SEOFilter: Using Meta Keywords outside of Google
May 15, 2009 12:04 PM   Subscribe

What are the current SEO guidelines in regards to Meta Keywords for Search Engines other than Google?

The E-Commerce site in question performs well in Google and regulary achieves first page ranking for the large majority of its products.

I have read that Google ignores the Meta tag but other Search Engines do not.

If this is the case how many keywords should be used and how should they relate to the content of the page?
Will adding keywords for common spelling mistakes and plurals negatively affect the results?
Does the order of the keywords matter?

So far This and This have been helpful
posted by errspy to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I still use 'em -- meta keywords are free and easy to implement, and while they may or may not help, they certainly don't hurt.
posted by spilon at 2:30 PM on May 15, 2009

Oops, hit submit before I was done.

10 or less is the norm, and keywords should be relevant to the page content. Not sure plurals matter.
posted by spilon at 2:32 PM on May 15, 2009

I have read that Google ignores the Meta tag but other Search Engines do not.

I don't believe this has been true for a number of years now - as far as I know, pretty much all of the other search engines have followed google's lead on this one due to widespread abuse.
posted by jaymzjulian at 7:11 PM on May 15, 2009

Most of the major search engines (google, msn live, ask, yahoo) behave similarly to Google nowadays. Some old school engines still rely on meta keywords, but to be honest their market share isn't worth worrying about. However, I personally still do use meta keywords just for completeness. Here are some general tips:

Don't use more than about 6 words per page

Avoid repetition of words between pages

Keep the keywords relevant to the content of the page

Order doesn't matter. Adding typos is not detrimental - it's not proven that it helps, but it's the only good place to put them, so you might as well.

One possible caveat: I would have to disagree sligtly with spilon in that they CAN hurt if you use them incorrectly (i.e. loads of words, irrelevant, repetition). Also, your competitors performing SEO on their own sites will often read your meta keywords as a shortcut to see what keywords they should be optimising for. I have even heard one story of a webmaster putting deliberately misleading keywords in in an attempt to mislead competing webmasters!

Something else you should be doing which is arguably much more important is sitemaps. Check out Google Webmaster tools and MSN Live webmaster tools. I like to hand roll my own sitemaps, but an OK freeware tool is GSiteCrawler.
posted by jzed at 3:10 AM on May 18, 2009

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