W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2009

Re: [Bug 6853] New: restore meta keywords, search engines use them

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 16:18:45 -0700
Message-Id: <00FE084D-200A-4E58-B823-343DB7FAAE6C@gbiv.com>
Cc: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
To: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
On Aug 19, 2009, at 6:28 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:

> Perhaps.  Does the crawler you worked on have the ability to trust its
> documents?

yes.

> @rel=keywords became completely poisoned on the public web
> by people spamming it with repeated or irrelevant keywords (like porn
> sites embedded completely unrelated things so they'll show up in
> searches for more than just porn).
>
> Depending on your burden of proof, you may *never* get an answer here.
>  @rel=keywords was created by and for search engines, and it is in
> search engine's best interests to be elusive about what they pay
> attention to.  Current experts in the field of SEO clearly believe
> that @rel=keywords is of little to no use in the real world, and
> several (I linked two of them) bluntly recommend not using it at all.

That is factually incorrect in so many ways.  First, meta keywords
was not created by search engines -- it came from library cataloguing.
Second, it was abused by some public sites after it was given too high
a relevance on public web search engines, and that abuse has tailed off
considerably since they removed its relevance [no abuse was experienced
within non-public enterprise documents and enterprise search engines].
Third, experts in SEO are talking about use of keywords improving SEO,
not for its use in general as a tool for cataloguing documents.

>> But that shouldn't influence the
>> HTML5 language itself, only potentially advice on how and when to  
>> use it.
>
> Possibly.  On the wide web, though, it is certainly a 'failed  
> proposal'.

No, it is only irrelevant for referral-based search engines.
Such engines have absolutely no role in determining what is or
is not valid HTML.

....Roy
Received on Wednesday, 19 August 2009 23:19:19 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Wednesday, 9 May 2012 00:16:44 GMT