The meta keyword tag is dead.

Yahoo! has publically announced it no longer uses the Meta keyword attribute for ranking sites. Apparently they stopped using is a few months ago but today at the SMX East conference’s “Ask the Search Engines: Best Practices” seminar, Yahoo Search’s Senior Director, Cris Pierry, let slip that Yahoo no longer uses the keywords tag when ranking pages.

So is that it for the keyword tag? Is it now just a part of Internet history? Google has never used it, Bing does not support it and now Yahoo doesn’t. Of the major players that only leaves Ask and I can’t find any recent concrete evidence that says they use the tag either. The specifications for HTML 5 don’t include the keywords name although it has been proposed as an addition.

So should you ignore keywords from now on? Yes, unless you’re optimising for a custom search engine for your site or Intranet.

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