Are Meta Keywords Back In For Search?

    October 7, 2004

Over the last few years web producers have been told that ‘Meta Keywords’ hold only the slightest consideration in search engine page rank, if at all. Yet we all still post these strings of meta keywords and discuss at length in SEO threads the appropriate way to display them. Some webmasters use commas, some say no spaces between the commas, while others advocate long logical strings of words to match natural search queries.

Well, meta keywords are back big in SEO consideration and there’s a new sheriff in town setting down some new consistent guidelines. His name is Jon Glick – an honest-to-goodness search engine insider. Jon is Senior Manager of Search at Yahoo! and has a unique background in the industry, in that, he’s a qualified computer scientist who also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

You’ll find the Jon Glick lengthy interview concerning the new meta keyword rebirth in search at:

Here are the condensed talking point highlights of the keyword tag discussion within the article:

Jon Glick focuses on 3 important meta keyword tag guidelines one must follow to avoid SE query result penalties:

1) He is emphatic that the keywords in the tag are of relevence only to matching search queries and not to any measure of page ranking.

2) Single words should be separated with commas – space after comma is optional.

3) Lengthy strings of words (long key word phrases) will raise a red penalty flag.

Jon Glick explains:

Each keyword is an individual token separated by commas. So that’s that. You want to separate these things with commas and not just put one long string of text. The more keywords that are put in and the more they’re repeated, the much larger the chance our spam team is going to want to check out that page. It doesn’t mean that page is going to get any specific judgement. But it is very much a red flag. For best practice you just need to remember it’s for matching – not ranking. Repeating the same word 20 times is only going to raise a red flag… It doesn’t increase your likelihood of showing up on any given set of search results. It’s just a risk with no benefit.


So I could put, I don’t know… er… for instance, laptop computers, desktop computers, palm computers…’

Jon Glick:

Exactly, and, of course, since each of those is separated by commas, then laptop computers’ will count for laptop computers’ and not laptop’ or computers’ separately. So doing it like that means that you’re not going to be penalised for keyword spamming on the word computers’.

My personal take on Jon Glick’s new SEO revelation, is that you now must consider some of the old as well as the new optimization tools, for both Google and Yahoo, when optimizing your web pages for maximum search query exposure and high page rank.

I welcome your thoughts and opinions!

Maximilian has been a licensed Cosmetologist for almost 20 years, including ownership of quality salons across the U.S. for over 15 years. He has worked as a platform artist and educator for several haircare companies, and was awarded the prestigious Paul Mitchell Medal of Honor. Maximilian used these experiences in formulating & producing the Oasis Haircare line, as well as, the Fat Lip Makeup Company, which he promotes online at the website:

Maximilian is well-studied in all aspects of web production, server maintenance & computer programming. His passion is Internet marketing in all forms.