Despite the recent announcement on meta descriptions by Google, we feel it’s important to mention that, regardless of what’s been said on the topic, meta tags are still important. After all, all Google said was that they don’t pay any attention to the meta keywords tag, when it comes to determining ranking.
Now, for one thing, there are many other meta tags available to web masters. And for another, there are search engines other than Google too. Google doesn’t determine what the web is, they simply make use of the information that is published online.
If, as has happened frequently in the past, publishers abuse the meta keywords tag, it’s no surprise that Google doesn’t take it into account when determining rankings. But there is plenty of useful information that appears in the meta tags, and if we continue to use them correctly, there is no reason that they shouldn’t be considered by search engines, if not now, then in the future.
The Use Of Meta Tags
We think that Google’s statement about the use of the meta keywords tag should be taken as a hint to use your meta tags properly. If we start abandoning meta tags, (or misusing them), then search engines will start ignoring them, further reducing our ability to communicate with them.
Despite what Google has said, it’s a good idea to carry on putting a few relevant keywords into the meta keywords tag. Apart from anything else, Microsoft announced hard on the heels of Google’s statement that Bing still used them. And Google didn’t say they didn’t use them, just that they don’t affect Google ranking.
Whether search engines read the tags or not is up to them. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make use of them. A few highly relevant keywords can still assist and improve your classification on directory sites for example.
And there is no way of knowing what changes to search engine algorithms the future will bring. We’re not saying that you should spend a week making sure that your keywords tag is perfectly optimised. Just that we shouldn’t take Google’s statement as any sort of injunction against using the meta tags in general, and the meta keywords tag in particular.
Although we don’t feel it’s strictly necessary to put full meta tags on every page of a website, it’s nonetheless our strategy at Net Age to make sure that the meta tags, including the meta keywords tag, are optimised on all the primary pages of a website.
It doesn’t cost much time to do so, and the real or potential benefits remain worth the effort.