Whenever browsing SEO forums, it is not uncommon to see threads dedicated to “techniques” built around manipulating search engine results. Recently, I posted on this blog about how SEO techniques, if used incorrectly, can actually harm your search engine results. I am not talking about getting “slapped” by the search engines for using “black hat” or “spamming” methodologies, I am talking about “white hat” techniques used incorrectly. What?!? White hat techniques used incorrectly?!? Is that possible? Sure it is.
I am actually thinking about writing a series of articles that hopefully debunk a variety of myths concerning SEO techniques that have long been used and considered “white hat”, but, in actuality, do absolutely nothing to help the search engines determine what your page is about or give your visitors what they need, that being relevant information.
So, for my first installment in this series, I will discuss one thing that I have personally done in the past that does not work and makes your copy of very poor quality for your readers and that is keyword stuffing.
Keyword stuffing can be done in four places when performing on-site SEO:
1) In the Title Tag
2) In the Meta Description
3) In the Page Copy
4) In Links between pages.
In short, why does keyword stuffing reduce the quality of your content? Simple, the more you stuff keywords, the more you have to compensate for odd wording and the less informative your information becomes. Sometimes, people “bold” their keywords. This is even worse and it screams a lack of professionalism.
As mentioned in the post linked to in the beginning of this post, the bounce rate then goes up and search engines most assuredly make note of this.
Now, the answer becomes clear as to why giving Google and other search engines what they want, that being relative and original content, is in your best interests. It is because that is what people want and if search engines make note of the fact that people like your content, then they are more likely to serve it to them. After all, they are in the information business. They find information and couple it with individuals looking for it.
SE algorithms have become extremely adept at monitoring human behavioral tendencies. That being said, all of the “white hat”, on-site and off-site SEO in the world will not cover over the fact that visitors leave your site as fast as they can because they do not find relative information about the keywords they searched.
That being said, it is in your best interest, as a webmaster, to make your all of you copy relevant to your actual topic. This entails using keywords that your page is actually about as opposed to what you want it to be about (meaning similar keywords with higher traffic levels) in the following areas:
1) An accurate Page Title
2) A relative Meta Description
3) Informative Page Copy
4) Internal linking using Accurate Anchor Text
Avoid misguided, irrelevant keyword stuffing in these areas. This is an SEO technique that is not SEO, it is SPAM. After all, in reality, your keyword may appear in your title and description once. It then may appear in you page copy once or twice. After that, the rest of the information is about the keyword/topic. So that means, you guessed it, the keyword is not used.
Keeping this in mind will help you to write natural, original content for humans, not search engines.