Keyword stuffing is the process of adding as many keywords as you can in the same web-page. This is done to help the content rank higher up in the search engines.
If you are new to the industry of SEO you might find this idea very alluring to try, but it is now considered to be black hat technique, meaning that Google and other search engines in general will penalise your website if you use those types of techniques.
Search engines in general want to provide users answers to their queries. If you rather provide the users with content that is not relevant to their queries, Google will try to push your content down.
Even a push from page 1 to page 2 of the search results can mean a loss in a big number of audience and along with it, potential money.
Hence you should make sure that you don’t use keyword stuffing to stay safe and not get penalised.
Tip: There’s a way to figure out whether your content is safe from keyword stuffing or not, i.e. using keyword density.
Here’s the formula for Keyword Density:
Keyword Density = Total number of words / Number of times the keyword occurs in that piece of content
There’s no general rule of how much the keyword density should be, but is preferable that you keep it at 2%.
How People Used to Do Keyword Stuffing?
In the earlier years, mainly three different methods were employed to game the search engine ranking system:
- Basic keyword stuffing
- Hidden Text
- Link Spam
Basic keyword stuffing
The first one used to predominant among all the people trying to rank their content higher up in the search engine results.
Earlier search engines weren’t that intelligent, they used to rank search results on the basis of the exact search terms. This was not an effective way to get things done, but still could get things done.
People realized that with the rise in popularity of search engines, ranking higher up gives them more traffic and more traffic brings in more money.
Hence they just started randomly putting their keyword again and again in the text. This took down the entire user experience. In-fact google with its Page Rank was successful at tackling these. That was the exact reason why Google is so popular and powerful now.
Soon companies behind search engine portals realized that people are trying to game the search engines and provide irrelevant content and started tackling these posts.
What people started doing was: they started to mask their content.
How they used to mask their content is quite amazing to listen. Usually websites had white background on which black text was written. So the main content was placed in black text while the keywords they were targeting was written in white text.
This didn’t ruin people’s experience as they were served with content not skewed by keywords as nobody could see the white text. At the same time search engines were fooled as well.
Link Spam is bit different than stuffing regular keywords. A piece of text contain words which links to other pages on the website so to help them in link building process for each of the webpages. It gives no relevant information to the reader and is done only for the sake of ranking high.
This is also known as spamdexing and Google penalizes every website which uses spamdexing as it is considered to be a black hat SEO.
Know the purpose of your writing
At the end of the day, you want to rank high in search engines. Higher ranking in search engines mean more traffic, which brings in more money.
But this mentality shouldn’t dominate why you are writing.
Internet works in a very liberal fashion: content is by the people, for the people and to the people. Your content will get read by actual people. Without adding any value to your content, even if people come across your website through search rankings, they won’t get any value.
When they don’t get any value out of your website the conversion ratio drops down a lot. That means, no ad-money or any dedicated following for your website.
So if you are planning to write for the sake of ranking, drop that hat. Making it SEO-friendly should be a part of your strategy and not the entire strategy itself.
Additional tip: It is better that you first write the natural content you want your readers to read and then do appropriate tweaks to make it more SEO-friendly. In this way you will make sure that you have a readable piece of content beforehand.
Create Long Piece of Content
There are two reasons why you should focus on creating posts and articles with at least 700+ words.
- It helps you stuff extra keywords.
- It helps you rank well on the search engines.
Excessive keyword stuffing is bad, but that doesn’t matter you should avoid keyword stuffing at all.
Keywords play an important factor, but it is not the only factor. Google judges each piece of content on 200 factors. While 200 factors is a lot, but you can try your best by doing some on-page SEO.
If your content’s length is small, let’s say 300 words, you won’t get much space to put your keywords. After all you have to maintain the balance and distribution. So if you target 1 keyword per 100 words, you will only be able to put 3 times. Whereas for 700 words, you can put it 7 times.
But, it would be a wrong thing to include the same keyword again and again. Rather play on the keywords and target other related keywords as well.
Google’s 200 factors to judge a page is comprehensive and would be hard to create content based on all those factors in one go. But if there’s one thing Google digs the most, it is comprehensive and long written content.
Their search engine want to give the users the most appropriate answer to their queries.
So if you have any query xyz, what do you think, would you better find your answer in a 300-word article or 1000-word article?
Hence it indirectly helps you rank better in SERPs as well.
Focusing on keywords
Let’s talk more on keywords. There are three different 3 different things you should focus on:
- Avoid using keyword multiple times.
- Use of Long Tail Keywords.
- Use of LSI Keywords.
You should definitely try to reduce the use of the same keyword again and again and use the keyword research tools find the right keywords. For example let us say you are product marketing service and want to target the keyword product marketing services. For the given text:
XYZ is a product marketing service company. Product Marketing service is one of the most integral parts of selling your product to users. Hence, we provide you with the best product marketing service available in the industry.
Using the same keyword again and again makes the entire text look redundant and hard to read by people and google will definitely mark the text for negative SEO.
To tackle with this redundancy, you can make use of LSI keyword.
So what exactly are LSI keywords?
LSI Keywords stands for latent semantic indexing. With the coming of Panda update, Google has shifted its focusing more matching exact terms and relying more on understanding what the topic of the webpage.
One of the ways Google tries to know this by focusing on other keywords apart from the primary keyword. So let’s say you are a food blogger focussing on best mexican recipes, it is natural that you will write about pre-requisite, materials and equipment required and so on.
With the help of these other keywords, it makes sure that your content is relevant to people’s queries in Google’s eyes.
You can also make use of tools like LSI Graph to generate LSI keywords. You just enter the keyword you are targeting and it will generate a list of related lsi keywords on the go.
Another important way you can reduce keyword stuffing is to use long-tail keywords.
What are long-tail keywords?
As a thumb-rule keywords with more than 4 words are considered to be long-tail keywords. Otherwise they are known as short-tail keywords.
Since long-tail keywords are longer in length, meaning users have to search for longer terms. What this does is: since people have to invest more time framing their query, you will know that you are getting a good quality traffic which can be converted.
Long tail keywords usually have low-search volume so you can easily rank in Google SERPs. Contrary to these are short tail keywords which are highly competitive. Usually high authoritative websites rank high up and unless you have a high Domain Authority score it is harder to overtake them.
For example in the above case, product marketing service would be considered as a short tail keyword. In place of this if you go for the best product marketing service in xyz country, you will get a more targeted traffic who are actually interested in your services.
So instead of using the same keyword every now and then you can include LSI and long-tail keywords to make sure that text looks readable enough and maintains a good overall SEO score as well.