Search Marketing

Case Study: Meta Keywords Don’t Impact Rankings

By July 11, 2014 One Comment

When onboarding clients, a question typically asked is if meta keywords matter at all in rankings?  It can be a source of confusion for both clients and our onboarding team when they see conflicting opinions within the industry. In an effort to put the argument to rest, SIM took 55 locations within our Velocity platform and conducted our own meta keyword testing.

First, we took one geographic area in the country – in this case we used the Midwest – and deleted the meta keywords at 28 random locations. We then chose an additional 27 random Midwest locations to monitor as a control group that received no changes.

Finally, we uploaded non-branded, geo specific keywords into WhiteSpark and began monitoring any change in rankings over the course of 30 days.


As expected, we saw no decrease in rankings despite deleting meta keywords for approximately half of our locations. Of the locations that had keywords within the top 10 results, 45% of those contained no meta keywords. Once again, it’s clear that meta keywords do not matter for rankings.

Even though meta keywords aren’t used in rankings, they can sometimes power site search, depending on the CMS. Site rankings certainly aren’t impacted negatively when including meta keywords so if it makes you or your customer feel better to include these keywords and you don’t have concerns about competitors using that data against you then go ahead and include them. Just be sure to keep them short and concise.


Joe Horan

Author Joe Horan

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