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Official: Google on the keywords meta tag

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Wednesday September 23, 2009 )

Google put paid to another hot topic in terms of SEO recently – whether or not they use the keywords meta tag in ranking pages

Last week, Google confirmed a long suspected yet still hotly debated issue – that it doesn’t give ranking preference to pages that abide by W3C standards.

The newest revelation is, according to Google software engineer Matt Cutts, Google doesn’t consider the keywords meta tag when ranking pages *at all*.

The video below goes into more detail:

As Matt says, their ignoring of the keywords tag doesn’t mean they ignore all meta tags. He makes special mention of the description tag in helping Google to evaluate the page. It’s been my experience that the description meta tag does play quite an important role.

For instance, if competitor X and Y have pages of similar quality; sometimes the only thing that may distinguish one from the other is quality description meta tag text.

That doesn’t mean to say a page about cars that has a description tag about cakes will help the page rank better on cake-related terms. Always use a description that accurately reflects the content of the page; or risk the wrath of the mighty G :).

Building on that, a *really* important tip regarding the use of the description meta tag is to either use unique descriptions on each page, or none at all. I’ve seen a lot of sites have their rankings impeded by using exactly the same description meta tag throughout their sites. This is commonly seen when using certain CMS’s (Content Management Systems) that offer a default meta tag option.

Pick up some more tips on developing description meta tags.


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