What Is Keyword Stuffing?

Extreme keyword repetition is not the best SEO optimization solution and may harm your business in the short or long term. Search engines have learned to recognize this method of ranking manipulation and, in extreme cases, punish it. So, what does keyword stuffing exactly mean and why is it better to avoid it when you want your site to hit the tops of Google search ranks? Here’s an explanation.

The definition of keyword stuffing

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If you’re wondering what is keyword stuffing, you should know that it is an unethical method of improving the visibility of a website, classified as a Black Hat SEO practice. It consists in stuffing the keywords artificially and excessively in the content and code on the website, repeating the ones that are most suited to the positioned address. A common practice is to mark them with a different color (usually white) or to introduce Tooltips – comments that appear when you hover the cursor over the selected element.

In order to rank websites higher in search results, drive organic traffic and attract customers, it is important to know these differences. On the other hand, the best practice is to select a partner agency to fulfill your business needs. Try to choose one of the Top Local SEO Agencies we’ve discovered.

Keyword stuffing examples

Keyword stuffing can be divided into the one made in the content of an article, alt descriptions of photos, meta subpage data, or into machines built only for sucking up keywords and building artificial pages. It often occurs in page tagging, as well. We can find it by paying attention to cases like the unnecessary repetition of keywords, repeating phrases by using a very large number of synonyms or adding words that don’t correspond with the context of a subpage or an article.

In Content Quality Guidelines Google states what particular activities of keyword stuffing can be punished by decreasing your website’s ranks. These are e.g. lists of telephone numbers that don’t contain significant additional content, text blocks with lists of cities and provinces in which the website is to be ranked high and repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural.

A more sophisticated, but equally undesirable, SEO technique in the past was to stuff additional keywords and then hide the text for users. This action is e.g. white text on a white background.

How to avoid keyword stuffing?

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It may be tempting to force keywords into a website if you desperately want to rank on the first search results page.

But if you listen to a professional SEO agency like Rank Higher Agency, and keep the following rules in mind, you’ll have more success than if you were to employ the black-hat SEO tactic:

  • Analysis of keywords in the text
  • Don’t cram in meta tags
  • Remember about pictures and alternative attributes
  • The URL address should be readable and thematic
  • Include semantic expressions and natural-sounding links in paragraphs,
  • Use more HTML headings
  • All lists and bulleted areas should be diversified in content

Bitter consequences of keyword stuffing

Not following Google’s webmaster guidelines, may cost you one of the anti-spam filters that lower the page’s position, usually in the entire search engine. In extreme cases, the domain is completely excluded from the search engine. That’s why analysis in terms of keyword stuffing should include a proper SEO audit and search for the causes of drops, especially in the case of suspecting filters.