Keyword Stuffing Can Kill Your SEO: Here’s How To Avoid It
Your website depends on SEO, especially when trying to rank your website for specific keywords. It can be tempting to try and speed up the process, using keyword stuffing to push it higher on the results page. This black hat tactic was common a few years ago but remains a potential crutch for a few companies. Unfortunately, this is not helpful in the long run and can end up killing your SEO efforts overall.
How does SEO work?
SEO (search engine optimization) is made up of specific words or phrases used in a website to attract readers. When a person enters a search term on Google (or another search engine), results that contain similar words, phrases, or topics will appear in the results. Search engines use robots to analyze all online web pages to determine the best websites for the subject. The crawlers will continuously update websites and pages to reflect any new or relevant sites.
What is keyword stuffing?
The term keyword stuffing refers to any business that fills a web page with a specific term over and over. This often includes unnatural repetition of the phrase or keyword in the text, extra words out of context, and adding comments that don’t seem relevant to the page. Repeating the phrase will often push your keyword density beyond the normal average, which can mark the site with Google as a black hat website. For example, keyword targeting sugar daddy london would include the phrase abnormally throughout the copy. It would be placed in a way that would not make sense to the reader or would repeat the word over and over again.
Keyword stuffing isn’t just the text viewers see; it can include any text that is hidden from readers but still displayed to search engines. This includes text that is the same color as the background, repeating text in meta or title tags, or including repeating keywords in the page’s alt attributes.
Understanding keyword density
Keyword density refers to how often a keyword or phrase is included in a page of text. To calculate the percentage, simply divide the number of times you’ve used the words by the total number of words on the page. Then multiply the number by 100. Although Google continues to change the algorithm, it is best to keep the percentage below 2% on any given page.
All keywords included on a web page should be natural and consistent. The audience for a website is the reader, not the crawler. Pages should always be written for the reader, keeping content concise, relevant and factual.
The negative impact of keyword stuffing
Keyword stuffing creates terrible experience for users; the focus shifts from the reader to the crawler, making it impossible to continue reading. When the reader has trouble reading the content, they simply leave the page. Your website traffic will suffer, with bounce rates (when a web user clicks quickly on the website) increasing. The more your bounce rate continues to increase, the less likely your website will be to appear in search results.
As keyword stuffing is considered a black SEO method, it is also possible for search engines to incur a search penalty. Search penalties can prevent your page from display in search results permanently. This is a huge risk for a small business trying to move forward.
How to properly use keywords in your content
Establish your main keyword for each page
When you start SEO for a page, you need to establish the main keyword. This phrase should be relevant or closely related to the content, preferably a popular term with low competition. Try to have one keyword per page, each page being different from the others. By choosing the same keyword over and over on your site, the content will compete with each other.
Incorporate secondary keywords in the copy
Google wants to know that the pages you create will help visitors learn something. Although your page should only have one main keyword, incorporating other keyword versions can increase your search results. Consider using synonyms, long tail keywords, and secondary phrases that support your content. When building their results pages, crawlers look for similar terms, which means you can improve your search ranking just by expanding your vocabulary.
Longer content ranks higher than short content
Search engines want to provide users with relevant and informative content. As such, they will rank your pages higher if the content exceeds 300 words. Offering in depth organically written material will produce much better results than trying to write several short pieces. If possible, try to include as much detail as possible about your topic. Whenever possible, you’ll want to link to a trusted source, which will help build your brand authority.
Never Follow Blackhat SEO Tactics
When it comes to SEO methods, there are black hat SEO methods (which are against the rules) and whitelist methods (which can improve your search results). Good SEO methods may not produce results quickly, but they will develop slowly over time. Don’t be tempted to push your methods into blackhat techniques. The penalties attached to these methods can be severe and permanent. These may include removing pages from the index, excluding pages from results, or completely removing a domain from search results.