Google keywords - how to prevent indexing of certain words using microdata

Marcus N
Marcus N used Ask the Experts™
I'm using Google webmaster tools and looked at the "content keywords" with some horror.

Top of the list is the word "cookie". I am in the European Union so every page has a footer that mentions cookies.

All of my pages are created with Dreamweaver and css based templates. Making macro changes across the entire site is simple, but how do I exclude certain words on web pages from being indexed and assigned to high ranking content keywords?

I have another example. Many pages have some Adobe Flash. Guess what, Adobe comes out high on the content keywords. I want to exclude that word too.

I am slightly familiar with schema.ord microdata and was wondering what the best way to exclude certain words from being classed as content keywords would be.
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Top Expert 2013

Microdata is for adding detail information; not for disabling keywords.  Why is is a problem if colie is listed as a keyword.  Google does not rank your page based on which keywords you have, but for the relevance of keywords in searches.  as long as the key words you want traction on are listed, the relative position with other non-keywords moot.

Everyone one else has the same keywords based on non-content issues.  So what?

There is nothing to be fixed.

Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.

There is no way to do what you ask at this time.  Yahoo/Maybe Bing honors the class="robots-nocontent" attribute but Google doesn't right now.

I also agree with Cd& in that this is not unique to you and unless your site is coming up for searches of "cookies" or "flash" or your ad content is being affected there is nothing to worry about.  In fact, Google does a pretty good to excellent job of filtering out boilerplate text.
Marcus NTechnical Specialist



Thank you both for your comments. I guess what  am struggling with is that content keywords lists "cookies" and "adobe" and "buy"  and other words ahead of (in the rank and the significance) words like "water" and "wave" and "ripple" and "artwork" - all of which are used in the text, microdata and meta itemprop tags.

When I search on Google for "water wave artwork" or "liquid metal artwork" my pages are absolutely no-where. And that is all my company specialises in!

I have created web pages for other products in the past and used the same Webmaster Tools and SEO techniques for them but they didn't seem to have non-relevant words so prominent in the content keywords list.

Finally, the work "cookie" appears as "EU cookie law" on every page footer. It has to for the website to comply with European Union legislation on cookies. I guess this happens for other companies in the EU too. So, how would a company selling the cookie biscuit ensure that "cookie" is a relevant content keyword if they (and we) could not somehow exclude the word "cookie" from content keywords when it is irrelevant?
Top Expert 2013
The footer is boilerplate.  Google knows the difference, but you make it clearer with semantically correct tagging.  If the required legal information is inside of a footer tag, the spiders know what that context is, and the word "cookie" in the content portion of the page inside of a paragraph gets treated differently.  If you are not tagging to HTML5 standards you will lose juice. If you follow practices that were effective before panda, you may find you have to changes the way you do SEO.  

If you have not done analysis of the competing web sites, then you need to look at what they are using to get ahead of you.  The other thing is the age of the site.  There was a time when Google did not pay much attention for the first 3 months, now it is a year, and if you do not have authoritative backlinks you will lose out to sites that do, even if their content contains fewer keywords.

Keywords carry much less weight then they used to, and you get position with backlinks, relevant contents, and standards based code supporting semantic tagging.  This look at HTML for SEO might help.

Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.
When I search on Google for "water wave artwork" or "liquid metal artwork" my pages are absolutely no-where.

That's not due to how the keywords rank in Webmaster Tools, though.  Your SEO-fu may not be as strong as you think it is.

So, how would a company selling the cookie biscuit ensure that "cookie" is a relevant content keyword

Context.  If you are selling cookies, other keywords (baked, chocolate, dozen, sugar, etc.) are also present and Google is pretty good at determining the context of the content and ignoring anything that looks like footer boilerplate.

If you are really concerned, check you site with both CSS and Javascript disabled.  The resulting page is a pretty good indicator of what Google sees.  If your relevant keywords/search phrases are not clearly present in the title, meta description tag, first h1 tag, and in the body you may not be as optimized as you think.  You also may have non-desired text above desired text due to your layout choices.

(refresh due to notification)

Cd& suggests other techniques and is also right about keywords carrying less weight and backlinks and site age carrying more.  Social links and signals are a big (and relatively recent) part of the Google algorithm and the changes wrought by Panda and Penguin can drop a new, over-SEO-optimized site completely out of the index.

The best advice:  Be natural and be patient.  If your structure is good and you are not spamming keywords and are building a social community around your product, Google will find you sooner or later.

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