What Are The Dangers of SEO Keyword Stuffing?
Every copywriter, blogger and eCommerce business owner is familiar with the term ‘keywords’. These are those magical words that, if used strategically, could elevate your page ranking to impressive heights, the best of which is being number one on Google’s results page.
The problem is that ranking for lucrative and most popular keywords is not easy. That is why some unscrupulous copywriters and content creators came up with creative ways to game the system. Hence the shameful art of ‘keyword stuffing’.
What is keyword stuffing?
Simply put, keyword stuffing is the art of cramming as many SEO keywords onto the pages of your platform (website or blog) in an attempt to manipulate its eventual ranking on search engine results pages.
You see, keywords are any terms that are typically used by internet surfers to find what they want online. By using your selected and most popular keywords strategically, you can quite literally direct almost all organic searches targeted at those keywords towards your website. This is something that internet marketers used to do a few years back. It actually worked back then until Google and other search engines realized that it was happening and decided to put an end to it.
In fact, most sophisticated content marketers were so good at keyword stuffing that they could hide even unrelated keywords in the background by matching their text color to the color of their platform’s background. This way, when search engine bots crawled those platforms, they found those keywords and directed all organic searches, related or otherwise, towards that platform.
Unfortunately, some copywriters were just blatantly obnoxious about this and simply plugged unrelated keywords into their text without shame. You can see how reading a sentence about ‘app development’ would come off as annoying when it was riddled with weirdly placed phrases such as ‘weight loss’ or ‘successful coding tips’ in places that did not fit.
Different ways of keyword stuffing
There are three main ways to keyword stuff:
- Cramming: Placing an unnatural number of keywords in one sentence without thinking about the flow and readability of the sentence in question.
- Repetition: This is when the keyword is used in almost every sentence within the article.
- Source code keyword stuffing: Brilliant programmers came up with ways to hide these keywords in the source code. After all, the blog readers would not see them, so what’s the harm? Turns out, search engine bots and spiders can read them and they do not like it one bit.
Why keyword stuffing is bad for your website
It negatively affects user experience
Google is all about positive user experience. Anything that interferes with that, such as keyword stuffing, is going to get penalized. Look at this statement for example:
- Diamond engagement rings are the best thing to give your fiancé. Diamond engagement rings will make her happy because diamond engagement rings are beautiful and diamond engagement rings last forever just as diamond engagement rings declare your love.
Doesn’t that sentence give you a headache? Not only is it disjointed and repetitive, but it adds no value to your life whatsoever. This is what Google does not want. By keyword stuffing, you website will get demoted in rank, if not banned entirely.
Leads to decreased user engagement
Savvy users will not stand for substandard service or platforms. Once they find that some of blog articles do not make that much sense, they will immediately dismiss your entire platform and brand.
The text looks disorganized, spammy and unreadable
The whole point of content creation and marketing is to provide value by creating quality and relevant material for your users to read. Once this stops happening, then every bit of text or content you produce online ceases to make any logical sense. Keyword stuffed sentences and articles look disorganized and not well-thought out. This makes them unreadable.
Search engines will penalize you
As if losing your readers and potential customers is not bad enough, when Google catches you keyword stuffing, and they will catch you, they will severely penalize you. This is almost as bad as plagiarizing on your end year project in college. Not only will you fail that class, but you might even get expelled from school. The same thing happens with search engines. You will get demoted in terms of page ranking and in severe cases, get banned. In short, you will achieve the exact opposite of what you wanted to achieve in the first place.
Safe ways to use keywords
The sad fact is that you really do not have to go through all this trouble and risk your brand reputation on trying to game the system. There are safe and effective ways that you can actually use keywords to your advantage.
- Make your keywords only 2-5% of the entire article. Experts say that this is the safe keyword density threshold.
- Vary the keywords. Instead of using the same keyword over and over, you can create or find long-tail variations that pretty much translate to the same thing without sounding like the same thing. Not only is this safe as far as search engines are concerned, but it also widens the breadth of potential organic internet traffic that you will capture. Mostly because people phrase things differently. You can use any one of these SEO Tools to find excellent keyword long-tails.
- Use synonyms. As a search engine, Google is very smart. It has an excellent database index for synonyms that helps it differentiate between the meanings of similar words. You can make use of synonyms to pass your message across instead of keyword stuffing. We can guarantee that Google will know the difference.
Instead of risking all those hours you put into coming up with your eCommerce idea, building a website and filling it with content by keyword stuffing, why not just do the right thing? Strive to provide your readers with value by posting content that not only flows, but is also relevant and enjoyable to read. This is why smart business owners hire website content service providers.