“SEO” and “keyword density” may not be the sexiest terms, but you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t have at least a little interest in them, would you?
In SEO (search engine optimization) parlance, an online article’s “keyword density” is the concentration of keywords targeted by the writer. Some people believe the greater the keyword density, the better the chance of being found on the web through a search engine. Keyword density is one method used to court the top search engines into placing an article near the top of the SERP (search engine results page), since we all know the top listings on the first page of results are the only links likely to be clicked.
But this belief has created a lively debate among SEP (can you guess? search engine placement, of course) practitioners since no one really knows the exact density or mathematical formula required by search engines. Each search engine considers a different keyword density as optimal, and the rules seem to change as soon as you do figure them out. That said, SEO gurus tend to recommend a keyword density between three to five percent.
Some writers get so engrossed with keyword density their articles no longer appear intended for human consumption, but as mere search engine fodder. Obviously it is important to find harmony between keyword density and the readability of the article, but its easier said than done when an article asks a tricky keyword to blend into normal writing.
Adding to the confusion, some article directories consider keyword stuffing a method of spamming and could suspend the accounts of writers who tend to go overboard with keywords.
So what’s an article writer to do? It seems articles without a keyword density of at least one percent are doomed to live in the lonely and grey world of irrelevancy. After all, how is a search engine to know what your article is about without a few choice keywords?
The general consensus these days is to forget about keyword density and go for a natural writing style. After all with SEO rules changing almost daily, an article’s keyword density could be obsolete by the time its published.
It seems a practical solution is to focus on the article title, where keywords tell the reader and the search engines what is being covered.
And do you really want a bunch of customers who count your keywords before they’ll read your articles?