This is one of the persistent SEO ‘rules’ that frustrates me most. It’s the idea that if you get your targeted keyphrase into the content of a page so many times – or so it’s a certain percentage of the total words – then you’ll rank for that keyphrase. My friends, if it was that easy, why isn’t everyone ranking just by doing that?
That’s the first problem. Something so simple isn’t going to propel your website over your competition. Here’s the 2nd, bigger problem.
Google’s algorithm has become extremely complex and the bots that actually analyze your website now have something approaching artificial intelligence. They’re not bowled over by a certain number of times you’ve squeezed in your keyphrase.
Yes, it’s good to have your keyphrases in key places, but repetition isn’t the key to success in today’s search engine environment. Google now looks for, and rewards, the use of synonyms and related words and phrases for your subject, for example, showing that they want more than just the same keyword driven into the ground. Here’s an example.
If your website is for a hardware store, you’d talk about tools, nails, paint and other things you’d expect to find there. What you wouldn’t want to do is keep using the phrase ‘hardware store’ in every paragraph. It’s a dead giveaway of not just over-optimization, but poor writing, which Google sees as a negative quality signal. See? That’s how sophisticated they’re getting. It’s like having your old English teacher looking over your shoulder once again.
Nothing wrong with using your keyphrase, just do it in a way that reads well and doesn’t give away just how much you want to rank for it. Follow that rule and you should be okay.
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