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Not-So-Breaking News: Google Does Not Use Keywords Meta Tag in Web Search Ranking

We are calling this not-so-breaking news because Austin & Williams has believed this to be the case for some time now, yet we find it newsworthy because now the question has been officially answered: “At least for Google’s web search results currently (September 2009), the answer is no,” Google’s Webmaster Central Blog reports. “Google doesn’t use the ‘keywords’ meta tag in our web search ranking.”

The reason behind this is fairly simple, and it is also the rationale for why those of us here at A&W never spent too much time on keywords meta tags. “About a decade ago, search engines judged pages only on the content of web pages, not any so-called ‘off-page,’ factors such as the links pointing to a web page,” the search engine powerhouse blogged. “In those days, keywords meta tags quickly became an area where someone could stuff often-irrelevant keywords without typical visitors ever seeing those keywords. Because the keywords meta tag was so often abused, many years ago Google began disregarding the keywords meta tag.”

To see for yourself, check out the video explanation from Matt Cutts, Google Software Engineer, posted on his blog and the Google Webmaster’s blog. However, there are many ways to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) – check out Secrets of Search Engine Optimization for the inside scoop.

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