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Keyword Density Is A Waste Of Your Time - Ignore It, And Go Far.

By Edited Jan 17, 2014 5 19

Above Everything Else, Google Hates Being Manipulated.

If you focus on keyword density - you are attempting to manipulate Google.

Just last week in the question and answers section of hubpages a young man was asking questions because he'd had some very high page rank articles, and instead of creating more articles, he'd decided to make his already published and succesful ones match some predetermined keyword density that he'd thought would improve them.

All of his pages vanished from the search engines as soon as he'd achieved his ultimate search engine optimization goal of whatever the silly keyword density formula was that he'd decided to use.

Now I felt badly for the guy.  I honestly felt badly for him.  I did, however, have to break the news to him - he got slapped, he got the big hand of Google slapped right across his internet face.  Honestly, he deserved it too.  Its just like seeing someone who is already rich get greedy, and act like old Ebenezer Scrooge.  What a lot of work that must have been!!!  rewriting your own work to match some fake internet guru's keyword density recommendations - that has to be about the most boring thing one could possibly do.  It actually sounds like some cruel form of punishment in some outer ring of Dante's Hell.

 I'm pretty impressed and well pleased with the function and formatting here at Info Barrel, and I like the way I always see the module over to the right in "create" mode that says whether or not there are any keyword density problems.  That is a good and handy little thing they've made for all of us, and I'm absolutely joyous that it doesn't tell me what my keyword density actually is.

It is my opinion that focusing on keyword density is the dumbest thing you could be doing as an online writer, and that it should be avoided altogether...completely.

Please do note here that we are discusing keyword DENSITY, and not keywords.  Keywords are useful, keyword density is useless.

I Am A Google Sandbox Veteran.

Here is what happened to me.

Over on Hubpages where I started and learned most of what I know about creating successful online content I used to use an rss feed capsule at the bottom of every single last thing I published there.  Now, rss feeds are great things - but the problem seemed to be that having the same rss feed for my latest hubs at the bottom of every single last hubpage...was that it was in effect, duplicate content.

It was more than that - the rss feed capsules were also clearly a game, a manipulation, and meant entirely to fool Google into the notion that every hubpage with one was "fresh content" as soon as the next hub was published.  You see, every time someone published something new - the rss feed capsules would update on every hubpage that had one - this was a dishonest form of trickery, and a manipulation of Google's search engine, and Google caught onto the game too.

Soon as everyone realized that they were being penalized by Google for having duplicate content via the same rss feed capsules on every one of their hubpages, one of the wiser web writers on the site, and he is here on this one too, and others - published a thing about how the best thing to do would be to just delete all the rss feed capsules on hubpages.  I read his advice, and I took his advice.  I stayed up pretty late one night doing the boring as hell mechanical editing and deletion of all ,close to three hundred, rss feed capsules.

Obviously, for the next couple days my traffic soared!!!!  Of course deleting those big chunks of content from every last page in my subdomain TRULY made everything "fresh content."

But Google apparently thought that I'd done that to manipulate them too, and soon my Hubpages subdomain was sandboxed.

Do I think I deserved to be sandboxed for my actions?  Well no I do not, but you can well bet that I learned a bit about how Google "thinks" about such things.  I'm beyond convinced they saw my actions as manipulation, and they slapped the hell out of my hubpages subdomain for it.  The fact that I'd removed all my rss feed capsules to NOT be manipulating Google, or seeming to be manipulating Google - is beside the point, and all of that business is in the past.  I'm beyond recovered on hubpages, and I'm now good for over twice the daily traffic there that I was before my trip to the very real Google sandbox.

Google Is NOT Evil - Google Is The World's Finest Search Engine

Don't Mess With Google - And Google Won't Mess With You!

Don't Mess With Google.

Providing The World's Best Search Results Pages - And Striving To Always Do JUST THAT.

Now please don't think that I totally endorse all things Google.  I do not, and I've got some issues with them - just like everyone else in the business of online writing does.  Facts are facts - Google is huge, and I simply DO trust that they're honest so far as their stated goals are concerned regarding their famous search engine.  They only want to provide the best possible results for any given search terms entered into their search engine.  Yes, I really believe that.  No, they are not perfect.

Google continually updates their search engine's algorithm, and anyone that doubts this is truly clueless.  Google continually penalizes anyone that they see or think is manipulating them, or trying to manipulate them in any way.

While keywords will always be a big part of on page search engine optimization - natural writing is what readers like.  What readers like is what Google wants to provide, and keyword density is a dark ages concept of on page search engine optimization that you'd best damn well forget about.


You've been warned.



Mar 22, 2012 5:07pm

Ideally, this should discourauge a lot of bohunks from crusty material spun out of one piece into several hundred, all equally useless, of questionable quality, and definitely of dubious merit.

I'm sure as you pointed out there is some happy medium, but overloading an article to make it denser in search criteria is painful to read, excruciating, actually, and when I come across crapola like that, I move on quickly. (Maked me want to take a doody in their 'sandbox'). Big ol' non-keyword dense thumb!
Mar 22, 2012 5:14pm
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

I agree!!! Here is what really got me thinking about this...I'd wrote a hubpage about the Kodiak Bear, well, in that article the word "Kodiak" got used ..a hell of a lot.

