Google Kills Off Content Keywords Feature

In a recent blog, Google reports that “the time has come to retire the Content Keywords feature.” Content Keywords were the primary method webmasters used to see how Google viewed their site and if Google could crawl their pages or if their site was hacked.

Why We Don’t Need Content Keywords

The blog’s author, John Mueller, who is Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, lists several newer features that have been developed over the years that allow webmasters to accomplish what Content Keywords used to do:

  • Google’s Fetch and Render tool – “Easily check any page on your website and see how Googlebot fetches it immediately.”
  • Search Analytics – “Shows you which keywords we’ve shown your site in search for.”
  • Other Google notifications – “Google automatically informs you of many kinds of hacks.”

In addition to the number of tools that render Content Keywords obsolete, Mueller also states that users were often “confused” about what they found in Content Keywords. Google’s elimination of Content Keywords will eliminate this confusion.

Remembering Content Keywords

Back when Search Console was Webmaster Tools, the Content Keywords feature allowed webmasters to view valuable information about their websites. This section would list the keywords, how many variants were found, and the keywords’ “significance.”

Here’s what it used to look like:

Moving Forward

Mueller stresses that, although the Content Keywords feature is gone, keywords are still crucial for Google’s and users’ understanding. He offers some advice: “While our systems have gotten better, they can’t read your mind: be clear about what your site is about and what you’d like to be found for.”

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