Google has decided to drop its support for the news meta keywords tag, which was introduced specifically for news publishers back in 2012.  Several months ago, the search engine quietly stopped supporting it.

Because Google didn’t announce the change, publishers continued using it.  By using the news meta keywords tag, you’ll find that it won’t help Google understand your news content anymore since Google has made the choice to ignore it the same way they ignore normal meta keywords tags.

Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller confirmed this, saying, “It looks like we dropped support for this around the time when we removed it from the help center.” He added, “Keeping it on pages is fine, we just don’t use it for Google News anymore.”

Months after Google announced it, only 5 percent of publishers actually ended up using it.

So for all you publishers out there, you can safely stop using it going forward.

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