Google finally bid adieu to Content Keywords section placed in Google Index of the Search Console. The search giant hinted on making changes to the Search Console, finally the change was made. On its official Webmaster Central Blog, Webmaster Analyst, John Mueller broke the news to the world. Read the full post titled Saying goodbye to Content Keywords.
For those unaware of what Content Keywords was, in this section Google showed the most important and popular keywords of a particular page and overall site. It looked something like this:
An important role of this section in Search Console was to provide a detailed report of how Google see’s your page and whole website in terms of important keywords and their variants.
However none of the functionality will be lost from removal of Content Keyword tool as you can still find how Google see’s your webpage or site using Fetch as Google tool in Search Console.
To find important keywords for which your website appears in search results there is Search Analytics.
According to John Mueller, in early days of Search Console when it was called Webmaster Tool-“the content keywords feature was the only way to see what Googlebot found when it crawled a website.”
Over the years Google introduced more efficient technologies like Fetch and Render Tool and Search Analytics that left Content Keywords feature obsolete.
Another reason behind retiring Content Keyword feature was it often confused users. The dropped feature came handy to find whether a website has been hacked or not. When hacked, the Content Keyword section showed hundreds of wrong keywords. However these hacked keywords remained stuck in the Content Keyword section for a while even when the site recovered from hacking attack. This confused users who thought all those listed keywords would adversely affect their rankings but it wasn’t the case. Removal of this feature will relieve all that confusion.
In the closing statement Google made clear that it still values keywords and use them extensively to understand and interpret your content. Here’s what Google has to say-
“The words on your pages, the keywords if you will, are still important for Google’s (and your users’) understanding of your pages. 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.”
Nothing surprising about the move to remove Content Keyword feature as hints were dropped by Google months ago. We hope trend of improving and streamlining search tools continues into the New Year.