Meta keywords in Yoast SEO

We've removed the meta keywords feature in Yoast SEO from version 6.3. Originally, they were designed to indicate a page's main keyword. You could rank for whatever keyword you want. Meta keywords haven’t had a use for a long time so their removal from our plugin has been long overdue. 

Instead you will need to optimize your post and pages around focus keyphrases using the Content Analysis feature.

For the difference between meta keywords and the focus keyphrases and words found in Yoast SEO please use this guide.

Note: Previously added meta keywords remain in the database at this time. They are stored in wp_postmeta where meta_key is _yoast_wpseo_metakeywords.


Google saw the meta keywords tag being abused. They officially confirmed in 2009 that they didn't use them. In that blog, they also stated they already started disregarding the meta keywords many years before 2009.


In October of that same year, 2009, at SMX East, Yahoo! announced they no longer use the meta keywords tag anymore either. This turned out to be not entirely true, as they do index them, but they won’t help you one bit.


Bing no longer uses meta keywords to move your page up in the results.

“Today, it’s pretty clear the meta keyword tag is dead in terms of SEO value. Sure, it might have value for contextual ad systems or serve as a signal to bots plying the web looking for topics to target, but as far as search goes, that tag flat lined years ago as a booster.”

Bing stated in 2014

Earlier, they even implied that using them – the wrong way – could work against you, because it’s rather seen as a spam signal than a ranking signal.

News Meta Keywords

Google no longer uses meta keywords for news articles. Thus, this feature was removed in Yoast SEO: News 7.2

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