Matt Cutts, a Google Quality Engineer, confirmed what we have been saying about the keywords meta tag for many years.
Meta tags contain meta data. Meta data does not display on a web page, but can be used by search engine spiders. Back in the 1990s the keywords meta tag played a primary role in determining which search phrases represented a web page. Webmasters used to list the search phrases in the keywords meta tag that they felt represented a web page. Search engine spiders would read the meta tag and use those words to represent a web site in their index. However, this practice ceased in the late 1990s due to widespread abuse. Competitors were using each other’s brand names and one of the most common words found in a keywords meta tag was “sex”, because that was the word most often used in Internet searches.
The video is pretty self-explanatory. Matt Cutts confirms that the keywords meta tag is not used by Google, but the description meta tag is still a useful way to describe a web page. The description meta tag is still used by search engines, but does not affect a page’s ranking.
We always describe the description meta tag as being a good marketing tool that should be used. The description meta tag should be worded in a fashion that makes it clear that your web page contains the information that a user seeks. This should compel the user to click on the link to your web page, rather than one of nine others on a search results page. While it does not help your rankings, it can still help to drive traffic to your web site.