Search Engine Bytes
 by Casey Markee

Question of the Month

How many times can I use the same keywords in my meta tags?

Question:
I need some clarification on something after reading your book on the search engines. You say not to repeat your keywords or key phrases no more than seven times within a tagged section of a webpage. If I repeat these key phrases as you have listed in your book with alternating upper and lower case, the keywords will be repeated 21 times instead of 7 times. Or would it have been better to have set the phrases up like you have suggested in the book?

Answer:
We've modified the statement in this month's "Unfair Advantage..." book revision. Let's put it this way, if you repeat your keywords up to 7 times in the meta tag, you are not likely to be penalized by most engines for it. Keep in mind that each occurrence of the word counts, even if they are used in phrases. In order to cover more keywords, capitalization and phases, we suggest you design and submit multiple pages.

Excite ignores meta tags, so you are wasting your time using them there. However, you won't be penalized if you submit pages that do have meta tags, they just won't help.

Top10 pages found in WebCrawler and HotBot seldom have more than one occurrence of any single keyword within the meta tags.

AltaVista, InfoSeek and Opentext do allow many repetitions of meta tag keywords but it doesn't appear to help ranking in most cases. In fact, many pages are scoring high without any meta keywords -- others have just one or two occurrences of the same word.

Lycos Standard doesn't appear to care much about meta keywords; most pages...

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