You don’t hear much about meta tags any more. When you do it’s either something negative or some outdated information about how to optimize them properly. The truth is, they matter a little, but they don’t matter nearly as much as they used to.
As far as Google is concerned, your keywords meta tag is useless. They don’t even consider it. Your title tag is important, of course, and your description just a little bit. In fact, Google doesn’t use the description tag for ranking purposes, but it does rely on it – to some extent, but not completely – on devising a snippet for its search results pages.
So if meta tags aren’t that important then why use them?
Three reasons really:
- We have no way of knowing to what extent any of the search engines do rely on them;
- They may become important again at some point in the future, in which case you’d want web pages you create today to have them;
- Some of the smaller search engines may actually put emphasis on them.
If you think these are trivial, think again. Search engine algorithms are always in a state of flux. Things change. You want your search engine optimization efforts to be prepared for any change, today or tomorrow.
Meta tags may not be as important as they used to be, but don’t write them off completely.