name when a user performs a search.

On the other hand, another requirement that these types of labels must meet is not exceeding 70 characters.

Meta Description

It is one of the most important tags.

As it will be used to briefly describe the content of the web page.

On many occasions, this will be a decisive factor for a user to decide to visit it.

So it is essential to know very well what you want to put in it.

This type of tag appears just below the meta title in search results.

It is recommended that the description that is included on the web page does not exceed 160 characters.

Since, if this happens, it may appear incomplete in the search results.

On the other hand, Google recommends that each page of a website have a useful description.

That helps the user to know what he will find when he accesses the page.

Despite its importance, the truth is that this element is not an SEO positioning factor.

However, using it will help increase the number of clicks in search results, so it is still highly regarded.

Meta Tag Robots

This HTML tag provides information to web crawlers to know, for examplewhether or not to index a page.

Therefore, in this specific case, they should only be used when we want a page not to be indexed.

Since, by default, all of them are enabled to be found by crawlers.

The code to include it in a website would be the following: <meta name= “robots” value= “attribute1, attribute2”>

Some of the attributes that can be indicated in this section are:

  • Index:  in this way, we indicate to the search engine that it can index a certain web page.
  • Noindex:  This attribute is used to not allow a search engine to index a website.
  • Follow: with this, we are indicating to the search engine that it can continue tracking the links it finds on the web page.
  • Nofollow: unlike the previous one, this is used to tell the search engine that it cannot index the links that may be on a certain website.

This label is gaining more and more importance within search engines.

And is beginning to be more relevant to achieve greater success when carrying out an SEO positioning campaign.

With Ahrefs Site Audit you will be able to check the problems related to the meta tags that we have just talked about along with tips to solve them.

What are Meta Keywords?

Once the concept of meta tags and some of the tags that are currently used the most are clarified.

It is time to talk about meta keywords.

These labels are also part of the meta tags, however, search engines have stopped taking them into account.

Like the rest of the tags, they are located in the <HEAD> of the page, so the code is completely invisible to the user.

Meta keywords are a series of tags that include keywords to indicate to the search engine what the content or theme of the web is.

In addition, another of its characteristics is that they are not visible to users.

Although they are useful for browser crawlers.

Evolution of Meta Keywords

Meta keywords emerged around the year 1995.

At first, these were very relevant elements for SEO positioning.

Since they offered important information to know the words for which a website wanted to position itself and what the theme was.

This type of label was widely used by search engines such as AltaVista or Infoseek.

However, with the advent of new search engines like Google or Fast.

The value of this type of meta tag began to be questioned.

Taking advantage of the fact that during that time the search engines only judged the pages by their content and not by the so-called On-Page factors.

Meta keywords began to be used as an element that had to be filled in with a large number of keywords.

Even if they were irrelevant.

Due to the abuse that began to be made of this type of tag.

Google decided that it would stop taking this element into account within its SEO positioning.

Myths About the Meta Keyword

Despite the evolution that the meta keyword has undergone.

Where it went from being an important piece in SEO positioning to an irrelevant element.

The truth is that there are still some doubts about its usefulness.

In fact, it is still a matter of debate if these meta tags are really useless or if, on the contrary, they can be used to improve some aspects of the web.

Next, we will indicate some of the myths that have spread the most about the uses of these labels and that are totally denied by search engines.

Importance of Meta Keywords

Without a doubt, this is one of the issues that generate the most controversy when talking about this type of label.

Despite the rumors that exist, and the fact that some sites continue to use them.

The truth is that, currently, meta keywords do not have any kind of utility.

These labels, on many occasions, became a cloud of rather confusing terms.

Therefore, with the evolution of the Google algorithm, these types of meta tags were no longer taken into account.

Does Google Penalize its Use?

The other big question that exists around these meta keywords is whether their use can really be detrimental to a website.

It is common to think that including this type of meta tag on a page could be a sanction by Google since they are of no use.

However, the truth is that using them is not a problem and search engines do not penalize the pages that decide to include this type of tag in their code.

Simply, it is an invisible element that search engines do not detect for better or for worse.

How to Apply Meta Keywords on a Website?

Although these types of tags are completely deprecated.

It’s always good to see an example to better understand what they are and how they should be used.

In fact, there are still pages that continue to include meta keywords within their code.

To introduce a meta keyword on a website, the following must be added to the code: <meta name=” keywords” content= “Palabras clave”>

On the other hand, in WordPress there are two plugins with which you can implement this type of tag:

  • The Yoast plugin.
  • The All-in-One SEO Pack plugin

If you decide to apply this type of tag on the web.

It is recommended that you do not use more than six or ten words and prevent them from having misspellings.

Uses of the Meta Keyword Today

Although today they are no longer useful for SEO positioning.

The truth is that there are still web pages where these types of labels can continue to be seen in their codes.

Among the main utilities that some people continue to give it are:

  • Use the meta keywords as a list where you have all the keywords that you want to introduce into a website.
  • Fill the HTML code of a website with more data so that there are no blank spaces.

In addition, the fact that some pages continue to maintain these tags can be a very useful tool to be able to study the keywords for which you want to position the competition.

In this way, they can all be located together and organized without having to read the content of the web or carry out a more exhaustive study.

Should I Continue to Use These Types of Tags?

The truth is that.

Currently, it does not matter if you decide to continue using this type of tag or, conversely, if you decide to ignore them.

However, if you want to continue maintaining the meta keywords within the web.

It is advisable not to apply an excessive number of keywords and make sure that they are related to the theme of the web.

Alternatives to Position a Web Page with Keywords

Once it has become clear that meta keywords are not relevant for SEO positioning.

The question arises of knowing where the keywords should be placed so that search engines begin to take them into account.

There are different sections where you can include keywords to help a page to be among the first results of a search.

Some of them are:

  • The URL

This is one of the sections where the keyword that will define the web page must be entered.

  • Meta Title 

Of course, it is important that the keyword appears within this HTML tag.

In addition, it must be taken into account that this will be the title that appears in the search engine results and the first that the user will see.

  • Meta Description

Although this tag does not affect the positioning of a website, it is important that the keyword is also within this section.

Do not forget that the meta description will be a fundamental element for a user to decide to enter a website.

  • HTML Header Tags 

These elements, known as H1, H2, or H3, must also include the keywords.

  • Web Content 

Finally, another great resource to achieve good SEO positioning is to include keywords within the text of the web page.

However, it is important not to abuse them, as it could be seen as forced and Google would penalize you.

Therefore, meta keywords are currently out of use in Google (not in Bing, Yandex…).

It is important to keep in mind that there are other ways to improve the SEO positioning of a web page using the keywords in the indicated sites.

Thanks for Reading.

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