Keyword stuffing – why it doesn’t work and alternatives

A photo of a jumbled pile of type blocks representing keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is everywhere on the web. Ever seen a web page that’s ram packed with lists like “Electrician in Liverpool”, “Electrician in Merseyside”, “Electrician in St Helens”, etc.? You’ll normally notice that the lists contain very similar terms that the website owner is hoping Google will pick up on so that they rank higher in the search rankings for them. That’s “keyword stuffing” and it doesn’t work.

Another common way of trying to stuff keywords is like this: “We are an electrician in Merseyside. We are proud to be a reliable electrician in Merseyside. If you need a reliable electrician in Merseyside then contact us at reliable.electrician.in.merseyside@blahblah.com”

Keyword Stuffing Definition

Put simply, if your website displays lists of words or phrases that have no relevance to the content then that’s keyword stuffing. Google defines keyword stuffing as “the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results”. You can find Google’s full keyword stuffing definition here.

Does it do any harm?

Yes. From a usability perspective, it’s really not a great experience for your visitors. They’re at your website trying to find information about your business and instead end up faced with reams and reams of strange lists that get in the way of what they’re trying to do.

Google caught on to this practice years ago and will now penalise sites that are seen to be doing this to “game” the system. If you’ve done this, you’re almost certainly trying to push your way higher in the search rankings. By doing this, you could end up being slapped with a manual action by Google which means that your website will rank much lower down or possibly could be removed completely.

What should I do instead of keyword stuffing?

Content is king. Don’t repeat the same keywords over and over again Instead, write an actual article about what your customers may be looking for and why you’re best placed to serve them. While you’re writing your articles, you may be tempted to keep repeating a phrase and falling into that old habit. Don’t! Keep things sounding natural for the best results. In fact, forget about keywords completely and just write naturally.

Need help getting your website to rank on Google?

There are quick and easy ways to rank higher on Google. You can find out how with our free SEO eBook. If you’ve tried the techniques there and need some more in-depth help then you’ll probably want to try our free SEO review service.

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