Small Business SEO: Google Disregards Meta Keywords – What does this Mean?

google, no meta keywords

In a blog post today, Google has confirmed that they disregard meta tags completely for web search rankings.

According to their post on their webmaster blog:

“Our web search (the well-known search at that hundreds of millions of people use each day) disregards keyword metatags completely. They simply don’t have any effect in our search ranking at present.”

The meta keywords are those that are contained in the page properties or original source of the website page. These can be easily viewed for any website that you are on by clicking “View” in the toolbar and selecting “Source.”  These are being disregarded and not the keywords that are being targeted that are contained within the title tags, ALT tags, parts of meta description and the most importantly the content on the page. Information seekers are still typing in search queries that need to be matched to sites to provide the user the most relevant information to their query.

In delivering results to queries, Google incorporates a 3 step process:

1. Crawling. Googlebot is sent out to crawl the web for new and updated pages.  This starts with going to previously crawled sites and site map data provided to them.  The new content, links, etc are what is indexed.

2. Indexing.  Each page that is crawled is indexed for every word and the location of the word on the page.  Title tags as well as ALT tags (on photos) are included. This is why the targeted keywords within the content are generally in the first few paragraphs/sentences.

3. Query Results.  The results supplied are based upon the match to the user query, page rank and approximately 200 other factors. Page rank is determined by the number of qualified links to your site. Google takes into account the quality, quantity and relevancy of the links. The results are matched to the searched terms contained within your content and highlighted to show the user the match.

In supplying the search results, Google pulls the title of the page and also creates a snippet.  The snippet is below the page title and above the url.  Identify the core terms and keywords that tell the search engines about the content on the page which describes your business and its offerings. Place these in the page title tag, ALT tags as well as in your meta description.  The snippet is automated and considers the aforementioned as well as the information/content contained in the sites linking to your page. If there is not relevant and usable information available, Google will look to DMOZ for the contents of the snippet.  It all comes down having relevant content that matches search queries that are unique to each page.

This is not breaking news and does not change the way a professional website development and search engine optimization agencies work with clients to optimize pages.

photo credit: