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SEMrush Blog

Meta Keywords: Do They Influence Website Ranking?

SEMrush Blog
Meta Keywords: Do They Influence Website Ranking?

There was a time when Google used only the on-page factors for ranking a website. However, those days are long gone now. The criteria today for determining a website’s ranking is using a combination of on-page and off-page factors. One of the more important on-page factors remain the Meta keywords for a page. But, the question is whether Google actually gives any importance to the Meta keywords tag used by a website or not.

The general perception regarding Meta tag keywords remains that they are important for any website. This is the reason why most SEO experts put a lot of effort into selecting the right Meta keywords for a webpage in a bid to get it ranked higher by Google. From the outside looking in, it does appear as though the Meta information provided is crucial to determining your website’s search engine ranking. Yet, Google doesn’t seem to think like the SEO experts do.

So, what are Meta keywords? They are the keywords that have been included in the content posted on any webpage. They are then added to the Meta data in the HTML part of the webpage. This is for letting the search engines know that these keywords have been used on the specific webpage. The keywords, along with the title of the page and a description of what the page is about make up the Meta tags.

This would have been the case when Google relied on on-page factors exclusively. At that time, the relevance of the links you have added to your website or the user experience your website provided didn’t have much bearing on the site’s SEO. All Google was interested in was the content you had on your website. Since that included, among others, the Meta keyword you used in the content, it was highly relevant to your website’s ranking.

Google has changed its search algorithm considerably since then. Now, there are many different factors that are taken into account when determining a website’s ranking. In fact, some estimates claim that Google uses well over 200 different factors to determine the ranking of a website. The interesting thing is that the Meta keywords are not part of those 200+ factors. As things stand, there is only a slim chance of them ever being considered by Google to be a major determinant of your website’s ranking.

This is also a great way to judge the quality of an SEO company if you are looking to hire one for your website. It has been almost four years since Meta name keywords stopped mattering to Google. If the company claims to use them to get you to the top of the rankings, it means their services aren’t up to the mark. In that case, you are better off looking for another company. An SEO company that doesn’t know the factors Google uses to determine a website’s ranking deserves to be shut down.

Yet, there are many websites out there that are still making use of Meta keywords. They have probably been misguided by some amateur SEO expert and you shouldn’t follow their lead. However, one argument the so-called SEO experts do give is that using Meta information isn’t going to hurt a website’s SEO. That is quite true, in fact. They are on the dot saying that Meta tag keywords won’t hurt your website’s ranking so there is nothing wrong in using them.

At the same time though, they are not benefiting your website in any way so why use them in the first place. Rather, your competitors would be able to find out the keywords you plan to optimize your website for if you use Meta keywords. Therefore, it is imperative that you change your mind regarding their use from now on. It is quite easy to find the keywords to add to the Meta data of a webpage. You simply have to use a Meta keyword generator.

But, that doesn’t mean you should use them. On the other hand, you should use SEMrush to find the right keywords to use for your SEO and PPC campaigns. They are the campaigns that are likely to get you to the top of the search engine rankings. SEMrush will not only help you find the keywords you should use but also organize them in a way that makes it easier for you to use them. So, abandon Meta keywords now. They don’t influence a website’s ranking in any way, positive or negative.

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