What Is Keyword Stuffing, and Why Is It Bad for SEO?

Overdone word cloud.

What is Keyword Stuffing?

When someone with little (or no) knowledge of SEO best practices learns what a keyword is, they tend to go a little wild with the idea. Back in the old days of the internet, with animated skull gifs and embedded MIDI versions of the Duke Nukem theme that you couldn’t disable, every other word being an anchored keyword wasn’t such a big deal.

Cramming keywords was just a part of the bright-yellow text on a low-res starfield background aesthetic. But, as search engines have advanced, so have their abilities to spot manipulative and annoying SEO practices. In this blog, JumpSIX Marketing explains what keyword stuffing is, why it’s bad, and why you need to avoid it.

What Is It?

Exactly what it sounds like. Keyword stuffing is essentially filling your content with an egregious number of keywords, usually the same one over and over. This is usually done with the intention of gaming a search engine’s algorithm to take a page or a site to the top of search results by sheer force. Unfortunately for those who try it, it also demonstrates a lack of understanding about just how much the internet has changed.

Why Is It Bad for SEO?

Back in the internet frontier times of the 1990s, it was a lot easier for keywords alone to get your site in front of more people. But as we moved away from the Wild West days of the internet, keywords became one of many interlinked factors that all work together to serve as effective SEO. Over time, using repetitive, obvious keywords became something that would do far more harm than good.

What Users See Because of Keyword Stuffing

When you’re trying to integrate keywords into content, especially when you don’t know exactly how (or why) to do it right, it can be very easy to overdo it. It can also be easy to simply not see how bad this looks to someone reading it with fresh eyes. Here’s an example we’ve made of overusing a keyword phrase:

“Are you looking to sell your car? If you need help to sell your car, contact us today! We’ll help you sell your car with professional sales tips and advice. Be sure that you get the right price when you sell your car. Talk to our team to sell your car today!”

Any idea what the keyword phrase might be? Bludgeoning your readers with keywords over and over is only ever going to come across as artificial.

Natural Optimization vs Over-Optimization

You’d be surprised at how easy it is to fall into the trap of overdoing it with keywords. In the midst of just trying to optimize your content, you can forget that you’re ultimately writing something that someone is (hopefully) going to read. It doesn’t just need to be optimized for a search engine to find it, it needs to be natural, readable, and human.

Talk to SEO Professionals

SEO and the proper use of keywords, among many other factors, is a lot more complicated than just picking the words and phrases that sound right. You need to take the way in which Google, not mention other search engines, analyzes them into account. JumpSIX Marketing can help. As a full-service Google Partner agency, we provide SEO, web development, video production, graphic design, search and display advertising, and much more. Contact JumpSIX Marketing to get started.

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