Sat down with @AliciaSanera of Sanera People Development Company and one of the topics we discussed was keyword meta tags. The meta data for keywords USED TO be an important part of search engine data. A pages content didn’t used to be keyword rich, we didn’t really have a term for that yet, and so the keyword tag was a way to tell search engines in brief what terms the article could be found using. Over time these keyword tags became so spammed with garbage that had nothing to do with the content of that page, that Google decided to stop using the keywords meta tag all together.
So this started a conversation about what meta data is valuable and when to spend time worrying about meta information at all. You can scroll down to the end of this post and watch an actual video from Google’s Matt Cutts who can answer direct from the source that Google indeed no longer uses your keywords when determining what comes up in a search. You could say the keywords meta tag is like your appendix, it’s still there, and it isn’t really hurting anything but it no longer serves a purpose.
Now as Matt shares in the video bellow, the description meta tag is still a valuable part of your page. What that can do, is take a very complicated explanation, or a whole pages worth of content, and condense that all down to a paragraph that Google can preview in search results. It is important to find a well worded way of using your targeted keywords in this description tag as those will be highlighted for the user in their results.
Also in the meta data, the title tag is also very important. Did you know that Google will display the first 69 characters of a title before condensing that down and shortening it with the “…” where it cuts you off? So if you keep a title down to 69 characters or less, it will not be abbreviated at all. That shouldn’t be too hard for those Twitter fans already thinking 140 characters at a time! For your description tag, Google will only show the first 155 characters before it cuts you off, so again, fit as much as you can within that 155 characters so those looking at your results will be able to read your entire description.
Don’t take my word for it! Enjoy the video bellow for confirmation direct from Google and their Webmaster Central YouTube Channel.