Generally speaking I consider myself to be a pretty decent SEO Guy, who is well versed with latest updates from search Giant. I spend hours every day reading about, thinking about and doing SEO. It’s both my hobby and my job. Despite this, every now and then I come across things – big things – that I didn’t know about. When these things relate to On Page Stuff, I get even more cross with myself.
Today, on a regular reading/exploring exercise, I stumbled across a latest update from Google which talks about keyword meta tags!!! Really?? I was in a belief that Keyword Meta tags are long dead. 2002 SEO Ninjas!!! where are you guys, your old friend “Keyword Meta Tag” is back. If you already knew about this, and are sitting there completely awe-struck at my ignorance, mentally erasing my name from your mind while you delete my blog bookmark(If Created) , can remove my Salik’s Google Profile and unfollow me on Twitter, then you can exit this page now and have a great rest of your life. However if you share my ignorance in this matter, and find it of interest you can read on.
Google recently announced that Google is looking for this meta tag!! Well, technically, it’s not the same meta keywords tag that died years ago for traditional SEO purposes. It’s a new news_keywords metatag that Google just announced today and only works for news publishers that are sources in Google News. The New metatag will allow publishers to have some sort of freedom while they publish their content, essentially news features which Google used in its news search to show real time searches for QDF keywords. Google explained that, this wont help you to get a huge jump in rankings, it is just a signal for them. To be fair, they have specified ” Dont you dare use it in the same way as 2002 SEO Nijas had done with keyword meta tag”.
Google has already published a help page showing how to implement the news_keywords meta tag, which is like this:
<meta name=”news_keywords” content=”T20 world cup, India, Sri Lanka”/>
Publishers are limited to 10 news keywords and they have to use commas to separate each one. Alas!!! Folks who got excited and I guess before you bombard your webpages with traditional Keyword Meta Tags, just to let you know, “Guys, This is not for you”. Also, those newbees out here running a news content based website, Google also warns that using the news_keywords meta tag isn’t a quick path to ranking better in Google News. It’s only one signal, and “high-quality reporting and interesting news content remain the strongest ways to put your newsroom’s work in front of Google News users.”
In other words, if you’re running a “news” site called Breaking News By India TV!! that no one’s ever heard of and has low-quality content, the news_keywords tag isn’t gonna help you outrank Indian Express and TOI .