How Many Meta-Tag Keywords Is Too Many?

by Thomas
23 replies
  • WEB DESIGN
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Hello Warriors:

Does anyone know if there is a "standard" number of keywords that should be put in your meta tags?

How many is too many? 5? 10? 20? More?

Tommy.
#keywords #metatag
  • Profile picture of the author Pete Janelle
    I generally stay anywhere between 10-20, treating the meta keywords as a quick intro to the real content. In my experience, good search engine placement comes from contextual keywords, so when writing page copy be sure to use the relevant keywords as much as possible while not looking like you're spamming the search engines. It's a fine line. I'm sure the folks ion the writing section of this forum could point you in the right direction on effective copywriting.
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    • Profile picture of the author Teddi77
      Hi There:

      I've been doing SEO for others and myself for 4 years. From what I understand, the meta keywords tag has not been used by search engines for several years. The really important ones are "title" (you probably know this) and "description". I used to think description was not important and then I noticed the search engines often use a well written description in the search results.

      In terms of the content of your article, always use your keywords in the article title and two or three times in the body. You can use them once in a subtitle if you want to. The critical factor in all this is having pages that link back to your pages (either internal or external) with your keywords in the linked text. The link text is what makes the difference and can get your pages high on competitive keywords if you have the page rank.

      Another newer concept is that of lateral keywords. These are keywords that Google associates with your main keyword (check the Google keyword tool here https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal). You can use various lateral keywords several times in your article. This is not critical, but, who knows, Google may put more value on it than we know...

      Regards, Teddi
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      • Profile picture of the author msj904
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        • Profile picture of the author Teddi77
          Hi There:

          Always use commas but you don't really need the keywords metatag. It used to be required, but has not been used by the SE's for a long time.

          Regards,
          Teddi
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      • Profile picture of the author Pete Janelle
        Originally Posted by Teddi77 View Post

        From what I understand, the meta keywords tag has not been used by search engines for several years.
        Wow, I didn't know they dropped it altogether. Thanks for the info.
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        • Profile picture of the author lyj1968
          Originally Posted by Pete Janelle View Post

          Wow, I didn't know they dropped it altogether. Thanks for the info.
          As far as I know, google doesn't pay any attention on Meta tag keyword, but Yahoo and MSN still do.
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          • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
            Originally Posted by lyj1968 View Post

            As far as I know, google doesn't pay any attention on Meta tag keyword, but Yahoo and MSN still do.
            This is my understanding also, but I also do also have to include "as far
            as I know". I do get Yahoo traffic that seems to result from meta tags.

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            • Profile picture of the author Devid Farah
              Hi Tommy,
              You can put as many as you want,but my personal advice is put a number between 10/15,being selective and targeted,and use also competitive keywords and most important don't repeat the same words more than two or three times.
              However meta tag keywords are not extremely important because some search engines will generally be more interested in your page content.
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          • Profile picture of the author andy25i
            Originally Posted by lyj1968 View Post

            As far as I know, google doesn't pay any attention on Meta tag keyword, but Yahoo and MSN still do.

            Its true that Yahoo and MSN still counts the meta tag keywords but we have to go with the Google guidance. The reason for this is the user percentage of Google compared to other search engines.

            Any the character of the meta tag keywords are best if they are 120 or below.
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  • Profile picture of the author BayBeeBella
    That's really interesting...is it definitely true?

    I've been doing a bit of research online and I'm finding confusing information suggesting that Google uses meta keywords and not description whereas the thread is suggesting otherwise?
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    • Profile picture of the author Pete Janelle
      Originally Posted by BayBeeBella View Post

      That's really interesting...is it definitely true?

      I've been doing a bit of research online and I'm finding confusing information suggesting that Google uses meta keywords and not description whereas the thread is suggesting otherwise?
      I guess the lesson here is that it doesn't hurt to optimize for SEO as much as possible. An extra line of meta keywords never hurts, IMHO.
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  • Profile picture of the author Thomas
    I'm guessing that, from the comments that contain statement like, "as far as I know" and, "from what I understand", the real answer is "nobody really knows"?

