Some confusion exists about how much weight the meta keywords have in the ranking algorithm and how much it can affect your rankings. Matt Cutts, a spokesman from Google, has said that they’ve been ignoring them for years, as have a few other search engines.
Yes it’s true. Years ago, people would use the meta keywords to squish in as many keywords as they could and it worked. It used to be an important part of the algorithm but that’s now no longer the case.
So how should you optimize the keywords on your page?
The best practice is to optimize each page for one primary keyword and a couple of variations. Put that keyword in the title tag, meta description, meta keywords and a few times throughout the page. You might even add a link, H1 tag and/or bold it.
But hang on. Didn’t we say no one’s using the meta keywords anymore? The reason we put it in the meta keywords tag is more for our own reference and it definitely won’t hurt.
It’s very easy for us to tell what keywords we’re optimizing a particular page for by using the meta keywords tag. When we’re doing our link building we can easily go to the page and it’s clear what keyword we’re trying to optimize for.
So, in short, it’s not going to hurt and it only takes a moment. That’s why we do it but it’s not really going to help your rankings.
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I like that idea, I have been sing a plugin that sets the post tags to be the meta keywords so I can easily see what words I need to mention most in my post to help ranking. I have always wondered if that was true or not (search engines not reading meta keywords) thanks!