Should you, or should you not include meta key words on your site? Many people assume that if they simply put the right keywords in their headers that they will have great results in Google. But this is not the case, and there is so much more that should be done.

Google is a smart search engine and over the past few years has only been getting wiser. Common opinion is that it doesn’t use keywords for it’s ranking of sites, and seeings it first properly launched in 2008 – around the time that keywords fell out of favour with other search engines – it could be that it never did.

From various articles circulating around the web it would appear that the main search engine to use keywords was Inktomi, who were then taken over by Yahoo!. Yahoo! currently still support the use of key words, but Yahoo! are in the minority of search engines that do.

One of the original problems found with key words was that people were stuffing the section full of words that were sometimes irrelevant to their site in a bid to get them higher in the search – otherwise called Spamdexing. This is one of the main reasons why Google chooses not to use these words. For example, if you filled your keywords with words about dogs, but your site was about cats, Google would use the content of your site and rank you for cats rather than go by what your keywords said. This doesn’t mean Google doesn’t look at your keywords – and employees from Google have in the past said they do – it just doesn’t use them as a means of determining what your site is about.

A problem is trying to change people’s conceptions about using key words. A lot of people get caught up in the whole idea of meta tags; they hear that they are very important and get worried that the words they are using aren’t good enough, and wonder why their site isn’t rising higher in the search. People need to worry less about these tags, which for all but a couple of search engines are irrelevant, and they should spend more time on writing good quality articles for the body of the text. It is all about the words that are used throughout your site, as well as the meta titles on the pages. It also comes down to how often you update your site and keep the content fresh. Then, once all is the best it can be on your site you’ve got the huge task of gaining links back to your site (getting other people to link to you).

So, in answer to the question of whether or not people should include keys words, yes, I’d say put them in rather than not have them – you have nothing to lose. Make sure the words are relevant to your site and to the content on it. But more importantly spend time on your content.

This is all in a nut shell – there is much more to SEO and it takes time to get it all right. If you would like any help please visit our SEO services pages for more information on how we can help.

Once you get your site live, you have got to get it out there, and not just wait for people to come to you. You might have the shiniest shop on the highstreet but that is not any good if people can’t find the door.