Digital Marketing Solutions - Content Vs Keyword Stuffing

Posted by Hillary Lyons

21 August

When building out a website or adding content, it can be tempting to simply input your keywords as many times as possible, in the hope that you will improve your Google (or other search engine) ranking.

How Content can help meet Marketing Objectives... and Keyword Stuffing doesn't

It’s best to resist that temptation though, and for a number of reasons.

First, let’s take a look at Google’s definition of keyword stuffing:

‘Keyword stuffing’ refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site's ranking in Google search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or group, or out of context (not as natural prose).’

Google also recommends creating rich content that will benefit and inform searchers, only using keywords where appropriate, in order to avoid harming your website ranking.

History of Keyword StuffingID-10088341

As a practice in its infancy, keyword stuffing was the way to go. Sites would often have keywords on their pages the same colour as the background, or simply repeat their keywords a mind numbing amount.  

Example: ‘We’ve got lots of cheap kids shoes on sale, so for the best quality cheap kids shoes look no further. We specialise in cheap kids shoes and have a large selection in cheap kids shoes.’

This practice led to badly designed site pages with no real content and often to bad user experience - the very opposite of what your goals as a content writer should be. In response, Google and other search engines developed methods of detecting and penalising sites that litter pages with keywords, with no real content to offer.

Consequences of Keyword Stuffing

Google’s legitimacy and prominence are derived in no small part from the relevancy of their search results. If they find a site keyword stuffing and not offering any real content, they reserve the right to lower the site in their rankings, or remove it completely from search results.

Your site also runs the risk of being listed as a spam site. This can make it very difficult to rank for keywords, unless dramatic changes are made to your content. After you have made the dramatic changes, it would be in your best interest to submit your URL to the search engines so that their spiders can crawl your website.

Keyword Best Practices

Keeping your site optimised for both search engines and the people entering the search terms is vital.

You don’t want to over stuff with keyword, but you need just enough to ensure that you rank for the most relevant ones.

Here are some of our keyword best practices:

  1. Content is King

Publishing content on a regular basis will ensure that both Google spiders and people will continue to come back to your site. The content you create should be of value to your target audience, and offer them information. Content can be anything from a blog, to a video, infographic or ebook. As long as your website has content that is useful and relevant to your keywords, your rankings should improve.

  1. Use variations

Google’s search engine is particularly intuitive. It can differentiate between homonyms, like bass - it can tell, by referencing the other words in the site, whether that site focuses on fish, or instruments. Using variations of your keywords will therefore help Google to index your site more efficiently, leading to higher rankings.  

  1. Long tail keywords

Long tail keywords are essentially phrases of 3 - 4 words, versus short tail keywords, which tend to be only 2 - 3 words. Because of the high amount of competition between sites, it is beneficial to use long tail keywords to attract a targeted audience. This ensures that your audience are more likely to be interested in your content, providing that the content you supply is relevant to your keywords.

When in doubt, keep keywords relevant to your site, include them in images, headlines, URLs, as well as text and ensure that your content is informative.

To get a Better understanding of Keyword Research and Search Engine Optimisation and the Best Blogs for SEO 

Or have a quick read of home Google+ can improve your Search Engine Optimisation and in turn your website ranking. 

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Topics: Keyword Research


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