Keyword Metatags

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The keywords metatag was a critical element for early search engines but hasn’t been used in search engine ranking since 2002. There is no such thing as setting a meta keyword tag for a WordPress.com blog. However, from time to time new bloggers post to the WordPress.com support forums asking for instructions for setting a meta keyword tag for their blog.  

HTML meta tags are page data tags that lie between the open and closing head tags. Meta titles, meta descriptions and keyword metatags are not required for SEO purposes, regardless of where you blog.

Example from HTML <meta> Tag

<head>
<meta name=”description” content=”Free Web tutorials”>
<meta name=”keywords” content=”HTML,CSS,XML,JavaScript”>
<meta name=”author” content=”Ståle Refsnes”>
<meta charset=”UTF-8″>
</head>

In 2009 Matt Cutts verified that Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking and had not been using it for years and he said said it again in 2010.

Bing does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking either but they do use it to detect spam.

The only search engine that looks at the keywords anymore is Microsoft’s Bing – and they use it to help detect spam. To avoid hurting your site, your best option is to never add this tag. — How To Use HTML Meta Tags

Yet there are still bloggers accustomed to being able to insert metadata into their Blogger ie. blogspot.com blogs, who arrive in the WordPress.com support forums and feel disadvantaged when they are told what is stated above. Go figure!

The rule of thumb for assigning Categories and/ or Tags is less is more. That means assigning the minimum combined total of relevant Categories and/or Tags that accurately describe content to Posts (not Pages). Provided none of the reasons for non-appearance apply to your posts they will appear on WordPress.com Topics Pages as well as in search engine results.

WordPress.com search engine indexes post, pages, and comments content (body text). Unless entered as text in those contents, blog name, post titles, and post/comment author names are not indexed.

To verify blog ownership of a WordPress.com blog with the major search engines you can use this Webmaster’s Tool guide. Provided your blog visibility is is set to Public ie: Allow search engines to index this site, your content will be indexed by search engine spiders even if you fail to verify. Also note that WordPress.com automatically provides Sitemaps for our blogs to search engines. Read All About SEO on WordPress.com

These 5 videos introduce how Google discovers, crawls, indexes your site’s pages, and displays them in search results. It also touches lightly upon challenges webmasters and search engines face, such as duplicate content. Here are two more informative videos that explain Search Engine Optimization and Web Search Strategies in Plain English.

Good SEO is a given when you are using a WordPress.com theme. However, learning and applying basic SEO is worth the effort. Whether you write informative, persuasive or controversial content, learning how search engines work and how to apply basic SEO to you content will benefit your blog as it will increase traffic from targeted readers. Here are 6 Ways to Make Google Your Blog’s Best Friend.

Lastly, be happy you chose blog at WordPress.com because:

WP automatically solves a ton of SEO issues.

WP takes care of 80-90% of the mechanics of SEO.

—  Matt Cutts at WordCamp 2009

SEO is a hot topic around the blogosphere, and you’ve likely heard a lot about it. Much often repeated SEO advice is untrustworthy and some of it is just plain bad.

The good news is if you have a site on WordPress.com we take care of the vast majority of the technical side of SEO for you. The only thing you really need to do for great SEO is write! — SEO and Your Blog

In September 2012 Google announced a brand new news_ keyword tag on the Google News blog. “This new tag in the HTML of each article is a logical extension of that sorting feature, with the added functionality that the words aren’t required in headlines or body copy.”  Read more about the news meta keyword tag Google Wants You To Use Keyword Metatags… No, Really and see Google’s Help article on the topic.

news metatag

10 thoughts on “Keyword Metatags

  1. Whew! How is the world did you learn all this “talk to computers” stuff. I am impressed. And as usual, learned something completely new for me. Thanks!

  2. WordPress.com SEO is very good, we just create quality and reliable content, then Google will give a good SERP position.

    Glad to visit your blog. Many good articles here.

  3. Good Morning~
    This is a little off topic but I need your help as I can’t find a clear answer. I pretty new to this. I am trying to find out how to link an old post to a new post. I referred to it in my new post today by title but I see how you and others have it where you can just click on it in the body of you post to go to it. I love your blog, it’s hugely helpful! Thank you

    1. I’m sorry for the delay. I work in our business, do contracted work and answer support forums questions. When I have extra time I blog. In this case it’s a long weekend in Canada and I have company. That’s why it took me so long to respond. I hope you will find what you need here in my just published post http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2013/05/20/creating-html-hyperlinks-links-in-wordpress/ If you need help beyond what’s in the post please start a thread in the support forums http://en.forums.wordpress.com
      Best wishes with your blog.

  4. Good points made in your article and this is one area that I know I should concentrate on, but just haven’t been willing to put the time into learning this. Guess I better change my mind and read up on metatags. Thanks!

    1. Hi Mary,
      I’m glad you found this post to be informative. It’s an important to understand that we WordPress.com bloggers do not have access to metadata and cannot set keyword tags for our blogs and that search spiders are looking at our content to determine the keywords in each post.

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