There has always been some discussion as to whether Google pays any attention to the “keywords” meta tag when ranking web pages. For now, that discussion can be put to rest. Today, Matt Cutts, Google’s page ranking czar (he refers to himself as the head of Google’s Webspam team) put out a video and several blog posts that state conclusively that Google disregards the keywords tag.
At least for Google’s web search results currently (September 2009), the answer is no. Google doesn’t use the “keywords” meta tag in our web search ranking.
He notes that the “description” meta tag is used to determine what a page is about, and it is also used as the short summary that is part of a web page listing when it appears in a Google search results page.
Matt Cutts: Google Does Not Use Keywords Meta Tag
The “description” and “keywords” meta tags usually appear at the top of the HTML for a web page. They are not visible in the web browser unless you select View > Page Source or View > Source.
Google will display the contents of the “description” meta tag as part of the information in a search results page listing when it is useful information for human visitors. If there is no description meta tag or the information is not especially relevant, Google may use information from the visible web page instead.
For the McBuzz.com home page, Google uses the contents of the “description” meta tag in the search results listing. (This is an old search example, but you get the idea. )
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