Editor’s note: The following is a guest post from Rachel Ankersen, our in-house SEO Analyst and author on BeyondtheSite.org
Howdy folks! I thought I would visit again and tackle another SEO jargon phrase: “keyword stuffing”. Keyword stuffing is exactly what it sounds like – stuffing a load of keywords on a webpage in an effort to rank higher for those words. And while it might sound like a clever little SEO tactic, it’s actually BAD for SEO.
Why is keyword stuffing a bad idea for SEO?
Well first of all, let’s consider things from the user perspective.
I’m a Google searcher looking for information online about “affordable braces” in my town – Mobile, Alabama. So I click on a Google search result that takes me to a page on the Dr. Soandso Orthodontics website. The first couple paragraphs read kind of funny:
I’m sure Dr. Soandso is assuming I won’t return to the search results…but he’s wrong. The content lacks substance and contains too many mentions of “affordable braces”. Even if he alternated the keywords with other similar keywords, it would still be kind of ridiculous. Dr. Soandso’s content contains keywords, but the page was obviously created more for search engines than his actual users. When you make decisions purely for website rankings and ignore your users, you’re not improving your SEO, you’re making things worse.
Secondly, keyword stuffing violates Google’s quality guidelines – guidelines that other search engines like Bing urge webmasters to follow as well. Google and other search engines are very picky about the kinds of web pages they want appearing in their search results, and they hate it when you try to artificially manipulate your rankings. In fact, if you try to stuff keywords into your website content like Dr. Soandso, you run a real risk of getting smacked with a search engine penalty – meaning low rankings for you. I love how Matt Cutts of Google explains the right and wrong way to use keywords on your website. So check it out and be sure to review Google’s guidelines on keyword stuffing.