In a recent blog, Google reports that “the time has come to retire the Content Keywords feature.” Content Keywords were the primary method webmasters used to see how Google viewed their site, as well as if Google was able to crawl their pages or if their site was hacked.

Google has killed its Content Keywords feature, as a number of more effective technologies have replaced it over the years.

Why We Don’t Need Content Keywords

The blog’s author, John Mueller, who is Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, lists several newer features that have been developed over the years that allow webmasters to accomplish what Content Keywords used to do:

  • Google’s Fetch and Render tool – “Easily check any page on your website and see how Googlebot fetches it immediately”
  • Search Analytics – “Shows you which keywords we’ve shown your site in search for”
  • Other Google notifications – “Google informs you of many kinds of hacks automatically”

In addition to the number of tools that render Content Keywords obsolete, Mueller also states that users were often “confused” about what they found in Content Keywords. Google’s elimination of Content Keywords will eliminate this confusion.

Remembering Content Keywords

Back when Search Console was Webmaster Tools, the Content Keywords feature allowed webmasters to view valuable information about their website. This section would list the keywords, how many variants were found, as well as the keywords’ “significance.”

Here’s what it used to look like:


(Image credit: Yoast)

Moving Forward

Mueller stresses that, although the Content Keywords feature is gone, keywords are still important for Google’s and users’ understanding. He also offers a few words of advice: “While our systems have gotten better, they can’t read your mind: be clear about what your site is about, and what you’d like to be found for.”