What are Meta Keywords?
A long time ago, meta keywords were designed to help search engines understand what words or phrases the page was about. In the "head" tag of a page, you could create a "meta" element with the attribute name="keywords". In this element, you could specify keywords or phrases separated by a comma. The following is an example of what a meta keywords tag looks like:
<meta name="keywords" content="meta keywords, remove meta keywords, eliminate meta keywords, keywords, meta, remove"/>
Almost immediately, people discovered that they could cram keywords or phrases in the meta keywords tag and it would allow them to rank for many different words in the search engine result pages. Because of this malicious behavior, search engines no longer use meta keywords to match users' search queries.
Why Remove Meta Keywords From Your Web Pages?
While convincing you to remove meta keywords from your pages is more difficult, you should at least know that there is little to no value of creating new pages with meta keywords. However, if you have pages with meta keywords you should consider two possible issues.
Spammy Meta Keywords
First, your meta keywords might not match the text of your page. If search engines find that you have meta keywords that are found nowhere in the actual page content, they might consider this spam and remove your web page from the search engine results. The next issue is not about search engines, but it is more about your competitors.
Competitors Use Your Meta Keywords
This issue is not about search engines, but it is more about your competitors. If you have a popular website, the best way to beat you in terms of SEO is to not compete with your optimized keywords. Instead, it is better to focus on similar keywords that your popular website does not use. Essentially, declaring keywords makes it easier for your competition to do keyword research and rank higher in keywords that you might want to rank for later. The best strategy against your competition is to force them to do their own research. Don't do their keyword research for them.