The magic keyword density in SEO

Posted on June 8, 2010


In the early days of search engine optimisation, it was theorised that there was a perfect keyword density to be aimed for. The search engines had a magic number, it was thought. If SEO pros could just figure out what that number was, they figured they would have the key to search engine success.

It all sounded too good to be true, and it was. Even when the search engines were a lot less sophisticated than they are now, they were never that straightforward. Lots of search engine optimisation experts wasted their time needlessly trying to balance their SEO for certain percentages of keywords.

Keyword density theories are mostly dead these days. It’s not even a question of keyword stuffing any more. At first, keyword density formulas were trashed because they often pushed keyword numbers too high, ending in a keyword-stuffed page that was difficult to read and made little sense. These days, there is still a danger of a site being stuffed with too many keywords, although most smart site owners know that content needs to be readable.

Keyword density is not a factor you should worry about too much. There are other important SEO factors your time will be better spent on. If there is an ideal density of keywords in content, no-one knows what it is. The search engines are leaning away from keywords as a guiding element of ranking calculations. For quite some time now, the keywords on your page have been just one small part of what goes into your ranking. A lot of the things that the search engines study nowadays are related to your website’s credibility and your existing popularity.

Don’t think so literally with SEO – keywords are only a small part of a website’s success.

  • judith says:

    I think it should be about 3%.

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