The Keyword Tag

- May 27, 2008

In our last installment of explaining Metadata for a website, we will cover the Keyword Tag. In the past, savvy webmasters and marketers would place many keywords, including words that had nothing to do with their site in this tag. When the databases were small, Search Engines would use the Keyword Tag as a way to index pages. Sometimes, people would abuse this and rise to the top undeservingly. As the databases grew and search engines become more sophisticated, they put a stop to spammers stuffing the Keyword Tag. As a result, there is less weight placed on the Keyword Tag today.

By now I may have convinced you to scrap the keyword Metatag altogether, but that is not my intention. To fully optimize a site, you must use all legitimate SEO practices such as content optimization, link building and Metatag optimization, including the KEYWORD TAG. Search engines use many factors in determining ranking, and as mentioned before, while they place reduced weight on the Keyword Tag, it is still a part of the SEO Big Picture. Below are some tips for writing effective Keyword Tags that are not considered spamming:

– The Keyword Tag should contain only phrases found on the page
– Phrases should be unique to the page
– Primary Keyword Phrase should be listed first
– Target 1 Primary key phrase and 2-3 supporting keyword phrases to put in the tag
– Every phrase in the tag should appear on the page
– Separate keywords with a comma and use no more than 12 phrases per page.

Things not to do when writing Keyword Tags include:
– Keyword Stuffing — repeating keywords over and over in the tag
– Place unrelated keywords in the tag — This is putting possibly high volume search terms in the tag that have nothing to do with the content of your site in hopes of tricking the search engines

By following these simple steps, you will be well on your way to writing Keyword Tags that will help with the SEO big picture of your site.

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