What is Keyword Stuffing in SEO? 5 Key Tricks to Avoid it

Have you ever accessed a website and, when reading its contents, have you realized that they used the keyword that you had searched for massively within the text? 

Surely, this sounds incredibly familiar to you if you have been browsing the Internet for a few years at least, more than 10.

This is a black hat SEO technique previously used regularly by web positioning professionals to appear in the first results of search engines for certain keywords.

Luckily, the algorithms of these engines have evolved to offer better results to users. 

For this reason, this practice has been discouraged for years and, therefore, it can mean a penalty for a website.

But do you know what we mean when we talk about keyword stuffing? 

Let’s start with the most basic: it’s meaning.

What is Keyword Stuffing?

By definition, keyword stuffing is a Black Hat SEO technique that consists of inserting the same keyword into a text in a repetitive and unnatural way in order to appear in the first search engine results for that keyword.

Years ago, it was a very frequent practice and it gave good results. 

And is that Google positioned better those pages that contained a high volume of the keyword in the text?

For this reason, you could reach a web page and find texts of this style:

“The best exercise bike on the market. Our exercise bikes are the cheapest but have a better quality than others on the market. That is why for years we have been selling the best exercise bike on the market. If you need an exercise bike , contact us. We have the best exercise bike for you”.

What do you think of this example? 

As you can see, the over-optimization of keywords is detrimental to the quality and naturalness of the content.

However, there are also those who practiced this SEO technique without interfering with the user experience. 

For example, placing the text in the same color as the background, including it in the comments or meta descriptions. 

In this way, it was not perceptible to the human eye but to the eyes of the crawlers.

For this reason, thanks to various updates to the algorithm such as Google Panda (2011), which detected this massive repetition of keywords, and Hummingbird (2013), which assessed the context of the content, this practice began to be penalized.

Why is it Dangerous to Fall into this Bad Practice?

Years ago, it was very common to see examples of keyword stuffing when browsing the web. 

However, nowadays it is more complex to come across a page that makes use of this technique.

Currently, you should avoid engaging in this practice for three different reasons:

  • There is a risk of being penalized by Google, which can mean a drop in the positions in the search results or, alternatively, the removal of the page.
  • The user experience on your website will not be good. And, therefore, not only will the bounce rate increase, but also the number of visitors who leave the web without having carried out any valuable action for the company behind the page.
  • It will affect the authority of your domain, as well as the number of backlinks that reach your website -both key positioning factors-.
  • The image of your brand can be seen, as a consequence, deteriorated and cause the company to position itself at a lower level with respect to others of its competition with all the consequences that this implies.

For this reason, the massive repetition of keywords is not convenient at all. 

But how do you know if you are falling into keyword stuffing without being aware of it?

Are you Falling for Keyword Stuffing on Your Website?

The example that we have given previously was tremendously obvious. 

However, on many occasions, the websites are falling into a case of massive repetition of keywords without being aware of it.

But, how to assess if you are falling into this practice?

The main concept that you should take into account is the density of keywords -or keyword density. 

That is, the number of times that the keyword is repeated among the total number of words that a text contains.

The keyword density can be easily calculated manually:

Number of times a keyword appears / total number of words x100

If the result oscillates between 3 and 4%, in principle, it will be following a natural wording of the text. 

However, this is not a set figure.

In addition, there are a number of tools that will help you measure keyword density automatically. 

Some of the most used are Keyword Density Checker from SEO Review ToolsKeyword Density Analyzer from Seobook, or other functionalities of the payment tools par excellence in the sector, such as Semrush.

How to Avoid Keyword Stuffing

When creating the contents of your website, of course, you must use the keyword you want to position but without falling into excess in the same text.

Next, we are going to see 5 tricks to avoid the abuse of keywords.

  • Create quality content.
  • Write naturally.
  • Bet on the use of synonyms.
  • Use long tail words.
  • Review your article before publishing it.

Let’s look at each of them in more detail.

Create Quality Content

When generating the texts for your web page, you must take into account the search intent of the users and what information could be relevant to them.

In this case, creating content that provides added value will be key to achieving a good user experience. 

To do this, you can understand what are the main questions associated with the topic you want to deal with, how these doubts are resolved by other existing content, and if they could be improved or which are not covered in order to add more value to your business target.

Write Naturally

We have already seen it before: you should not fall into keyword stuffing to achieve better organic positioning. 

In fact, quite the opposite.

The Google algorithm is capable of understanding the context of the content. 

Writing in a natural way and using a language according to the target to which the web page is directed is key to achieving a good user experience and, in turn, a better SEO positioning of the content.

Remember: your audience is other people interested in your industry, not Google bots.

Bet on the Use of Synonyms

The use of plurals does not avoid falling into the massive use of the same keyword. 

However, the use of synonyms does.

You can make a list of words with the same meaning as the keyword you want to position and other secondary keywords and use them to enrich your content and help Google understand and index them appropriately. Of course: always using natural language.

Use Long Tail Words

Long tail words or long tail tend to have a lower search volume, but their use is highly recommended. 

In this way, you will be able to enrich your content, provide more context, and even position in Google’s rich snippets for people who carry out said searches.

Review Your Article before Publishing it

And now, as a last piece of advice, review and edit your content before publishing it. 

In addition, you must structure them in an attractive way, separating different blocks of text, adding numbers or bold, including supporting audiovisual materials, etc.

If you want to make sure that you are not falling for keyword stuffing, you can always use some of the tools that we have mentioned before.

And remember that there is nothing like focusing on the needs of users to appear in the first search results of the SERPs.

Thanks for Reading.

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