What is Keyword Stuffing in SEO?

avoid keyword stuffing
Avoid keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is a term used in SEO to refer to the practice of using excess number of keywords on a webpage to influence/manipulate it’s rankings in Google search result pages (SERPs).

These keywords that appear on the webpage often read unnatural, or out of context.

Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.

Related article: Why Keyword Research is Important?

Examples of keyword stuffing include:

  1. Lists of phone numbers without substantial added value
  2. Blocks of text listing cities and states a webpage is trying to rank for
  3. Repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural, for example: We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at custom.cigar.humidors@example.com.

Black Hat SEO Technique

Keyword stuffing is a so-called “black hat,” or inappropriate, technique used by webmasters to trick search engines into ranking pages higher in their results. The practice overuses keywords by “stuffing” them in many places on the page. For example, keywords might be stuffed near the bottom of a page, where some site visitors don’t look. Webmasters can also insert invisible keywords by matching them to the page’s background color.

They’re unseen by visitors but read by search engines, which read the page’s code. Some search engines ignore such text. Less scrupulous webmasters will also place popular keywords on a page, even though they have nothing to do with the site’s content.Of course, visitors usually leave as soon as they realize the page is not relevant to them. Search engines often flag as spam pages with overused keywords.

Unethical SEO Tactic

Keyword stuffing is known as an unethical search engine optimization technique that involves adding an excessive amount of keywords into the HTML or tags of a webpage to bring more traffic to a website. While considered obsolete and outdated, there are still websites that attempt to use this technique and end up being blacklisted or banned from search engines.

Search Engines Are Smarter Now

Search engines are now well equipped to deal with that sort of unethical SEO technique. For example, Google, one of the main search engines, has parameters that check for keyword stuffing hidden away from the eyes of the casual website viewer.

Hiding keyword stuffing from the sight of webpage visitors can be accomplished in a couple of ways if keyword stuffing is used. While it no longer works, webpages still attempt to hide keywords in different ways. These ways included:

  1. Coloring text the same as the background color
  2. Positioning text far away from the center of the webpage
  3. Putting text behind a picture so that it cannot be seen

Yet, search engines have been able to spot keyword stuffing on websites since 2005. As the theme and content are now judged on websites, and not just what words appear, search engines have all but erased keyword stuffing from the Internet.

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