There are many optimization practices that are recommended within the internet marketing community to increase the authority and relevance of webpages for higher search rankings. This search engine optimization has evolved through the years and has elevated to a point where methods that may have worked previously but were considered underhanded (or black-hat and were only engaged in by irresponsible marketers) are now completely discouraged. Further, these practices are now being targeted and warrant specific penalization with the Penguin Update.
Among them is “keyword stuffing,” the practice of placing an inappropriate amount of keywords on a webpage in a way that is unnatural. Keyword stuffing has always been a non recommended practice, but especially now – post Penguin. In the wake of Google’s Penguin Update, businesses need to take stock of their methods determining whether there were any black-hat practices being engaged in on their web properties. This is especially the case considering that the Penguin Update is centered on over-SEO’ed sites and those that use borderline practices, with particular attention to methods such as illegitimate linking and the over use of keywords. Additionally, they need to re-evaluate their related strategy towards keyword density in both their on and off-site content.
Search engine optimization consultants and those familiar with internet marketing know what keyword stuffing looks like. For those that do not, there is a wide spectrum of the practices’ characteristics. In extreme cases of the practices, keywords are written in the same color as a webpage’s background and are thus made invisible to the viewer but get read by the search engine crawler that evaluates the web pages. In less extreme cases, there are simply too many keywords in meta tags and page content.
As a result, this method can border on the misuse of keyword density. Simply put, if marketers use too many keywords in the content, it appears unnatural and the related content will receive lower authority and relevance. Marketers need to steer clear of these unfavorable practices and any others that mimic black-hat keyword stuffing, otherwise, with Penguin it is only a matter of time before the webpage will be heavily penalized.