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Are these two equivalent?

<meta name="keywords" content="first" />
<meta name="keywords" content="second, third" />

and

<meta name="keywords" content="first, second, third" />

I have keywords that are applied for all the pages and then I want to have separate set of keywords for each page. Is there any problem with having multiple keywords tags, especially in SEO?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 23 '11 at 8:35

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2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

The keywords meta tag doesn't do anything anymore, at least as far as most search engines are concerned. You're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. Search engines index by content nowadays, and they do that without your help.

See the Wikipedia article on the meta tag:

Search engines began dropping support for metadata provided by the meta element in 1998, and by the early 2000s, most search engines had veered completely away from reliance on meta elements. In July 2002, AltaVista, one of the last major search engines to still offer support, finally stopped considering them.

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3  
This is not true. You left out the next sentence on that page... "No consensus exists whether or not the keywords attribute has any effect on ranking at any of the major search engines today. It is speculated that it does, if the keywords used in the meta can also be found in the page copy itself." Also that paragraph you posted makes it sound like no meta tags are considered at all which is a complete fallacy. Keywords is the only one that is actually debated. –  knight0323 Jun 19 '09 at 20:37
1  
This answer does not address the question here, it simply (incorrectly) states the keywords meta tag is not used. The Wikipedia article has since been expanded to include more information. This answer is incorrect; a different answer should be accepted. –  Gweebz Jun 9 '11 at 20:47
    
+1 to night0323 and Gweebz. –  diosney Aug 23 '11 at 2:35
    
Cold calls breathlessly telling you your website ranking fails because you're missing Meta Keywords is a good indicator you've been contacted by an SEO Snake Oil salesman. Multiple Meta Keyword tags is also a misuse and like CSS, the last encountered probably is the only one that applies. Already answered elsewhere on Stack Exchange. –  Fiasco Labs Dec 6 '13 at 19:55

Your first example is the correct way, the second would not improve things at all, and might make things worse.

Personally, I disagree with Welbog's answer, primarily on the account that if keywords were no longer relevant, why do things like Google Webmaster Tools cater for them? I suspect that there might have been some confusion with meta description tag, which did go out of favour for some time a while ago, but does appear to be coming back into fashion.

When optimizing individual pages, title, keywords and description tags are all important, as are long tail URL strings and directory names, but don't abuse them. Also, you can make clever use of the author and copyright tags by rewording your company name or title in them again.

It is possible to find good and bad reasons to use/not use any tag. What you will find though is generally the following. Those that suggest a tag is not needed are invariably selling a link program or PPC type thing. Those that use them and take the time to use them inventively without breaking the rules will charge more up front, but, the long term benefits will be huge.

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Google has flat out said the meta keywords tag is not used for rankings at all. –  John Conde Aug 23 '11 at 11:49
    
@JohnConde: [citation needed] –  Justin ᚅᚔᚈᚄᚒᚔ May 2 '13 at 0:57
    
why do things like Google Webmaster Tools cater for them Because you mistake keyword content within the readable body of the webpage with a meta tag. The two are not the same. And no citation needed, they've said it so many times that you can easily "Google it (tm)". –  Fiasco Labs Dec 6 '13 at 19:52

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