I wasn't trying to flood the boat, of course - but when talking about a Kodiak bear, you also have to talk a LOT about the Kodiak archipelago...so the word "Kodiak"...its just in there a hell of a lot.

So I worried about it for a few days...but then I realized that Google was now smarter than that, and they know when someone is being shitty with the keywords, and when someone isn't. They can tell this EXACTLY because of reader behaviour.

Keyword density is the bunkest of the bunk!!! Readers are always the best critic, and the only person we are trying to please.

If someone is trying to trick a search engine...their writing is going to SUCK!
Mar 22, 2012 5:19pm
I am so glad that this is the case actually because my density by pure accident is hardly ever above 1.75. I would like to hope I have a chance if I just concentrate on writing itself, as all the SEO study just eats away at your time and then the rules change anyway!
Really helpful for people who are entering and trying to fight with their mind on where they need to put their efforts.
Mar 22, 2012 8:10pm
SEO studies are pretty worthless when the subject is something like keyword density.

The best advice I ever saw was when someone said that the thing to do was to read your articles out loud, and if when you did that and they sounded like un natural speech - that you'd clearly write it wrong!!!!!

Keywords are important...but I don't recommend researching them at all. I only think that on page layout is important, i.e., is something visually appealing? - and I also think that titling your text, image, and video capsules with the right keywords is important.

Other than that....if you aren't writing for you and your reader, then you MUST be writing for search engines, and then ...you lose your reader.
Mar 22, 2012 5:56pm
What always amuse me is that when I'm setting up an article, title, URL, with no text or maybe just a header, when I close it, I get the warning it's over the acceptable levels! (Of course there's no harm there-- it goes to draft, but it's still funny). I've never had an article rejected for any reason, period, and certainly not for density issues. I think one could get bagged and tagged (I remember recently a guy was writing about “brown rice” and had to come up with alternatives to the phrase, because, like the Kodiak bear, it was gonna be there). Creativity helps, a lot.
Mar 22, 2012 8:13pm
Oh man - I remember once reading something somewhere about the snow leopard.

The author used the exact term "endangered snow leopard" EVERY SINGLE TIME...I mean, it was ugly, and awful.

I had to leave a comment to tell her that she'd make a great article.....but that she was not going to get what she'd wanted by using that same term over and over and over again.

Google is a lot of things - but it ain't stupid!!!!

This keyword density thing - it might actually work really well sometimes, but it isn't going to work in the long term.
Mar 22, 2012 6:41pm
Keyword stuffing will kill you every time. Article is a good reality check.
Mar 22, 2012 8:15pm
Thanks very much Jade Dragon!!!

I'm banking on being right about it. Whenever I do figure out that I've screwed something up - I get much smarter one way or another.

But holy smoke!!! How boring could something be??? I could never sit around and look at keyword density things - and write that way, trying to match some percentage.
Mar 22, 2012 7:03pm
I don't know anything about this....I just write and I hate reading contrived stuff and so I don't.
Good article though.
Mar 22, 2012 8:16pm
Well - you know about all that you need to know about it then!!!! Just forget you ever heard the phrase, or if you see someone talking about how you gotta be within some certain keyword density range - trust me, they have no clue what they are talking about.
Mar 22, 2012 9:39pm
Amazing post! I've been trying to tell people the same thing for ages (although I'd never thought about that RSS thing! Such a good point!). Readable content is what people are looking for and with all the changes that Google is making that is exactly what is going to last and what is going to be found first in their search engine. And I have no problem with that!
Mar 22, 2012 10:03pm
Thanks very much!!! Of course I agree entirely!!!

Mechanical looking Wikipedia rewrites and dry reviews of things go nowhere, really - and if they have in the past - they won't in the future.

Personal tales concerning things are what matter - its why I've never chased keywords, and refuse to. I can't feign enthusiasm for something I haven't owned or have no experience with...
Apr 11, 2012 11:54pm
Phew, it took quite some doing to follow you over from HubPages in order to comment that this is an awesome article! Keyword stuffing is so awkward and disengenuous - in the long run people can see right through the stilted, awkward wording. If you write from your heart the cream will rise to the top.
Apr 12, 2012 12:15am
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! THANKS FOR THAT EFFORT!!!!!!!!!!! WELCOME TO INFOBARREL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE Hubpages....but the staff at hubpages, OH MY GOD! Some of those folks do not like me, and they do some really stupid and childish things to show it.

The removed THREE of my accolades from my profile recently because of things I'd said about president Obama in the silly forums.

Keyword density??? Holy smoke - I'd rather watch paint dry or grass grow than think about or try to make things match some stupid keyword ratio!!!!!!!!!!!
Apr 12, 2012 12:31am
Actually, my husband and I got a big kick out of one of your Obama comments involving bodily fluids, shall we say. I can't believe they would remove your accolades. Keep doing what you're doing - you are appreciated!
Apr 12, 2012 12:36am
THAT would be the EXACT comment I'm talking about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you VERY VERY Much!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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