Google no longer supports the News meta-keywords tag


 After years of telling news publishers to use the new meta keyword tag, Google quietly dropped support for it months ago. 

If you rely on Google News for a lot of your search traffic, it's likely you followed Google's advice and used the meta news keyword tag.

Google announced back in 2012 that it was using the keyword tag to get further insight into individual news stories, and encouraged publishers to use it on their content.

The news meta keyword tag is not to be confused with the normal meta keywords tag, which Google stopped using years ago, but a news-specific one using the format <meta name="news_keywords".

Now it seems Google is no longer using the news keyword tag, so news publishers may as well not bother with it either.

The change was first noticed by Yoast SEO's Joost de Valk, who reached out to Google's John Mueller for clarification on Twitter:

So it looks like Google stopped supporting the tag towards the end of last year - without telling anyone. If you are a publisher, and you use it for your news content, you can safely stop using it going forward.

Responding to more questions on Twitter, John Mueller confirmed that Google still supports the News Sitemap and rel=standout tag - so you should continue to use those:

About the Author

Luke Glassford

Luke Glassford is an SEO expert with over 15 years’ experience.

During his time working in SEO, Luke has set-up an SEO agency, worked as an in-house SEO for a major national company and managed his own successful SEO consultancy - using a lot of different SEO tools along the way!