The PurpleInternet Marketing series: The ten biggest search engine optimisation mistakes – No.4

IT used to be all you had to do was stuff your ‘meta tag keywords’ full of the phrases that you wanted people to use to find you in search engines.

Then, along came Google. Google decided to rank websites by the quantity and quality of links into the website, and by the content on the website.

Unfortunately, that meant that a lot of website designers stopped using ‘meta tags’. A lot of Search Engine Optimisation ‘specialists’ announced that ‘meta tags’ were ‘dead’, that ‘content was King and links were Queen’.

The Search Engine Optimisation specialists were partly right. ‘Meta tags’ have been de-valued by most search engines. They are, however, still very important, and you’ll be ‘shooting yourself in the foot’ by not using them effectively.

Why use ‘meta keywords’?

‘Meta keyword;s – found in the ‘Head’ section of a web page – are still used as a website content yardstick by many smaller search engines.

As I’m sure you’re aware, it’s not good in any business just to rely on one ‘golden goose’. Although Google (which is used by around 50 per cent of all web searches) appears not to be counting ‘meta keywords’ in page relevance presently, it tends to change its search engine ‘algorithm’ every few months.

This means that even if you just want visitors from Google, you may not be missing out on anything today, is it really worth the risk if Google’s algorithm changes again in the near future?

‘Meta keywords’ and their positioning

Now that you’ve decided that you need to include ‘meta keywords’ in each of your pages, which keywords should you use and how should they be positioned?

1. You should only use keyword phrases that are contained in the page content of your web page as well. Otherwise, you may be suspected as attempting to mislead search engines.

2. You should separate every different keyword phrase with a comma then a space.

3. You should never use the same word in keyword phrases next to each other.

4. You should never use the same single keyword more than three times.

5. You should never repeat a keyword phrase in the ‘keyword meta tags’.

6. You should position your most important keyword phrase near the start of your ‘meta tag keywords’.

There is not great value in having more than six keyword phrases per page, and having more than nine may have a detrimental effect.

Contact David Bain at

Tomorrow: The PurpleInternet Marketing series: The ten biggest search engine optimisation mistakes – No.5: No ‘H tags’.