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Are Keywords in Meta Tags still important? A sordid Past, and Promising Future

Keywords in ‘Meta’ tags in technical SEO and the impact on search has a long – and somewhat sordid past.  From the now mostly defunct keywords tag to new fields like rel-author and other structured data, Many SEO’ers have their own ideas as to what matters – and why.

This past Tuesday I was asked to speak at Edmonton’s Online Marketing Meetup and weighed in on the subject. Check out my spare-no-expense power point presentation below:

Meta Keywords

If you simply can’t bear the suspense and are too busy to relish in the awesomeness of the above, Here’s the summation and takeaways:


  • Generic Keywords tag doesn’t much matter, but can’t hurt. Just don’t spam it.
  • A Meta Description with well crafted keywords AND that offers brand uniqueness is most likely to win.
  • Google (temporarily) featuring brand first in Meta Title – A Potential De-valuing of keyword ordering.
  • Newer Rich Snippets assisting CTR and trust – Authorship, reviews, and beyond


Google preferring Brands:

  • Doesn’t have to be Coke or Pepsi or Viagra, but simply put, a brand is something that Google is more likely to trust. Trust can be as simple as verified G+ pages, phone #’s , addresses, citations, co mention, etc.

Google Wants to establish and favors UNIQUENESS in their search snippets – not generic keyword crap:

  • Google wants to showcase each company’s differences and specialties. At some point in every niche, I feel there will be this sort of ‘critical mass’ where just being an  ‘Edmonton mortgage broker offering low rate mortgages’ is not enough; customers and consumers are aware that everybody on the first page *must* provide the product or service; the uniqueness will establish HOW you do it and help determine if it’s a good fit or a good match.

Which of your unique traits will resonate with your customers?