Metadata is the term used to describe additional information about a web page, such as the author of the page and a summary of the page contents. This information is grouped into sections called meta tags which are hidden from view in the code of the web page.
The 'keywords' meta tag stores a list of keywords which relate to the content of the page and are historically used by search engines to match the most relevant page to the words that a person types into a search engine.
Most search engines no longer use meta data when crawling websites to compile their indexes (including Google, Yahoo, Lycos and Altavista) and now ignore the content of the keywords metatag due to misuse of the tag by some websites. We have found that keywords can greatly improve the accuracy of searches carried out by users of our website.
One of the main reasons for the greater accuracy is that some of the search engines do not correctly interpret the information that is present in the text of the page. For example someone searching for pothole will get different results to someone searching for potholes, due to the way search engines interpret plurals, and so we have decided to include relevant keywords on our web pages to cover a range of possible search words a user may enter.
This helps to ensure that users of our site are taken to the correct page when they search, making it easier for them to access the content and services we provide and making our website more user-friendly.