Archive for January 8th, 2009

Keyword Density

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Back in the old days, keyword density played a large role in search engine optimisation. Repeating a keyword several times throughout an article in text, header tags and alt text was often enough to make a significant impact on your listings. As SEO and search engine technology has progressed, keyword density has become far less significant. But does this mean that you should ignore keyword density altogether?

Search engines have become much better at recognising “semantic fields” over the past few years. These are groups of words related to each other or connected by themes and topics. For example, if I write an article on swimming, then inclusion of words such as “water”, “pool” and “stroke” will signal that I am writing about a topic in depth, rather than simply keyword stuffing.

The best way to ensure that you include these phrases, is simply to write what comes naturally, focusing on quality of information rather than keywords. Write for people rather than search engines and you will likely find that you satisfy both.

Keyword density does still has some value. The simple fact is that you will be unlikely to get listed for a competitive term unless you have it included somewhere in your title, description and page content. Any article that discusses a keyword will naturally have instances of that word on page, but the density is now a much smaller part of the bigger picture.