Die Hard – The Keyword Myth
I was listening to a podcast interview with Vanessa Fox this morning. I don’t spend much time with podcasts. There must be hundreds of hour uploaded each day and all but a few are, in my opinion a waste of time. But, one of my clients had sent me the link and asked for my opinion.
I knew Vanessa by reputation and her blog ‘Jane and Robot’ which is full of useful information. I had seen some video interviews she had done and found her fairly articulate – so I put on the headphones, put part of my mind on ‘cruise control’ and tried to listen while I got some real work done.
This works – to a limited extent. I really have doubts about people who claim they can actally listen to a podcast while doing anything creative. – I usually let the voices wash over me – hoping some keyword will peak my interest.
In this case it was the mention of the keyword meta tag that caught my attention.
I was working on a site where the client had insisted that we have the keyword meta tag on every page. Fortunately the CMS I was using let you switch that option on. It is normally off for one very good reason – search engines don’t use them.
As Vanessa and her hosts pointed out this is one of the most persistent of SEO myths. Again, search engines don’t — repeat DO NOT use the keyword meta tag. It just adds to the page load time and adds nothing of value.
We need to put a stake through the heart of this myth and bury it in a lead lined coffin.
It is also a good time to eviserate the related myth that your keywords and phrases should make up 5%-6%-7% (pick one) of your copy. Just write in a normal fashion – for the people reading the text – not for what you think the search engines want.
Please don’t waste your time:
- Use keywords in the page copy but only to explain the topic
- Don’t repeat keywords just for effect – Don’t repeat keywords just for effect
- Write for people – not search engines
- Use synonyms
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