What’s the word on Keyword Stuffing?
When you’re creating content to market your product or even just to buff up your site, you may feel that more keywords are better. You should use as many iterations of your core keywords as possible to have your platform make an impact on SERPs, right?
As it turns out, balance is the key to SEO success.
Search engine crawlers have been programmed to detect and penalize content that uses keyword stuffing.
That said, what is keyword stuffing—and how can you avoid it? (No, it’s not a delicious new Thanksgiving dish.)
1. Keyword Stuffing Basics
Keyword stuffing is the practice of filling your content with more keywords than sense. Instead of providing your audience with content that elaborates on the usefulness of your product, you use keywords to clutter up the content and make your work effectively unreadable.
After all, the more keywords you have on a page, the more likely it’ll rank high on SERPs, right?
It turns out, however, that keyword-detection algorithms are smart little things that can tell the difference between a piece of content with well-integrated keywords and content that’s been stuffed full of nonsense. Because the crawlers will mark keyword-stuffed content as spam, overusing keywords in your content may actually lower your SEO ranking significantly.
2. Identifying Keyword Stuffing
With that said, don’t worry: it’s difficult to keyword stuff a piece of content unintentionally. Content written with an algorithm in mind is fairly easy to detect even with a human eye. If a piece of content appears to just repeat long-tail keywords or other versions of essential terms over and over again, one after another, then you’ll know a piece of content was written with a bot, not a human audience, in mind.
What you may not be able to detect are invisible keywords—but search engine crawlers still see these. Phrases included in a spam-like, repetitive fashion in a page’s ALT or image text, as well as in the footers, headers, and other foundational elements of the content’s structure will all catch the attention—and the ire—of crawler bots.
3. Avoiding the Stuffing
Most creators who overstuff their content intend to attract the eyes of the search engine crawlers and earn a higher SERP ranking. Don’t worry—you can still accomplish this. How? By balancing the structure of your content.
Focus each piece of content on a singular keyword. This way, you’ll be able to create meaningful content without fluffing your content with too many phrases.
As you create more content, spread individual keywords out across your platform to avoid keyword cannibalism. This lets the crawlers know that you’re not only a platform free of spam, but you’re also an authoritative source in your field.
Resist the urge to go whole ham on your primary keyword and keyword phrases. Keyword stuffing does your platform more harm than good. Your SEO will be much more effective if you produce content that keeps quality and keyword balance at its core.
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image attribution: Jakub Jirsák – stock.adobe.com