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Content Keywords Feature Dropped from Search Console

Posted on 11.29.2016

Google announced this week that it was removing the Content Keywords feature from Search Console.

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In years past, when Search Console was still called Webmaster Tools, the feature was once one of the only ways for webmasters (and search engine optimization professionals) to see how the search engine determined what a page/site was about (as it showed the most significant - popular - keywords and keyword variants). It also provided an indication of whether a site was hacked or not (or if it was being spammed).

Google suggests that site owners use the Fetch as Googlebot to verify keywords on a page or to use Search Analytics to check for keywords that are bringing searchers to the site. The removal of the feature should not really concern anyone as the Search Analytics report is a far more robust offering anyway as it shows how search traffic changes over time, where traffic comes from and what search queries are most likely to show the your site. The report even shows which pages have the highest and lowest click-through rate from Google's search results.

Google reiterated that it still believes keywords are still important for its understanding of pages and while its systems have gotten better, they can't read webmasters minds (at least not yet), suggesting that websites remain focused on being clear about what their site is about and what they want it found for - indicating to visitors what makes their products and services special.

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