keywords crossed out in red

Yoast SEO Removes Meta Keywords From Plugin

June 17, 2021

As of February 2018, Yoast SEO has announced that they will no longer support the meta keywords field for the newest version of their SEO plugin, version 6.3. In general, this is because this keyword function had really ceased to be used in recent years – let’s look at why this is the case, plus how this will impact your internet marketing and SEO efforts.

Meta Keyword Original Purposes

In reality, meta keywords within Yoast have not been a major ranking factor since the year 2009. Before that time, they were designed as indicators of a page’s main keyword – businesses could rank for any keywords they wanted, with no limitations. But before long, Google realized that this function was being abused, and then officially confirmed in 2009 that they were not using them – and had been starting to disregard them for years even before 2009, in fact.

Current Usage

While Google has sold a product called Google Search Console that does have the ability to match meta tags, including the keyword meta tag, Google itself does not use the keywords meta tag in search rankings. Web searches completely disregard meta tags of all kinds.

In the past, search engines like Google only used the content of web pages as criteria for judgement – no off-page factors like links were included in this analysis. But this led to scammers simply stuffing irrelevant keywords into pages without visitors ever seeing them, gaming the system to such a degree that it became unworkable. This was the beginning of Google’s move away from the keywords meta tag, and toward serving other meta tags and ranking factors that can’t be gamed quite so easily.

Other Focused Ranking Factors

Other factors you should focus on when it comes to upping your rankings:

  • Keyword density
  • Content quality
  • Structured data
  • Local map/local listing presence

For more on how Yoast SEO or any other service is changing, or to learn about any of our SEO services, speak to the pros at SEO Werkz today.

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