The Meta Keywords Tag Is Back, At Least For Google News

Sep 20, 2012 • 9:08 am | comments (15) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Everyone knows Google stopped using the meta keywords tag ages ago. They simply ignore it and because of that, many SEOs don't bother to use it.

But yesterday Google announced they will begin using it for Google News publishers in the form of the news_keywords metatag. It looks like this:

news_keywords metatag

In fact, I've already implemented on this site because it is easy. I don't have meta keywords but I do have the news_keywords tag.

Google said:

The goal is simple: empower news writers to express their stories freely while helping Google News to properly understand and classify that content so that it’s discoverable by our wide audience of users.

There is a detailed help document on how this works as well.

Are you going to implement this?

Honestly, I am a bit surprised Google is going this route.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld & Google News Help.

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Nick Stamoulis

09/20/2012 01:43 pm

I wonder if the news_keyword tag will only be a boon for sites that are trusted news site. Obviously it's supposed to help out news sites, but will only the biggest ones get any real uplift? Anyone can be a publisher of breaking news and sometimes the biggest sites are actually a little behind.


09/20/2012 02:03 pm

I'm not surprised Google is going this route. Things that get into Google news have been identified as trusted news sources, so are presumably not keyword spamming. A similar thing goes for ALL signed content (rel=author). Once real trusted relationships and identities are on the line, you hare heavily motivated to not abuse the system, or they can simply demote you and all your content.

Jaan Kanellis

09/20/2012 04:03 pm

Kind of make sense, because Google news sources are hand picked as trusted. I am sure they will watch these trusted sources like a hawk if they start spamming within.

Paul North

09/20/2012 04:35 pm

I wonder if this is to address the fact that news language has been influenced so much by search behaviour. News sites know that if their headlines contain keywords, they'll get more traffic. This reduced writing vocabulary and homogenises headlines. With the keyword field (assuming it carries significant weight), press sites can leave the writers to write journalism and leave the optimisation to in-house SEOs.

Chinna Botla

09/21/2012 12:03 pm

No, I think news_keywords metatag it is different. It will not apply for all the websites.


09/21/2012 12:07 pm

Fully agree with "Paul" this reduced the vocabulary but i dont think so it matters a lot in using or not using the meta keyword tag in the site. Google give priority to description tag as compared to title meta tag.

Botla chinna

09/21/2012 12:11 pm

I think "news_keywords metatag" it is different. It will not apply for all the websites

Jonathan Hawkins

09/21/2012 05:35 pm

I just finished coding this free WP plugin for all my friends out there! It will add a field to all your posts/pages so you can now add in Googles new "News_Keywords" meta data.


09/22/2012 03:35 pm

Hey Jonathan, i downloaded the file, but is just a php.file. Should i put it inside a paste to upload to my blog? Tks


09/24/2012 01:40 pm

I'm intrigued with how this will work, will this only give benefit to websites that are included in Google News or is this open to anyone who posts 'news'? Time for some experiments :)

Rebecca Maurier

09/25/2012 05:26 am

I have a question that if google has started using meta keywords... should we start using it too?? because as per previous update from google regarding meta tags, i have not used them from many time before... would it will be good using them from now?? will it effect some where??

Jonathan Hawkins

09/25/2012 03:22 pm

It is in a zip file. You will just upload the zip file using the WP plugin uploader within the WP dashboard.

Jonathan Hawkins

09/25/2012 03:23 pm

Then on all posts/pages you will have a new box below the content area where you can type in the news_keywords meta.

Jonathan Hawkins

09/25/2012 03:23 pm

It only works for sites that are recognized by Google News as authorative.

Ram Babu SEO

10/16/2012 05:49 am

I think this can be a re-start of using keywords meta tags and, what Google tries to say here such only can help news websites, i don't think so there must be some plan it to change with other areas as well.

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