In the first years of Google’s existence as an absolute leader among Internet search engines, doing web positioning was much simpler than it is today. After all, many practices were completely normal at the time and went unnoticed by the search engine. Right now, however, they are detected by the latest updates of the search algorithm and severely penalized, if they do not contribute to improving the user experience, nor do they favor the quality of the web content, but only pursue the rapid and fraudulent positioning of the pages.
These types of practices focused on deceiving the search engine to obtain better positions in the search results than what certain content really deserved, which is now known as Black Hat SEO or black hat web positioning techniques. On the other hand, the practices that consist of improving the user experience and the quality of the web pages in order to achieve a better positioning are known as White Hat SEO, that is, white hat positioning. This time, we’ll focus on one of the most common Black Hat SEO practices that many people today still think they can get away with as well as the ways to avoid keyword stuffing.
What is keyword stuffing?
So, keyword stuffing is, as mentioned, one of those methods or internal techniques of black hat web positioning that consists of the excessive use of the same keyword within the text, with the purpose of making the search engine believe that the content is more relevant for those who are looking for it. This was previously the case, which resulted in a huge amount of irrelevant search results. The algorithm took that premise as true and showed those pages that constantly repeated the searched word, but times they are a-changing and the algorithm is much more efficient. Of course, nowadays, search engines and especially Google view this technique poorly and punish it with penalization.
Of course, sometimes it’s just tempting to use the same word(s) over and over again or at least those that sound similar. You don’t have to be trying to deceive the search engines. But if you notice this to be the case, do your best to handle the situation a bit more diversely; basically, an excessive amount of keywords will alert the engines that you’re abusing the power of your keyword and if you want to avoid keyword stuffing you just need to come up with different phrasing a bit more often!
How to avoid keyword stuffing?
The best thing you can do when writing content where the same keyword should/could be used constantly is to use synonyms that make reference to that concept, but that are specifically different words. This will not only prevent the excessive repetition of the term but also help position the content for several similar keywords. At the same time, it will be easier for the reader, who should be the main priority when writing web content anyway.
The density of keywords, which includes the number of times that the same keyword is repeated within a text with a certain volume of words, is estimated according to experts, and should be maintained in a range of between 2% and 4 %; that means between two and four mentions of the keyword for every 100 words of the text. However, this average can be even lower if the corresponding synonyms are used properly, so that the set of all those similar search terms will indicate to the search engine the relevance of the content for those who perform these searches. Of course, those of you using WordPress would benefit greatly from installing the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin.
Another factor that’s important to take into account is the distribution of these keywords since they must be located at regular or approximate distances throughout the content. It would be bad for a paragraph to contain the same keyword 4 times and then completely disappear in the following paragraphs. Use the keywords rationally and organize them throughout the content to demonstrate that the text as a whole is relevant and not just a part of it.
Also, use the main keywords in the first paragraph, the titles, highlighted in bold and use it in the names of image or video files. This, too, is very beneficial in terms of the search engine’s views of content relevance on a certain subject.