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Is Keyword Density a Google Ranking Factor?

Is there a perfect keyword percentage that can positively impact your rankings?Find out if keyword density is a ranking factor here.

Keywords Density has long been considered a ranking factor.

Some consider it an important part of the SEO puzzle to get Page 1 position in Google.

Why is it so highly rated?

We know keywords are important to Google.When a particular term does not appear in the page text, it is difficult to rank content for that term.

Some SEO tool companies help increase the belief that there is an ideal keyword copy ratio that will maximize the chances of getting a high ranking.

Now is the time to examine the evidence behind the claim that keyword density is a ranking factor.

Disclaimer: Keyword Density is a Ranking Factor

First, what exactly is keyword density?

Keyword density is the number of times a word or phrase occurs relative to the amount of text on a page.

It is calculated by dividing the number of keywords by the total number of words on the page and multiplying by 100.

For example, if a keyword is used 1 times in a 000-word article, the keyword density for that keyword is 26%.

There are various claims around the "optimal" keyword density to target.You might hear 2%, or 5%, or even as high as 10%.

So why do people think keyword density is a ranking factor?

Unlike other ranking factor myths, this one is based on facts – keyword density used to be a real thing.But we're talking about the early days of search.

However, the idea still exists today.why?The idea is this:

Keywords send signals to Google about what types of queries a page should appear for.

If too few keywords are used, then Google may not understand what the page is about.

If too many keywords are used, then Google may see it as an attempt to manipulate search rankings, which is not friendly.

As a result, some people believe that there is a certain keyword density that is "just right" - a happy medium between using too many and too few keywords.

However, there is no magic number that will achieve the best results for everyone.That's not how Google works today.

The truth is fairly simple: using keywords is important, but hitting a certain percentage won't help your SEO efforts.

In fact, a web page can rank for a keyword even if the keyword never appears on the page.This blew up the whole concept of keyword density almost instantly.

Keyword Density as a Ranking Factor: Evidence

To answer the question of whether keyword density is a Google ranking factor, we'll look at the official Google Video from 2011, which is as accurate today as it was then.

The video features Matt Cutts, who worked with Google from 2000 to 2015.He leads the Google Site Spam team and acts as a liaison between the company and the SEO community.

Katz confirmed that Google doesn't have an ideal keyword density.Overuse of keywords can do more harm than good, he said.

Mentioning a keyword multiple times can help with rankings, but anything more than this can cause Google to consider it keyword stuffing.

"Once you start referring to it a lot, it really doesn't help that much.diminishing returns.It's just an incremental gain, but it's not really that big.Then you'll find that if you keep repeating something over and over, you're in danger of getting into things like keyword stuffing or gibberish.

So the first time you mention a word or two, it might help your rankings, definitely.But, just because you can say it seven or eight times, that doesn't mean it will necessarily help your rankings.

If keyword density isn't a ranking factor, what's the right way to use keywords?

Once you've identified the keywords to use, Cutts recommends writing something long enough to handle those keywords into the copy in a natural way.When you're done, read the content aloud and listen for anything that doesn't sound right.

If the copy sounds artificial, rigid, or like it was written by a bot, then that's a reasonable indicator that the keyword is being used too many times.On the other hand, if it sounds natural, you're on the right track.

Using synonyms whenever possible can help you avoid repeating the same keywords.For example, in this text, we could replace "keyword density" with "keyword frequency."

Synonyms are also a great way to grab a reader's attention, and they might even help rank for other terms.Google understands synonyms, which means that a page may rank when it isn't optimized for the exact words typed into the search bar.

Don't get obsessed with keyword density

Katz’s advice is clear: stop obsessing over keyword density.Beware of anyone who thinks otherwise.

"I'd be happy if people could stop being obsessed with keyword density.It will be different.It will vary by region, and it will vary based on how other sites rank it.

It's not a hard and fast rule, and anyone telling you there is a hard and fast rule, you might be careful because they might sell you keyword density software or something like that.

Keyword Density as a Ranking Factor: Our Verdict

Keyword density may come into play at some point.Ask any longtime SEO professional and you'll hear plenty of anecdotal evidence that keyword density works -- and it works.

But what about today?

Keyword density is not worth stressing at all.As long as you use the word or phrase a few times, if you're not targeting a specific ratio, then you're fine.

So, where should keywords be placed?

Extended reading:

Is the number of images on a page a Google ranking factor?

Are H1 tags a Google ranking factor?

Are HTML title tags (H2-H6) a Google ranking factor?

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