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The Meta Keywords Tag

The Meta Keywords tag is no longer used by any major search engine. However, many web page authoring programs and SEO plug-ins will include the Meta Keywords option by default. We created this page to help website owners effectively use the Meta Keywords tag in their web pages.

The Meta Keywords Element

The <meta> Keywords tag, also referred to as the metadata, defines the Keywords of a web page. The <meta> Keywords tag is not directly visible to the users visiting the web page with a web browser. When properly used, the HTML Meta Keywords may also provide the following useful information for your visitors.

  • Provides keyword hints for a web page with some search engines.
  • Provides keywords for Google's Search Appliance and other personal web page crawlers.

When used, the <meta> Keywords tag is found in your HTML source code as highlighted below:

HTML Meta Keywords Tag Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
  <meta charset="utf-8">
  <title>Example Page</title>
  <meta name="robots" content="NOARCHIVE">
  <meta name="description" content="This is an example page to help us better understand how search engines see our web page.">
  <meta name="keywords" content="example page, search engines, human visitors">
  <h1>Example Page</h1>
  <p>This is a <b>example page</b> to help us better understand how <b>search engines</b> and <b>human visitors</b> see our web page.</p>
Tip: Because of the small gain you might get by having a meta Keywords, we believe your time and SEO efforts would be better spent on optimizing your web page content.

What is a search engine friendly Meta Keywords?

A search engine friendly Meta Keywords tag is one which only contains keywords that already appear elsewhere on the page. Any word appearing in the Meta Keywords tag which does not also appear on the page will often be ignored. And listing the same keywords over and over will not have a positive impact on your search visibility either. The Meta Keywords tag was created so you could provide keyword hints to search engine crawlers.

Do I Need a Meta Keywords?

You do not need a <meta> Keywords tag on your web pages. Instead we recommend you write words and sentences on your web pages for search engines to discover and index. Words placed on your web page will do more for your rankings than keywords you might put in a Meta Keywords tag. If you do use the Meta Keywords then enter no more 25 keywords total (fewer is better) in this tag and make sure the keywords also appear elsewhere on the page.