I listened to a recent online promo from a “Marketing Expert” claiming that SEO was a waste of time and that you shouldn’t bother trying to trick Google and the other search engines. That statement made me lose control of my mouth full of coffee and nearly caused a messy incident on my Mac keyboard.
With SEO becoming an ever increasing part of our marketing lives, online writers are faced with the challenge of whether to write for SEO or the readers themselves. And with search engines constantly changing their algorithms, which can explain changes in rankings and website traffic, every writer must think of new ways to keep up with all the changes.
When launching a new product set or service offering that is slightly different from their main offering many companies decide to build a microsite. They feel that this will allow them more scope to develop a specific brand, or target a specific audience.
Google does not use the Meta Tag “Keywords” for page ranking any longer!
<meta name=”keywords” content=”keyword 1, keyword 2″>
About a decade ago, search engines judged and ranked pages based only on the content of web pages and the meta tags behind those pages. There was no such thing as “off-page” SEO factors like the number and quality of links pointing to a web page. In those days keyword meta tags quickly became an area where web builders could stuff (often-irrelevant) keywords, without typical website visitors ever seeing those keywords. This is what we now know as a ‘Black Hat Technique’. Because the keywords meta tag was so often abused, many years ago Google began downgrading its relevance when ranking sites.
Does this mean that Google ignores all meta tags? No, Google does support several other meta tags. Meta Description is well used for example, and as well as giving the accurate description of the content of the page it is often also the text which will be displayed in search results snippets.
Meta tags supported by Google can be found here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/79812
Does this mean that Google will always ignore the keywords meta tag? It’s possible that Google could use this information in the future, but it’s unlikely. Google now completely ignores the keywords meta tag and we can’t imagine them changing that policy any time soon.
So should they be ignored? Not really. Other search engines still actively use the keyword meta tag – including Bing and Yahoo. Bing still holds a 17.3 % stake (3.5 billion users), and Yahoo holds 12% (2.4 billion users).
Another point to also consider: Facebook “search” is powered by Bing.