Search Engine Optimization has become a hit and wait approach these days. You hit a shot, make a move and then wait for the big G to look upon you kindly! More often than not this does not happen and people are hit with penalties and they loose rankings overnight, disappear from SERPS and what not! One of the many recurring questions since a long time is whether you should use the meta keywords tags or not. Many SEO gurus claim that the meta keywords are now redundant and have no effect in website’s ranking and this was all propagated initially when Matt Cutts who was the head of Web Spam elimination team in Google confirmed this saying that sites using meta keywords won’t get any extra priority and those who overstuffed those keywords would instead be penalized. Times have changed a lot since this became a widespread notion. Is meta keyword tag approach still useful? This is the topic of discussion today on Inspire2rise and we will try and cover each and every related point to this so as to reach a conclusion which is useful for Bloggers as well as SEOs.
What are Meta Keywords and where were they used?
Earlier when the web was in its nascent stages there were not many ways available to categorize web pages or know what topic they were about. Enter Meta keywords, they were used to define what a specific page was about and simple, problem solved! But then widespread spammers entered the scene and started stuffing pages with irrelevant keywords and fooled users by using different meta keywords but mostly hosting different content or in some cases even pornographic content.
Then Google started a crackdown on the websites using such approach and generally over time the meta keywords lost its importance. Even great WordPress SEO plugins like WordPress SEO by Yoast have made using meta keywords an optional thing since a long time.
So what would happen if you use Meta keywords now?
If you use Meta keywords on your site then their would be negligible change. But if you overdo them then surely you would be harmed by their usage. Some search engines still give weightage to meta keywords as indicators of page content. So if you do intend to use meta keywords then do so without overdoing them and add only one indicator on one page.
A negative aspect of using Meta keywords is that you are serving the list of keywords you use to your competitors by default. So it can be very easy to spy on your SEO strategy if you use meta keywords.They can simply look into your source code to spy on you.
But one of the benefits of using Meta keywords is that you can use LSI keywords in the meta keywords and use matching terms to the queries you want to rank for. For example you write a post : “Top SEO providers in India” now in the meta keywords you use only one phrase which is a variation of the base keyword that you want to rank for. The phrase can be “Best Indian SEO provider” which has the same contextual meaning as the base keyword that you want to rank for.
By using such a meta keyword you open up the meaning of your webpage for search engines to understand and in this case you also don’t risk serving the keywords you want to rank for on a silver platter to your competitors.
So this was a simple SEO tip for all the bloggers and web masters out there. Did you find it useful? Got any questions, then don’t forget to comment!
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