Bursting the Good Keyword Density Myth of SEO
The keyword density myth is the oldest of the myths in the SEO world. Keywords is an important factor that decides how you rank in the search engines. I will dig deeper to find out if keyword density or for that matter keywords are really that important in search algorithms. In the end you will know if optimal keyword density myth has any truth behind it or not.
High keywords = High Ranking? Nope!
We have covered this before and you know that very high keyword density means your site gets penalized for spam. So having excessive keywords looks and is actually bad for your site.
Okay so what about the optimal keyword density?
Or is there an optimal keyword density?
Honestly speaking we don’t know for sure. But studies indicate that they are not primary or even tertiary factors of the search engine algorithms while ranking your website.
Wait! You mean keywords are useless?
No. Keywords are important. Keywords in your title, content and elsewhere obviously determines your page’s relevance to the search engines. But not the rank. The search engine will know that okay for this keywords this page page should be displayed in the results. But on page 1? or Page 2? That is determined by NOT keyword density or frequency. It is determined by keyword weight.
What is keyword weight?
Keyword weight is the number of occurrences of the keywords in the document to those in the content of its index. Exactly how it is done is difficult to say since the search engines have not opened the source code of their algorithms, but we do have some clues.
So according to the importance of the keywords, the pages are given a weight. This importance is called keyword weight.
To determine the importance of a keyword in a document, 3 variables are needed:
- Local Weight: It is a calculation based on keyword frequency in this document. This variable can be calculated in many ways but not as a simple count or percentage of how many times the word appears in the document.
- Global Weight: This is calculated as number of documents in the index divided by number of documents with the keyword.
- Normalization: This is a calculation to offset the unfair advantages associated with documents of extra length. Their values usually range from between 0 and 1.
The guys at Open algorithm have done some pretty good tests that debunk the keyword density myth completely. For a more simpler explanation you can also go through Ruud Hein’s “How To Search Really Works”.
So what do I focus on?
Keywords are important. But keyword density is not. Keywords must obviously be present but their frequency is irrelevant.
So is it okay to have only one keyword(or two) in the post?
No. There should be more. But it should come naturally. For example you are writing about getting SEO terms. The keywords SEO terms is bound to appear more than once. That is enough for the seach engines to know about your relevance.
How else relevance calculated?
From the number of shares your page has received in the social networking sites, or the number of subscribers. More important is the number of people who link to you.
So what is most important? Quality content that people will automatically wish to linkback to.
Keyword density myth is a very old one. You need not fall for this anymore. Write good content and engage with your readers in the comments section. Also check out this video from Matt Cutts about this keyword density myth.
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