What is the Meta Keywords Tag?

The meta keywords tag is a piece of code placed in the head element of an HTML document of a page that allows you to list the keywords you'd like to target.

A typical meta keywords tag:

<meta name="keywords" content="HTML,CSS,XML,JavaScript">

A long time ago when the internet and SEO were just in their beginning, this tag factored heavily into ranking decisions for search engines. Today, most search engines such as Google do not use the meta keywords tag as a ranking factor, though there are some search engines that still use them.

What Does "No Keywords in Meta Keywords" Mean?

None of the targeted keywords assigned to this URL were not found in the meta keywords tag of the page.

Why It's Important

If you're optimizing for a search engine that does not use the meta keywords tag (Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others), this issue is of no or very marginal importance and should probably be ignored. However, if optimizing for a search engine that does consider the meta keywords tag in its ranking algorithm (most notably, Baidu), it may be worth it to include keywords in this tag.

The meta keywords tag is not visible on the page, and not shown anywhere to site visitors – it's only purpose is to signal to search engines what the page content is about. Therefore, if you have taken the time to write a meta keywords tag for this page, but not included the actual keywords you're targeting, you have only wasted your time.

How To Fix

If you decide that it's important for your site to have effective meta keywords tag, you'll want to rewrite them to include your targeted keywords, keeping in mind the guidelines listed below.

Guidelines for Writing an Effective Meta Keywords Tag

  • Only include the top 3-4 keywords you're targeting on the page. (Best practices say not to target more than 3 keywords per URL anyway).
  • List each keyword (or keyword phrase) descending by importance, comma-separated
  • The meta keywords tag should be no more than 100 characters long.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing and duplicating the same keyword.
  • Each meta keywords tag should be unique. No URLs should have the same meta keywords value.
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