The Onion's Meta Tags

The Onion has some interesting keywords in the meta tags on their front page, with references to Smoove B, Marilyn Manson, Phish, the NBA, “All your base,” ferrets, and Taco Bell. Keyword jamming like this is common, but particularly dumb in this case. If the Onion is trying to attract search engines with keywords, then why are they excluding all search engines from indexing their content?

March 6, 2004: In hindsight, it’s so clearly a joke. It’s hard to believe I ever took it seriously. I just checked, and they’ve updated their meta tags with more relevant keywords. It’s very odd.


The full keyword meta tag, for your convenience:

<meta NAME=”keywords” CONTENT=”The Onion, Onion, Harry Potter, Clinton, sex, Bill Clinton, Jesus, Bush, comedy, humor, publication, media, news, source, jokes, weekly, magazine, gay, what do you think, Christ, Savage Love, moon, God, Gore, all your base, ninja, fuck, baby, special olympics, Bill Gates, Herbert Kornfeld, Smoove B, Star Wars, horoscope, marijuana, infographic, drugs, Kornfeld, Canada, death, shit, Nader, area man, rush, Al Gore, election, phish, dolphin, Marilyn Manson, cock, babies, cat, NBA, homosexual, special forces, h-dog, microsoft, point, counterpoint, statshot, holy shit, babies, Jim Anchower, religion, monkey, college, Starbucks, children, porn, pope, Don King, penis, smoove, anchower, dog, kids, hell, school, death star, Christmas, Ralph Nader, computer, zweibel, vagina, eminem, bear, red meat, burger king, Serbia, homosexuals, metric, video game, drug war, columbine, beer, pot, masturbation, Bill Nye, trailer park, police, Britney Spears, Mr. T, ferret, Taco Bell, George W, AV Club, A.V. Club”>

March 6, 2004 version: <meta name=”keywords” CONTENT=”The Onion, Onion, America’s Finest News Source, satire, political, humor, comedy, jokes, editorial, magazine, newspaper, In the News, News in Brief, Top Story, What Do You Think, Infographic, STATShot, The Onion in History, area man, area woman, wit, pop culture, shattered nation, Attack, Middle East crisis, Iraq, Americans, George W Bush, Congress, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Ralph Nader, religion, God, Christ, Pope, Starbucks, Star Wars, Death Star, special forces, Crypty, Cryptosporidium, Eminem, Ted Nugent, Harry Potter, monkey, school, college, drugs, marijuana, ferret, campus life, Taco Bell, Doritos, NASA, NASCAR, Microsoft, Bill Gates, Books, Our Dumb Century, Dispatches from the Tenth Circle, Onion calendars, Onion print edition, Onion mobile edition, merchandise, Smoove B, love man, Jim Anchower, The Cruise, Jean Teasdale, A Room of Jean’s Own, Jeanketeer, Jackie Harvey, The Outside Scoop, Herbert Kornfeld, h-dog, point-counterpoint, T. Herman Zweibel, The Mercantile Onion, Advice, Reviews, Justify Your Existence, Savage Love, Red Meat, Pathetic Geek Stories”>

5 thoughts on “The Onion's Meta Tags

  1. I would say it’s a joke – as is everything on the Onion.

    Except the A/V Club, of course. Oh, and the bit where the Chinese thought it was a real newspaper.

  2. I concur, I’m sure it’s a joke. Imagine some kid searching for all your base and taco bell and ending up with the Onion. Hahahaahaha. Oh, someone stop me.

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