SEO Expert Swears In Court That Google Uses Meta Keywords Tag

I was pointed to a filed affidavit (PDF) between Jenzabar & Robert Maginn as the plaintiffs versus Long Bow Group as the defendants. In short, it seems like the plaintiff is suing the defendants over trademark infringement within a site’s keyword meta tags.

What is interesting is not that there is a lawsuit about this, this is nothing new. It is the fact that the defendant cited a post by Google that Google does not use the meta keywords tag as a ranking factor or any factor at all. Because of that post, amongst other reasons, the defendant filed a motion (PDF) to strike the affidavit that Google does use these meta keywords tag and thus, they can sue for trademark infringement.

Even after that, the plaintiff submitted a third affidavit claiming Google does use meta keywords tag. I am not sure why the lawyers keep bring up the meta keywords tag, when Google specifically says they do not use them and when the defendants have clearly showed them a link to the post and quotes from the Google post.

This all seems somewhat comical to me and a big waste of expensive legal dollars. But hey, what do I know, I am not a lawyer.

You can read many the legal documents regarding this case at the Citizen.org web site.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Legal: Copyright | Legal: Trademarks

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • http://www.michael-martinez.com/ Michael Martinez

    Egos are on the line. The test as outlined in the affidavit is invalid for more than one reason, including (but not limited to):

    1) The test does not in any way attempt to factor out changes on the search engine’s side

    2) The test only uses one iteration and therefore fails to demonstrate any pattern or trend upon which a reasonable conclusion may be based

    3) The test does not focus on unique terms

    Also, he loosely interprets Google’s use of the word “keywords” in its documentation to refer to the keywords meta tag, which the context of the documentation does not clearly support.

    The writer also fails to note for the court in his comments that Google changes its algorithms several hundred times a year, and that the certainty of any test results is thus questionable within any length of time because the conditions of the environment change so often.

    Based upon the sloppy research method he used to support his claims about Google’s use of meta tags, one has to wonder just how good the standards are.

  • ronabop

    “Google doesn’t use anything in or about meta keywords for ranking.”
    “Google doesn’t specifically use meta keywords values for improving ranking”
    “Google specifically says they do not use them”

    These are three very, very, different statements. (Which is why lawyers exist).

    Here’s another experiment:
    Make two identical pages.
    In one, use the meta keywords value of “boo”
    In the other, put 3-5 Mb of virus code into meta keywords.

    Make sure everything else about the pages is identical. Inbound links, anchor text, etc.

    What do you expect the outcome to be? If the values of meta keywords truly do not matter in any way, shape, or form, they would be identical, yes?

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