Meta Keywords & Description: Are they required?

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I thought I would blog about my personal experience with this very question, about 3 months ago I found many so-called SEO professionals that were claiming that the Meta Keywords and Meta Descriptions were now redundant and should be removed due to the fact that search engines could now cleverly devise a list of useful keywords, and the description would be taken from the page content itself - meaning better SEO and happier Google if you removed the offending tags.

THEY WERE WRONG!

Well at least in my case they are, In November I decided to bite the bullet and I modified resplace.net so that it no longer output these two meta tags, the logic was that if these SEO Professionals were correct, absolutely nothing would happen and stats would continue to run smoothly (as they have for almost a year now with only minor increases over time). However in reality I found that within a week my stats more than HALVED, I panicked but kept my cool and rode the storm hoping that it was just temporary while Google refreshed the content and my search positions, this never happened and after 3 weeks I decided enough was enough…

Fortunately after changing the system back so that keywords and meta descriptions were back in the pages, my stats instantly regained consciousness. FEW!

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So be warned and don't listen to these so called “professionals”, try their recommendations but don't expect it to be right, what works for some people, might be suicide to others. So be prepared to have to revert back any changes you are trying.

And remember, Google can actually take up to 2 weeks to update it’s system to your changes, and during this process you may see a drop in stats, but stick with it for at least 3 weeks to see the true result of any changes.

Author: Dean Williams

I'm a Web Developer, Graphics Designer and Gamer, this is my personal site which provides PHP programming advice, hints and tips

  • Chris

    "what works for some people, might be suicide to others"

    This.

    Just because someone said it might work doesn't mean it will for your website. From my personal experience, the meta keywords bring little to no benefits from SEO. However, most SEO's will still add a few keywords "just incase". What does that tell you?

    The meta description however does still bring SEO benefits and im willing to bet if you did the same test again but just taking out meta keywords, you'd see no change in your traffic.

  • Hey Chris,
    I don't get the point of your quote with "this" after it, you seem to agree with me "Just because someone said it might work doesn't mean it will for your website".

    Anyway, I accept your challenge and will do as you instructed and we will see out outcome. I'm not an SEO expert but I'm pretty sure the keywords are VERY important to a website - only if they are GOOD and RELEVANT keywords that actually HELP the search engine, I believe people get confused with this and inserting "bad" keywords that never materializes any benefits.