Meta Keywords is a meta tag used in HTML to provide search engines with a list of keywords or phrases relevant to the content of a webpage. In the early days of the web, search engines used this meta tag to help determine the topic and relevance of a page to specific search queries.
Meta Keywords are like tags that website owners can attach to their pages, telling search engines what the content is about. However, major search engines like Google no longer use this meta tag as a ranking factor.
Meta Tag: A meta tag is an HTML tag that provides metadata about a webpage. Meta Keywords is one such tag.
Keywords List: The Meta Keywords tag contains a list of keywords or phrases separated by commas, representing the main topics or themes of the webpage.
Evolution and Decline:
While Meta Keywords were initially used by search engines to understand the content of a page, their misuse and abuse (keyword stuffing) led major search engines, including Google, to stop considering them as a ranking factor.
As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, major search engines largely ignore the Meta Keywords tag when determining the relevance and ranking of a webpage. Google, in particular, has officially stated that they do not use it as a ranking signal.
Why it Matters:
Historical Context: In the early days of search engines, Meta Keywords played a role in helping search engines understand the content of a page.
Misuse and Spam: Due to misuse, search engines have devalued the Meta Keywords tag, and its impact on SEO is minimal.
SEO Best Practices:
Given that major search engines no longer rely on Meta Keywords, modern SEO practices focus on other factors, such as high-quality content, relevant headers, descriptive meta descriptions, and valid HTML.
Alternative SEO Practices:
Quality Content: Creating valuable, informative, and relevant content.
Title Tags: Crafting compelling and relevant title tags for each page.
Meta Descriptions: Writing descriptive and enticing meta descriptions.
Header Tags: Using header tags (H1, H2, etc.) to structure content.
In summary, Meta Keywords is a meta tag in HTML that was historically used to provide search engines with a list of keywords relevant to a webpage. However, major search engines no longer rely on this meta tag for ranking purposes, and modern SEO practices focus on other factors to determine the relevance and quality of a webpage’s content.