What is Keyword Stuffing and How to Avoid It?
What is Keyword Stuffing?
Keyword stuffing is overusing certain keywords or phrases in a page or content, in hopes of ranking higher for that specific term in search engines. Many people stuff keywords under the misconception that filling a page with keywords will drive more people to the site. The practice can only harm your rankings and can result in Google removing such pages from search engine results completely.
Keyword stuffing can be visible or invisible. Visible stuffing is repeatedly using a specific keyword multiple times in content that is visible to the users. It can be done in many forms, including repeating keywords or phrases several times in a piece of writing, using keywords that are not relevant to the context, inserting blocks of the same keyword and more.
Invisible stuffing is when keywords cannot be seen by users but can be by search engine crawlers. One example is when the text and background is the same colour. Users will not be able to see the text, while searchbots will read and index the webpage. If you thought, genius! – hold on. Such practices are considered manipulative, and Google is getting better at recognising them. Your site can end up with penalties.
How to avoid keyword stuffing?
Our SEO team recommends these best practices to optimize your pages for keywords.
Use keywords appropriately
Create useful, information-rich content that uses keywords naturally and contextually. Choose one target keyword for a particular page and make sure that the primary phrase is relevant to the topic. Use those phrases in appropriate places, where it fits in naturally. The rule of thumb should be – create for users primarily, not for searchbots.
Use long-tail keywords and synonyms
Write lengthy content
Longer, informative content improves audience engagement and increases content sharing. It also provides more opportunity to add various relevant keywords without the danger of looking like keyphrase spamming.
Avoid focusing on overused keywords
The more competitive a keyword, the more difficult it is to rank. Consider researching other search terms people would use to search your product or service. Consider localizing your content so that viewers searching for a similar service in your area would reach your page.
Use keywords in page elements
You can also add keywords in key page elements like meta description, image alt tag, SEO title, introduction and conclusion paragraphs and subheadings. Ensure that you do not overdo it – once is enough in each element. This increases the density of keywords without stuffing it, and also helps search engines understand your page context better.
Keyword density – is the percentage or number of times a keyword is used in the copy. It is calculated by dividing the number of keywords in the copy by the number of total words.
Black hat SEO – disapproved SEO techniques aimed at increasing a page’s ranking in a search engine result page (SERP). They are against the search engine’s terms of service and can result in the site being banned from the search engine.