Keyword spamming, which is sometimes referred to as keyword stuffing, is the method of overloading a piece of content with keywords and phrases in an attempt to get the content to rank higher on search engine results pages. This technique can include the overuse of specific keywords and phrases, inappropriate placement of keywords, and cloaking and camouflaging content so it is seen differently to users and search engines.
The simplest way keyword spamming is used is by including a word or phrase over and over again within a piece of content. This method operates under the assumption that the more a keyword occurs within a piece of text, the better. It frequently results in content that is difficult for users to read because keywords are inserted in an unnatural manner.
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A short example might read, “If you’re looking for an affordable roof repair, check out our affordable roof repair services. Our roof repair experts are trained to provide quality roof repairs.”
Keywords and phrases can also be added to a piece of content inappropriately. For example, a long list of service areas may be included on a page so it turns up in a search for all the areas that are mentioned.
Cloaking and camouflaging content are also methods that are used to include a particular keyword or phrase in a piece of content above and beyond the strategies that are listed above.
Cloaking strategies refer to the practice of setting up a website so users see a different website than search engines. Camouflaging content means changing the font color so it disappears into the background. That way, the keywords can be identified by search engines, but they don’t alter the user experience.
Keyword spamming used to be more common than it is today. In the early days of search engine optimization (SEO), search engines used to use the words on a page to determine how relevant the content is to a search. The more often a keyword appeared on the page, the more likely it would rank higher on the search results page.
Search engines, like Google, have evolved over the years to use a variety of considerations when determining the ranking of each page of content. With a focus on providing users with the best content for their search, pages that utilize keyword spamming practices no longer rank as well as they once did.
Today, websites that use black hat SEO tactics, like keyword spamming and stuffing, will fall sharply in the search engine ranking pages. If the transgression is severe enough, the page may be dropped from the search results altogether.
The ranking of a piece of content is important. The first page of Google gets up to 92-percent of search traffic link clicks, so it is extremely important for content to rank well. In order to rank well, posted content should avoid keyword spamming.
Instead, the focus should be on providing high-quality content. Keywords can still be used throughout the content, but the keyword density on a particular page shouldn’t exceed two-percent.
Additional SEO techniques that can be used on a page without getting punished by search engines include:
Instead of keyword spamming by using the same keyword throughout the content on a page, other keywords and phrases should be used on the page as well. By varying keywords and utilizing long tail keywords, a piece of content can remain useful and easy to read, while ranking well on the search engine results page.