What is the SEO effect of meta keywords? Explanation of why it is unnecessary [2023 edition]



  • “Do meta keywords have an SEO effect…”

    “Should I set meta keywords?”

    Do you have these questions?

    For those who have just started SEO, setting meta keywords is one of the points that often gets confused.

    There may be many web developers who say, ” I heard that it is effective for SEO, so I just fill in the meta keyword field in WordPress.”

    To conclude first, meta keywords do not affect Google’s search rankings.

    In order to achieve results with SEO, it is important to understand the meaning and role of the measures and implement them, not just because they seem to work for SEO.

    In this article, we have explained in detail the relationship between meta keywords and SEO.

    Article topic

    • What are meta keywords?
    • SEO effect of meta keywords [does it affect rankings?]
    • After all, should you set meta keywords? Unnecessary?

    This is summarized along with Google’s official opinion, so if you are unsure about how to respond to meta keywords, please refer to it.

    What are meta keywords?

    “Meta keywords” are one of the meta tags that convey page information to search engines.

    Meta keywords include keywords that the page is focused on.

    For example, if the page is aiming for high rankings for the keyword “SEO internal measures”, write it as follows.

    Example of meta keyword description

    <meta name="keywords" content="SEO,internal measures"/>

    Meta keywords are usually not visible to site visitors because they are written within the head element of HTML.

    If there are multiple keywords, it is common to connect them with commas and limit the number of keywords to 3 to 5.

    SEO effect of meta keywords [does it affect rankings?]

    As of 2023, Meta keywords have no impact on Google’s SEO.

    To be more precise, the presence or absence of meta keywords and their content do not affect indexing or ranking in Google search.

    Google clearly stated in its official blog and official video in September 2009 that it “does not use meta keyword information.”

    Does Google use the keywords meta tag in web search rankings

    Simply put, don’t use it. (omitted)

    Google’s web search completely ignores keyword meta tags. Your Google search rankings will not be affected at this time.

    Source: Google does not use keyword meta tags for web ranking | Google Search Central Blog

    Google’s lack of support for meta keyword tags is still documented in the official documentation (Unsupported tags and attributes).

    Many of you may have seen the information that “meta keywords are effective for SEO,” but that’s a story from the past (or from search engines other than Google, more on that later).

    Why Google now ignores meta keywords

    There was a time when setting meta keywords was important, but since September 2009, meta keywords have become meaningless for SEO.

    There are two main reasons why Google has started ignoring meta keywords.

    • Spam activity that abuses meta keywords has increased
    • As the technology and accuracy of search engines has improved, it is no longer necessary to use them

    Until the mid-2000s, meta keywords played an important role in determining search rankings.

    This is because at that time, search engines were less accurate and could not determine “what kind of keywords the page information is related to” without using meta keywords. Because it was difficult to do.

    However, as a result, spam activities that abuse meta keywords have increased.

    If you stuff unrelated keywords that you want to rank high in “meta keywords”, you will end up with low-quality content. However, it is now displayed at the top of the list.

    Google now ignores meta keywords in order to create better search results for users.

    Google is constantly improving its search algorithm, and now it is possible to perform appropriate evaluations without using meta keywords.

    Therefore, it is no longer necessary to use “meta keywords”, which were a hotbed of spam.

    With this background, it is unlikely that Google will use meta keywords again in the future.

    Handling of meta keywords in other search engines [Yahoo!, Bing, Baidu, Yandex]

    In fact, some search engines still use meta keywords.

    The following is a summary of how major search engines handle meta keywords.

    • Google: Do not use
    • Yahoo!: Not used
      Since it uses the same search technology as Google, it is not used in the same way as Google.

    • Bing: Do not use
      2014 Bing Blog post is described as “dead in terms of SEO value.” Bing employee Christi Olson also Twitter says, “Meta keyword tags are invalid when it comes to SEO value. I will exclude it and ignore it.”

    • Baidu (Chinese search engine): May be used
      2020Official document , Abstract, and Keywords are important criteria for Baidu Search to judge the value of a resource.

    • Yandex (Russian search engine): May be used
      Official page says, “It can be used to determine the relevance of a page to a search query.” .

    As mentioned above, Baidu and Yandex suggest the possibility of using meta keywords.

    However, if you look at the share of domestic search engines, you will see that there is little need to consider Baidu or Yandex.

    After all, should you set meta keywords? Unnecessary?

    Setting meta keywords is basically “unnecessary” from SEO perspective.

    Major domestic search engines ignore meta keywords, so there is no need to spend time on them.

    If you want to get results with SEO, it is better to spend your time improving the quality of your content rather than spending a lot of time setting meta keywords.

    SEO expert Bill Slawski conducted a survey of SEO professionals on Twitter and found that over 67% It is said that the respondents are not using meta keywords.

    However, if the following cases apply, you may want to set it.

    • We get a lot of traffic from Yandex and Baidu, so we want to focus on those search engines
    • When managing media with multiple people, it is important to set meta keywords to make it easier to manage target keywords for content.

    If you write meta keywords, Make sure that the meta keywords on each page are the same keywords. Be careful not to do this.

    There is no need to delete the meta keywords that have been set

    Even if you have already written meta keywords on the pages created so far, delete them. You don’t have to.

    Google will simply ignore it, so there will be no negative impact if the meta keyword remains.

    However, if the description is corresponding to spamming, such as stuffing a large amount of unrelated keywords into meta keywords We recommend that you delete it just in case.

    Supplement: There are cases where it can be used for competitive analysis

    • If a competitor site has meta keywords set, Which keywords did the competitor use? Meta keywords can be useful to know. To check meta keywords, use the Chrome extension SEO META in 1 CLICK is useful.

    “Meta description” tag is required!

    Although it is the same meta tag, the “meta description” tag is important for SEO, so be sure to include it.

    A meta description is a descriptive text that summarizes the content of a page.

    Simply put, this is an explanatory text that tells Google, “This page deals with this kind of content!”

    Meta descriptions are not a ranking factor, but may appear as “snippets” in search results.

    Google also recommends setting this as it is a factor that also affects click-through rate.

    [Summary] Meta keywords do not affect SEO! There is no problem even if you do not set it.

    I explained the relationship between meta keywords and SEO.

    Google explicitly ignores meta keywords, so they have no positive or negative impact on SEO.

    There is no need to be particularly sensitive about meta keywords, as very few other search engines use them.

    However, there are meta tags such as meta descriptions and titles that affect SEO, so be sure to optimize them.

    Our company, Excore, provides SEO agency and consulting services.

    If you have any problems regarding SEO, please feel free to contact us.