Keyword stuffing is a big “No No” for SEO, but with Google changing algorithm there is a loop hole. Now you can stuff keywords without being penalised by search engines. This technique is not Google certified, but it did work when we tried it. Before jumping on to the good stuff, let’s get our basics right.
What is keyword Stuffing?
The first thing that comes to mind when anyone talks about organic and paid search is, keyword. This is the fundamental block in organic and paid search. Over time the evolution of keyword has changed. Some call it search query or search term, while a digital marketing analyst calls it keyword and so on. Rule of thumb is that, pick the right keyword to generate traffic to your website and write content around it.
The writing content part is tricky and people tend to indirectly or directly stuff their content with keywords. Well keyword stuffing means unnaturally adding keywords in content so that Google ranks the content in search for these stuffed keywords. Many a times people write content and then decide on adding keywords so that the content ranks. Google can easily identify such techniques and penalized websites for following such methods.
Example of focus keyword (ALT Tags) in content:
Example of keyword stuffing in content:
This is content that is planned around the keyword ”ALT Tags”. Such techniques did work back when search engine had a native algorithm that worked on numbers. With newer and intelligent algorithms coming in place such as Panda, and Penguin, search engines can analyze such unusual keyword occurrences. This is just tip of the iceberg, there are multiple things that you should avoid to rank in SEO.
Keyword in Div Tag
This attribute is part of HTML and CSS language, and helps with differentiating sections in code. Many technical SEO professionals first think of Div tag to stuff their keywords. Well this is a good method but does not add much weight to your SEO.
How to do it : – <a href=”page2.html”><div class=”abcd” title=”Search Engine Tools”></div></a> This method will let Google know that Page 2 is about Search Engine Tools even though page 2 has no keywords with respect to search. Also, keyword density of the keyword “Search Engine Tools” in page 1 increases naturally.
Optimize for humans, not for search engines
Every page that has content should be optimized for relevant audience and not for search engines. This means your focus keyword should be placed any number of relevant times in the content that will be consumed by the audience. For example if you are targeting ” Google Analytics Metrics ” as a keyword, you can write this keyword 2% of the total content, and you can use the word “ Google “ 10% of the total content. This does not mean that search engines will think that your trying to stuff the keyword ” Google ” in your content.
The reason is that you are naturally including these terms “Google” and “Google Analytics Metrics” to suit the content consuming audience. This is a perfect way to stuff header keywords into your content, while focusing more on the long tail focus keywords. You can include more long tail “Google” keywords to further stuff without being penalized.
A good rule of thumb is to have only 5% of your links have exact match anchor text, otherwise you’ll get hit by penguin quickly. One more thing we realized is that, search engines compare the number of time your focus keyword occurs in content vs other websites. Example If majority of websites have focus keyword “Google” occurring 30% of their content, then you can increase density of that focus keyword to around 35-40% of the content.
URL and meta description are the main attributes for improving your click through rates. The most import way for internal pages to rank in search is to have a deep URL. Couple of structures that can be used for ranking in search are:
- If you have sections to the website, directory, categories then you can use something like keyword.com/keyword-products/keyword-keyword2-videos/product.php
- If your website structure much simpler without many sections then you can also use keyword.com/keyword-keyword2-videos/product.php or keyword1.com/keyword1-keyword2/keyword1.php
These are some ways to healthy stuffing of keywords into the URL. Search engines do not penalize websites for stuffing keywords into their URL structure.
Keyword Stuffing Detecting Tools:
Many a times we might go overboard while stuffing keywords into the content. For such an instance, there are multiple tools that are available for use. You can check the list of keyword stuffing tools here .
Another way to use these tools is to check what keywords will your content rank for. Based on this analysis, you can then figure out what keywords to be inserted in meta tags, description, and URL for creating SEO friendly content. I personally use SEOBook for doing this activity.
It is the amount you’ve spent running your ads so far. This is set by you in the Budget section of your ad sets. The term ‘spent today’ however means the amount spend on your ad set since 12 am today. If you set a daily budget for an ad set, you’ll see your progress towards the budget in the later term.
Arrange content in tabular format to friendly stuffing of keywords. I am not sure how effective this is, but it is worth a try, since most of education portals list their courses and universities that provide them. One more advantage of this is, every course can be linked to course pages. This will increase anchor texts. Find the below example :
This is a grey hat proven technique commonly used by ecommerce players. The best place to add keywords is in the footer. These keywords will now be written in every page. Content depth in every page will improve, while anchor texts can be used to redirect to their respective content pages. In the below image Chrysler dealership in Ontario has added information to the footer which looks like keyword stuffing, but search engines do not penalize for adding content in footer.
Over Optimization Can Cause Non-Relevancy
Google’s algorithm is now checking if two or more words together form a relevant term. For example, Turkey.com is ranking for thanksgiving. Turkey.com must have over optimized their thanksgiving campaigns due to which they are ranking for the keyword thanksgiving. Turkey and thanksgiving are related, and Google’s algorithm is now ranking turkey.com for thanksgiving. This is non-relevancy caused by over optimization.
Include Keyword In Alt Tag
ALT Tags are important to rank in the image search. This is an opportunity to add keyword variations in all the ALT Tags. This has two benefits, first all your images will show up in the image search for the focus keyword, secondly your keyword density on that page will increase.
Read our blog on Importance of ALT Tags
What not to do in SEO
Till now we have talked about all the techniques through which you can stuff several keywords without being hurt by search ranking. There are some techniques that are used by professionals that will cause long term problems in SEO.
Black -Hat SEO
These are techniques that are purely meant to capture the search engine bot’s interest, and not the user. Examples include over optimization of keywords. Typically, there is a limit of 10 header keywords that can be used in a piece of content. Increasing header keywords in content might get you traffic, but in long term the content goes into the category of non-relevancy.
With coding, you can add something known as invisible text, which is shown to search engine bots but not to users. Doorway pages for transferring users from highly ranked pages to non-relevant pages. Finally, page swapping, changing content of a page that is ranking well in search.
Many a time SEO professional try to add same content in multiple locations of the website, to optimize for a set of keywords. This will only cause search engines to lower your rank.
This is a method where you buy 5 to 10 websites and interlink them in such a way that every website gets a backlink from 9 other websites. This is a very intelligent way to trick search engines bots into considering your website as authoritative. In time search engines bots can figure this technique of yours.
What to expect from SEO ?
Search engine optimization is a game for long term assets. The results show up in time, and stays for a longer time. One of the biggest SEO mistakes people make is expecting immediate results from changes. When they don’t see any change, they quickly make changes to the website in panic. Indexing takes time.
Post submission of URL to Google, it’s taken 1-2 days for crawlers to crawl the webpage. When changes are made in an already indexed page, it takes more time for bots to recrawl. In the past I managed to get into Google News Feed, which means Google crawlers are constantly crawling (every few minutes) our site for content. But when we made changes in content, it would take at least 1-2 hours for it to reflect in the news feed. Finally, for short terms results On-page SEO is good, but for staying in the top you need to work on off-page/link building activities.