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When I find “interesting” forum threads, I do like to bring them to attention every once in a while. This thread at WPW is one of those. I invite you to read it, and the article I received, as promised, for yourself.

Dave

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Any webmaster or small business owner that has gone for a ride on the up-and-down rollercoaster of Internet marketing has their own opinion about what does and doesn’t work. To complicate matters, the world of effective search engine optimization is constantly in flux. In a few months the goldmine strategy you perfected today could be worthless. That’s why it’s so crucial to stay current with the latest trends, while also falling back on tried and true principles that remain best practices.

In recent years there has been a great deal of backlash against the term keyword density as it relates to one’s success in the make-or-break struggle to get a first page ranking with the Big G. The incipient tidal wave of criticism is not without cause. A flood of websites were produced – and are still produced – with little more than SPAM content, stuffed to the brim with the keyword phrase de jour filling every crevice and cranny.

Not only does this make your page’s content unreadable to any visitor that dare click on a link to head in your direction, but it also alerts the search engine spiders that your site is essentially worthless. Goodbye first page ranking, and if you’re not careful, goodbye to even being indexed at all.

Knowing this, how can I be so temerarious as to suggest that anyone needs keyword density to improve their website’s online presence? Perhaps it’s nothing more than a change of perspective that’s needed in order to figure this mess out once and for all.

Straight from the horse’s mouth in Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide Version 1.1, the Big G lets us know that, “Designing your site around your visitors’ needs while making sure your site is easily accessible to search engines usually produces positive results.”

Google directly states that, “using a good mix of keyword phrases” would produce “positive” results. The Big G continues with a warning to avoid, “Inserting numerous unnecessary keywords aimed at search engines but [which] are annoying or nonsensical to users.” Fair enough, but this isn’t something the perspicacious webmaster cannot handle.

So what’s a level of natural inclusion that will produce positive results and keep you from getting SPAM stamped across your site’s forehead? If you wanted to include a three word key phrase into a 600 word article at a density of 2%, you’re only using the phrase four times spread across an entire page. It might be hard to use your phrase any less depending on what you’re talking about.

Now, 2% isn’t the precise keyword density that will unlock the door to a gush of traffic and profit for your website… but that’s the point. Using a phrase a few times less or a few times more likely won’t shift your results too far in either direction.

So instead of worrying about exact keyword densities that hold the magic cure-all for ranking highly in Google or any other search engine, you should focus on ensuring natural inclusion. Talk about your topic naturally and the keywords you want to align yourself with in the SERPS will find their place.

I wouldn’t think that there would be any argument that keywords should be included in some form on your page’s content even without reading it directly from the pages of Google’s published SEO guide. The challenging aspect of following Google’s guidelines to produce results is that there is often only a fine line between “using a good mix of keyword phrases” and “inserting numerous unnecessary keywords.”

The Big G is a sanguinary beast, always looking for a bit of food to feed on from your website in order to align it with whatever market or niche you are going after. So I say go ahead and use keywords in your page’s content without taking unnecessary or obligatory steps to reach a particular and pre-targeted keyword density. Feed the beast, just don’t stuff it.

Oh, and I’ll let you figure out for yourself which phrase was used in this article five times in about 690 words. I wasn’t trying to reach a keyword density- but through natural inclusion I did precisely that.

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2 Comments

  1. William Cross on the 22. Jun, 2009 remarked #

    The writer seems to not know what the phrase “keyword density” actually means to an SEO or a search engine. It means a ‘calculated’ number a webmaster strives for to please a search algo. Meaning the webmaster has to actually be trying for a certain %, which is never the case in a naturally written page. The keyword in this is ‘strives’. It is a calculated move to use just to many instances of a keyword, no more, no less, that is simply not natural.

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