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  • SEO TIPS: Keyword Density Expectations

    google-over-optmization-penalty Do you know the ins and outs of keyword density under the latest Google algorithm changes and guidelines?  If not, or even if you think you do, it is always worth brushing up on what the current standards are. The fact is. if you play around with keyword density and go too high you will pay an equally steep price. This is a case where less is often more – if it is done correctly.

    Here are the important points about proper keyword density you need to commit to memory and practice. An ideal keyword density for a single keyword is 1-2% – in other words, a keyword used once or twice for every 100 words of text. When using longer keyword phrases, extend the parameters a little. When a higher keyword density is required, using a primary keyword phrase and two to four secondary keywords or phrases is ideal.

    If you go with the above mentioned strategy, this can bring your keyword density up to 5-10% – which, if you have a REALLY GOOD copywriter, is still coherent and readable. The key is that you have to remain aware that you are writing for people and the indexing spiders – not just the spiders. the days of incoherent keyword packed copy are long gone. Googlebot catches it and trashes it.

    Next, keep in mind that keyword analyzer tools attempt to calculate the keyword density in the way search engines do… in other words, they do not take into consideration most words that are three characters or less and also omit what are called stop words. What this means for you is that you have to reconcile density with not only the keyword density analyzers, but a basic word count tool as well.

    Frequently used words such as ‘a’, ‘and’, ‘the’, ‘at’, ‘but’, etc., are considered as stop words. Each search engines will have a standard list of stop words, which they omit while indexing the web pages. If you fail to take this into account when formulating keyword phrases and when creating cntent you’re going to have a rough time. You don’t have to have content that reads poorly for the sake of hitting your desired optimal keyword density. There is a balance that an experienced SEO copywriter can deliver in this area.

    Some webmasters calculate keyword density by removing all stop words and words less than 3 characters long from their main text, then calculating density based on the remainder – which could mean you have 15 keywords in a remaining text of only 250 words, which is very high %. Most, however, use the simpler method of simply going by the number of times a keyword is used per hundred words. Therefore some webmasters 20% density might only be a 2-3% density according to another.

    The goal is to maintain a keyword density that works for you while still having a natural flow to the text. The readability of your content should not be stilted in any way. You need to create content that is professionally developed if you want to be taken seriously. Many webmasters are tempted or told by ‘gurus’ that they can compromise on the quality of website’s content and that the right keyword density is more important than quality. Those people are could page 4 dwellers where no one bothers to search unless they are beyond desperate.


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