Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking

By | August 10, 2019

So we had an interesting question from someone who just asked me, “How much do you use the keyword or keywords meta tag in your main search results?” And the answer is, basically not at all. So let’s talk about that in a little more detail because sometimes people file lawsuits, you know Alice has and Bob has, and maybe Bob takes Alice’s name and puts it in the keyword meta tags. And then Alice sees that, and she gets really angry and she, you know, talks to Bob and maybe sues Bob and all that sort of stuff. Well, how much should Alice be worried about, you know, Bob using that one term “Alice” in the keywords meta tag? The answer is we don’t use the keywords meta tag in our search ranking. Other search engines might, but Google doesn’t. Now, we do use some meta tags for the Google Search Appliance, so you can specify only return results if they match a meta tag and things like that. But for our main, core web search, whenever we look at the keywords meta tag, we say, you know what? Too many people have spammed that too much. We really just don’t use this information at all. Now that’s not to say we don’t use any meta tags. For example, there’s one called “meta description.” And oftentimes if you have a good meta description tag, we will use that information or part of that information in our snippet. So if we’re going to return and your meta description is something really useful, we might show that as the snippet in the search result. But if you’re looking at the keyword meta tags, we really don’t use that at all. So don’t bother to get frustrated if someone else is using your name in the keyword meta tags. It’s not really worth suing someone over because at least for Google, we don’t use that information in our ranking even the least little bit.

60 thoughts on “Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking

  1. oneeyedgeek Post author

    Where can I find out what information you use to rank (other than content of course)? And where can I find info on stuff like robot.text, which you mention so often?

  2. Roland Mösl Post author

    This is known since 2000. Still so called "SEO" offer META tag keywords optimisation

  3. Avraham Saltoun Post author

    I post a lot of tutorial videos on my wordpress blog, and I add tags to each post so search engines know what they are about. Are they effective at all? Should I trouble to write an article to each one of them? Say-Web, Jerusalem

  4. Rasavideo Post author

    I have no sound but I think that this video is very expressive :))

  5. Rasavideo Post author

    and Google rocks anyway :)) and also Microsoft – rules and Apple sounds :))

  6. Walter Baumgarten Post author

    Thanks for the keyword meta tag insight Matt, very helpful.

  7. B D Post author

    0:25 – 0:41: A rare glimpse into Matt's homelife from the POV of his kid having a bedtime story 😛

  8. PersonalDevelopmentS Post author

    Good points for web designers … I do believe some other engines do take those into consideration still though so good to put some in as you pointed out in discription etc.

    ~Expect Miracles

  9. Mary Jane Hurley Brant Post author

    I think this presenter was fantastic. Thank you for the information.


  10. Mudanzas Económicas España Post author

    Pocas veces se ve una respuesta tan tajante x parte de Matt

  11. Lewis Tisdall Post author

    Read this:
    webmastershelpguide . com/seo/meta-tags-keywords-and-descriptions

  12. Galahad77777 Post author

    They don't use it for the ranking but Google still uses the string (words) which you write in the meta tags. We made a test and put the relevant keyword ONLY in the keyword meta tag – Google found the page and displayed it in the search result for this word. Google reads EVERY bit of text in the source – so you can use the meta tag keywords to have one more place to put keywords in …

  13. Gordon Hudson Post author

    The keywords metatag is used by many internal search systems. he mentions Google Search Appliance, but many scripts and other search systems use the keyword tag. Therefore its still important to populate this. I failed to once and it all had to be added later as it was needed for non search engine purposes.

  14. Neil Ferree Post author

    It will be interesting to see what happens with meta tags when Google organic (text entry) search morphs into Google Goggles visual search and the new role meta data, tags, title and description fir into the new search algorithm

  15. Luis Méndez Alejo Post author

    Hi Matt,

    And it makes the Google Search Appliance??


  16. Alphieboy Post author

    Remember when you could watch a video without commercial?

    Remember when music videos were uploaded by user and not VEVO

    Remember when all the info was to the right of the video?

    Remember you could rate a video 1-5 stars?

    Remember the famous yellow subscribe button?

    Remember when the users controlled the site and not corporations?


    Post this in every video and lets start a youtube revolution

    Thumbs up to keep at the top of the page

  17. Brian0275 Post author

    Love how he has a "Panda" shirt on… how relevant…. Is he trying to give us a subtle hint into the future!?!?!?!?! lol

  18. Edik Mkoyan Post author

    Matt don't touch Alice and Bob, they are for security. Try Barbara and Alex for example.

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  20. patu8010 Post author

    He only said that Google search doesn't use the keywords tag for ranking. Yahoo for example apparently makes use of it.

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  22. tikrasseo Post author

    You're saying that Bob could use the term "Alice" in "keywords" meta tag and "steal" the keyword. But he could do the same with the "title" meta tag. For example, Bob's better than Alice. He would get busted for that too though.

  23. Alexandro Crawford Post author

    Wonderful video, I just reached my very first $959 this week and it feels amazing! many thanks to this very helpful youtube video with the title: "V2 Marketing Course",? make a YouTube search for that video . I actually don't remember the URL, just search on YT for this video title.

  24. Daniel Hart Post author

    wow, I didn't know the keyword tag wasn't used… so I'm guessing I should be focusing on the meta-description tag then to convey the content of my sites?

  25. JSTN Post author

    You still should definitely use description as Google and many other search engines still use it.

