I was hoping someone could help.

I have a wordpress/woocommerce online store and use Yoast SEO Plugin which allows me to Add one Focus Keyword and multiple Meta Keywords

It does say, however, that id i chose a Focus Keyword that it will over ride the meta-keywords.

I used the seobook.com website crawler which shows the keywords for the page I crawled and it does not return my focus Keyword but it does return the Meta-keywords.

I am keen to find out what should work better for SEO, One focus Keyword or multiple meta keywords.

I feel like having only one focus keyword will pigeon hole me whereas multiple metas should open me up to more possibilities?

I have tried searching for answers on google and seem to get a variety of different contradicting answers

  • By “meta keywords” do you mean the <meta> HTML tag? Because that is useless. Jan 10, 2018 at 16:41
  • Search is not about keywords. This is an SEO myth. Search engines do not match search terms to web pages. This is not how it works. Search is about whole language. Please stop chasing keywords. It is a fools errand. Just create content and stop guessing how people will find you content and relax. People will find your content in 1000 different ways and not how you think. Search engines are very good at what they do. Leave it to them.
    – closetnoc
    Jan 10, 2018 at 17:43
  • I look at the keywords <meta> tag the same way I look at sitemaps: They're basically useless (and in the case of keywords, dangerous if abused), but their absence is something that unethical competitors can use to try to steal my clients. "Look! Your webmaster didn't even bother using a keywords tag! He doesn't know what he's doing! How will search engines find you?" It's nonsense, of course. But why throw fish to the sharks? So I include the tag, but with only two to four unquestionably-relevant and legitimate keywords. Jan 11, 2018 at 11:59

1 Answer 1


We need to help you clarify a couple of things first.

The focus keyword is just the only way Yoast SEO have to know about what is your targeted keyword for that particular page or posts. If you do not define what your focus keyword is, Yoast SEO will not know what is the keyword you want to be focused on that particular content and therefore will not know how many times that focused keyword appears in the content or the meta title or meta description tags.

Yoast SEO will assign and score or green color if everything is “optimised” including the number of times you focus keywords appears. They said that it will overwrite the meta keywords because the will use that instead of the keywords you use in the meta keywords.

Seobook web crawler won’t have access to the focus keyword because this is for Yoast SEO only to know. To put it in a way, The focus keyword is for internal use. That’s the reason why they only return the meta keyword tag which, by the way, Yoast allow you to also control and by default is public.

Yoast SEO allows you to setup also the meta keywords tag, as much as allow you to setup the meta title and the meta description tags. All these three tags are not for internal use, is for everyone else to know and see.

In other words, the focus keyword is just a tool that Yoast provide to help you count the number of times your keyword is visible in your content. It will make more sense if you go and try.

The meta keywords tag is public, and people do not use it anymore for SEO, it’s obsolete and if you list all the keywords that you will like to rank for in there everyone who uses the seobook web crawler will find out which keywords are you trying to rank for, competitors? Maybe?

I recommend you not to use it, just focus in writing good content around a topic, that’s much better for SEO and don’t make grammar mistakes like I probably did here ;)

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