    Perhaps better safe that sorry?

    Tommy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Teddi77
      Hi:

      If you do decide to use the meta-tag keywords, don't use more than two or three that are actually on your page. In other words, don't put keywords in there that don't appear somewhere on your page.

      Bottom line from all my SEO experience, meta's don't make any difference in search results...but...link text back to your page can get you to the top of the search results. So, spend your time trying to get links to each page of your site with the keywords for that page (not for the whole site).

      One of my PR 4 sites has been in the top 10 on a 75,000 search per month keyword with 11,000,000 competing pages. All due to link text. All the links to this site (and I don't have that many) have the keywords in the links.

      Teddi
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
    Google doesn’t use the keywords meta tag in web search :
    We went ahead and did this post on the official Google webmaster blog to make it super official, but I wanted to echo the point here as well: Google does not use the keywords meta tag in our web search.


    To this day, you still see courts mistakenly believe that meta tags occupy a pivotal role in search rankings. We wanted to debunk that misconception, at least as it regards to Google. Google uses over two hundred signals in our web search rankings, but the keywords meta tag is not currently one of them, and I don’t believe it will be.
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  • Profile picture of the author infoman66
    As noted above, meta keywords you will not help in ranking ...
    Signs can be omitted in the header ...

    I use them for other purposes ...
    Always set the target keywords in the page header (meta keyworda tag) as reminder, to say for that keywords the pages are optimized ...
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    • Profile picture of the author orvn
      Originally Posted by infoman66 View Post

      As noted above, meta keywords you will not help in ranking ...
      Signs can be omitted in the header ...

      I use them for other purposes ...
      Always set the target keywords in the page header (meta keyworda tag) as reminder, to say for that keywords the pages are optimized ...
      Yeah, lol I keep them there as reminders for what keywords a specific page is supposed to be targeting too.
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    • Profile picture of the author RichardHK
      Originally Posted by infoman66 View Post

      ... ...
      I use them for other purposes ...
      Always set the target keywords in the page header (meta keyworda tag) as reminder, to say for that keywords the pages are optimized ...
      Absolutely. Use keywords in meta tag to remind you of what you are targeting. Good help in documentation if nought else.

      And who knows for sure they are not being used by search engines? Lots more search engines out there besides Google you know!

      To address original question I suggest to target each page for one keyword, so 3 keywords max using variants seems Ok to me. I am still learning like most of us, and trying to get down to 1 main keyword plus a couple of others to optimise each page for.
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  • Profile picture of the author bzd63
    Google said that doesn’t use the keywords meta tag in web search but I think 10 keywords
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  • Profile picture of the author lsiontee
    as discussed above, meta keywords are not anymore important to Google, focus your keywords on the meta description and title instead.

    as per other search engines, which I have no idea yet, but you can use up to 6 keywords. the first three are the topically related keyword that has less competitors but high searches, the other 3 are those that are plural (with "s") and/or something like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author website design
    Keywords per page should be somewhere between 2-6. More keywords dilutes your page between more keywords.

    Meta is quite useless. Focus more on title, h1, inbound links, and sprinkling Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords in your page.
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  • Profile picture of the author trudypellicaan
    Hello Thomas

    Meta Keywords should be 120-150 Characters and each keyword must be Separated with comm but Search engine do not crawl the Meta keywords and its doesn't give any priority to the Meta Keywords.if u do not put meta keywords for ur site it will not effect on any search engine results.

    thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author digitalquilluk
    Google does not use them, but that is not a reason to drop them, having them does not harm your site in Googles view, but not having them will harm your ranking in other search engines as mentioned above (plus others).
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  • Profile picture of the author CSS Architect
    Keywords really doesn't have that much weight anymore, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't use it.

    Personally, I normally only use 3 keywords, but will never use more then 5.
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