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Keyword Stuffing: definition and why you should avoid it

Marketing y Comunicación | Artículo
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  • May 2022
_ESIC Business & Marketing School

_ESIC Business & Marketing School

ESIC Business & Marketing School.

Keyword Stuffing: definition and why you should avoid it 

You've probably googled the definition of keyword stuffing and got here because you were struck by the analogy of this term with the typical nagging person in your gang or group.  

Perfect! Let me tell you briefly what this SEO practice is and why, like that person, you should end up avoiding it.

What is keyword stuffing?  

Like any marketing term, it seems to sound better and more complex in English, but I will explain what this obsolete SEO practice is and why you should stop using it. 

The definition of keyword stuffing is to use the same term multiple times within the same text to allow Google to see that your content should position for it, because a priori the user is going to find a lot of information about that particular term he has searched for. 

Does repeating words still work in SEO today? 

Believe it or not... yes, but Google is trying harder every day to make sure that keyword stuffing doesn't work as much as it did in the past.  

Roughly since 2011, with the algorithm update (Panda), this SEO practice has been becoming a negative thing for a web project; however, you can still find overoptimized content in the first Google results for certain keywords that make you doubt that keyword stuffing does not work in absolute terms.  

Anyway, stay with me a bit longer: we'll go deeper into all this and why I personally don't recommend you do it with your content. 

Keyword stuffing, Google and the tiresome person in your group 

Imagine that today you are on the couch at home and a notification rings on your cell phone. It's your colleague Juan or Marta in the friend group asking if you'd like to meet up next week, you haven't seen each other for a long time and it would be great to catch up. 

Immediately, in parallel, you start getting private messages from the members of the WhatsApp group, asking if you are going to go, because if only X person goes, they don't want to meet up, since they are always talking about the same thing, always. He continually gets any topic to end up revolving around his ex, his new flirt, the gym or cars. 

Why do you think this person is increasingly avoided at the gatherings? At first, it was amusing and it was even interesting to hear that he had joined the gym, but eventually it ends up being annoying and does not add much to the get-together. 

It's exactly the same with keyword stuffing. Google may give it some relevance in its search results, but sooner rather than later, texts with much more semantic variety and better SEO practices (internal linking, loading speeds and so on) will mean that content that abuses the use of a certain keyword will not end up working as in the past. 

How to know if my content is keyword stuffing 

I once had a friend and boss who kept telling me: "If you read the content and detect which keyword you are trying to position... you have over-optimized that term". 

Remember that when you create content, even if you do it with the aim of positioning it in Google, you are writing for people, to provide them with value and make them take you into account as a reference. 

When you generate a text, do not upload it directly to the web; try to have it read by several people (colleagues in the marketing agency, in the company or even your friends). Ask them what they think of it and get their opinion. If they tell you that it sounds too forced... you will have to give it a second thought and probably a rewrite. 

Keyword stuffing and keyword density 

There are many professionals or even programs (plugins) that talk about keyword density: an average between the number of words your content has in relation to the keyword you want to rank for. 

What is the right density when writing SEO content?  

There is no right or wrong number or percentage. Think about the example of the annoying person in your group: how many times did he or she have to tell you about his or her ex or that he or she joined the gym to make you not want to meet up with him or her?  

There is no exact number, but if it is something that happens on a recurring basis, you will gradually stop meeting up to see each other (in Google results). 

English, Spanish or any language tends to be rich in synonyms. Use them to give semantic variety to your content. It is not the same for that person to talk to you all the time about his ex than to talk about love or couples in general (...even if he ends up mentioning it again). 

In this article I wrote some time ago, a guide to choose a master's degree, you will see that I try to give variety to the term to be positioned. I not only use the word master's degree, but also postgraduate, face-to-face masters, blended or online training, etc. 

I try to make the user see throughout the course of more than 2,000 words, why my guide is a good content to take into account. Do I use a bit of keyword stuffing? Maybe... SEOs always have to review the content created briefly because we go overboard and we must, as I said before, use different synonyms or even "chop up" the content to use it in other areas/posts/pages of the web and give it its own positioning. 

Did the guide to choose a master's degree work? Check it out and Google the position I'm in  

Anyway, it is also good practice to monitor on SEO continuously to see if it is still working or not. 

However, it is also good practice to monitor SEO continuously to see if it is still working or not. 

Try not to be the annoying one in the group and don't over-optimize content. 

So, now you know: don't be the group's hotshot, don't always monopolize the conversation with the same anecdote about your wedding video, your paddle tennis games, the same play, etc. 

Listen to your friends, always provide them with valuable content and, in addition to your opinion, there are many other variables for which it is always great to have your content. 

This way you will always be in the top 10 for your friends' searches... and users ;)

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