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Do Search Engines Respect Keyword Density?

There are still some search engine optimizers today, believe it or not, who talk about keyword density. But, truth be known, keyword density hasn’t been important for at least seven years, maybe longer.

If you aren’t in the know then I’ll back up two spaces and answer the obvious question, “What is keyword density.” This is a concept that was born in the mid-to-late 90s where Internet marketers discovered that search engines ranked web pages based on a percentage of your total words on a page being keywords. At one time I think it was widely believed, even by superstar celebrity optimizers, to be true. Today, only sheisters, the uninformed and newbies believe and perpetuate this myth.

Let’s simplify: Keyword density is defined as your keyword instances divided by the total number of words on the page. If you use your keyword 10 times and you have 100 total words on the page then that’s a keyword density of 10%.

People who teach this kind of optimization technique might tell you that 10% is too high. you should go for something like 5%-7%. Except, that’s hogwash.

It’s been pretty much proven that keyword density patterns aren’t necessary. All the major search engines now use something called semantic language indexing, meaning they look at the synonymous words on your page and group them together conceptually to be able to render your web page to a searcher looking for information about a certain topic. Yes, the keyword you are optimizing for should be on your web page – strategically placed in certain places like Title tags, first paragraphs, anchor text links and other important elements – but that’s about it.

The next time you hear someone say to optimize your pages for a certain keyword density, just laugh and tell them you’d prefer to do it the right way. Thank you.