  26. Debra Seiling Post author

    I found this short and to the point video from Google Webmaster Help to be very helpful.
    Thanks so much! Debra Seiling

  27. Vladimir Ivanov Post author

    Can you please tell me, why for example have on page this line: meta name="keywords" content="Google Help Center" , or on this youtube page you have meta name="keywords" content="google, keywords, meta tag" ….and etc… seems thats work for you only or i am in mistake somehow… in any case i am confused as i testing this for many years….cheers 😉

  28. Joshua Fredrickson Post author

    Nearly four years later and I'm still sending my clients to this video.

  29. Jason Saggs Post author

    I just watched this video, though knew about the "Meta Keyword" tag was no longer in use. What I found really interesting and perhaps it was a signal to us guys out here in the real world and not the Google search engine world was the wearing of the Panda T-Shirt that Matt was wearing in the video there? Was that a massive hint that we all missed? LOL I doubt it just my thinking more like… 🙂

  30. Vitaly S Post author

    Forget about meta-description. User will not see it and Google does not care about it. Focus on title and content.

  31. derbystarrTV Post author

    Ok, and how will it works in that case. i build an one-site-website for an artist – where are only two grafix and a mail-adress. the artist has 3 different pseudonyms. he play in a band, is a photograph and a "stand-alone-artist". how will i find him, if google does not use meta for short small site with less text?
    does that mean, that i had to write the informations on the frontend? in small letters or the same color like the background? so that google use it, but nobody can see?

  32. Smartin Jose Post author

    Is there any problem in using title and description tags?

  33. Oscar Gonzalez Post author

    Just in case you didn't know. I still see people get really concerned about this topic. The keywords that you can code on your website, are not looked at by Google. This means you need to improve the use of your keywords in line in your content and to structure your blog posts and articles properly. The meta tags that Google does look at are "meta description". — Conclusion, don't bother too much with them for Google ranking, and don't worry if other people use them negatively against you. 

  34. Idris Busari Post author

    I didn't know that @Google does not use the #keyword #meta #tag in web #raking . It's great to be #informed . Thanks for sharing   @Logan Lynn Roberts 

  35. Overflow Cafe SEO Post author

    useful video, we will share this video with our clients.

  36. sean106alcon Post author

    So when making a video it is safe to say the key words box below for tags is not important but ALL the words in the videos description are very important? Not anyone spam the "about video" video section with key words, but write an accurate description that does contain many key words??? Thanks in advance?

  37. Norbert Harms Post author

    Matt, that is the reason why Google is no search engine any longer, but merely a waste dumper. Now you suck up all that worthless content crap they produce out there (everyone talks about the same anyway), talking about … nothing, really, and then you dump it onto people as your "Search Result". Now I CAN DO YOUR job, and search my way through 211,498,356 Google Waste Result" pages, trying to find something, that comes close to what I was actually trying to find. Well, Google, I don't actually need you for that then at all, do I!?

    As a matter of fact. If I wanted to, I can do much more damage to other people in the content I create. Hence, your "Explanation" as to "WHY" you scrapped the keywords has no basis except ONE! You wanted to change into a "content collector". That's the truth about your "content" theory. 

    As another matter of fact, if you'd have worked through the keywords  strategy properly, "Keywords" would be much more effective and displaying "Correct' search results. Your explanation (or better told "Excuse"), has now become unacceptable, Matt, and you better delete this video, before more people find out about you.

    Would you like me to elaborate on this? I guess not. Google, and you, would never accept the truth. Of course you're big and (still) own that monopoly 😉 but, the more you go down this path, the more doors you open up.

    With all due respect, Matt. but sometimes it would make much more (and better) sense, to work the problem out and through, rather than just creating a new, bigger problem, but then lying to the world, "problem solved". 

    But then again, you need to please your shareholders, not the general user, I understand that corporate driver, too.

  38. OlimpWeb - projektowanie stron internetowych www Warszawa Post author

    shared this video on my site to stop user asking around the same question. Does the meta "keywords" have impact on google search? PS: Cool videos on your channel.

  39. catchin__ Post author

    Come on. People can span any other content in a page, other than a meta keyword. How can they not spam the description tag?

  40. Dumitru Ionut Post author

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  41. Effendi Post author

    Keyword will help you to screen and search anything you want to find in google


    share this video because video is very informative specially about KEYWORDS GO HERE. it is very helpful product for KEYWORDS GO HERE , it is my own experience about it. thank you very much this great video about KEYWORDS GO HERE. i strongly recomend if anyone wants to know more search on google

  43. ishanthi sirinayake Post author

    This video is really cool. I like it. This will be easy to follow. I found this course really informative and praticle. Thanks

  44. Anisa Bejko Post author

    Thanks for this, but i want to ask something. We are in 2016, this video is made at 2009, google search algorithm has changed a lot, so my question is again "Do meta keywords still not matter in web ranking?"

  45. OpenTuto Post author

    Very informative. But do meta keywords still not matter in web ranking ?

  46. Budi Setiawan Post author

    good job bro…. I agree with that Idea

  47. Jayne Tripplett Post author

    Just wondering, since WIX blogs no longer support the keyword platform, and want users to utilize hashtags within the blog cobtent, that means that my blogs will NOT show up on Google search results, correct?

  48. Jonathan Bell Post author

    Yes, but who is this "Sue" you are speaking of?

  49. Mohamed Riyaz Post author

    where i have to signal google I am using these types of keywords


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