I’ve read a lot recently about the keyword tag. Does it matter, should I use it even if it doesn’t, will I get penalised for neglecting it (or abusing it)?
Well MattCuttsrecently announced on his blog that Google pays no attention to the keyword tag. So even if you left it out it wouldn’t matter.
But what about Bing and Yahoo? I’ve checked and there’s allot of conflicting reports out there. Well this one is from the official Bing blog and they state:
It [The Keyword Tag] was abused far too much and lost most of its cachet. But there’s no need to ignore the tag. Take advantage of all legitimate opportunities to score keyword credit, even when the payoff is relatively low. Fill in this tag’s text with relevant keywords and phrases that describe that page’s content.
When creating keyword text, remember the following:
- Choose words that may be secondary keyword terms (save the primary keywords for use in the <title> and <meta> description tags), and even include a few, commonly seen typographical errors of primary keywords, just for good measure
- Limit your keyword and key phrase text, separated by commas, to no more than 874 characters
- Don’t repeat a keyword more than 4 times among the keywords and phrases in the list.
My advice is to carry on using the keyword tag because there are other search engines out there aside from Google that still use it. Every little helps after all. Personally I use it as a quick reference of key terms i need to optimise a page for and the best anchor text to use in a link.
You should also use it for secondary keywords and mis-spellings.