"For a long time, web designers have employed their limited skills to design and develop the websites that may attain high ranks with Search Engines. Meta tags play an important role and come in a variety of flavors – ‘keywords’, ‘description’, ‘abstract’ to a name a few. And so, if you are wise enough to include them on your web-pages – you are increasing the chances of your web pages attaining higher ranks. "
Anyone, who has a very basic understanding of web pages and Search Engines would know the above paragraph was written for times when the world was preparing for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
The paragraph only represents the tip of the iceberg that can be for high ranks with Search Engines. Before 1998 – the search engines would read only about the top one-third of the page where they’d find the meta-tags and evaluate the site accordingly.
The problem was obvious – many webmasters started including utterly un-related key-phrases, a website offering 'personal loans' could include ‘Billy Joel’ in one of the keywords and could list on top when the search was done on the keyword 'Billy Joel'.
You wouldn't be happy checking out websites offering personal loans when all you needed was an MP3 download for 'Piano Man'.
So though it is still a good idea to keep the META tags in place on each web page, ironically, that does not play the major role in helping your website attains higher ranks.
The Search Engines, for the very reasons for existence, had to change their search algorithms and continue to refine them regulary.