Home – New Forums Tech talk Question about Keyword Density

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  • #983934
    FastLaner
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    Looking for an opinion from a few of you pro SEO’s.

    I’m aware on page keyword density plays a fairly major role when it comes to SEO but I am wondering about the density of generic terms such as “Add to Cart”.

    Although I am not trying to rank for this term, would it have a negative effect on SEO if the density of this keyword or any generic keyword is at a high density?

    By high i only mean 5-6%.

    As from experience my best keywords rank when the density is 1-3%.

    Looking for advice on this.

    #1144954
    JohnW
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    Hi FastLaner,
    This is opinion…

    I believe we are way beyond a term like “keyword density”, if it was ever anything but a very broad element that could be measured and thrown into the ring by SEO tool vendors to help justify the cost of their software.

    1. Google is not just assessing the words on a specific web page it is also assessing words on pages that are linked to it. No SEO tool can make any sort of “keyword density” assessment of linked pages as it does not know what they are.

    2. Then there is G’s use of synonyms and related terms.

    No one knows what these are. We can only guess at them with our individual levels of experience. Again, no SEO Tool to my knowledge can make any assessment based on these either.

    3. Other ranking point scoring attributes.
    “Keyword density” ignores so many other attributes that can impact on a page’s ranking as to be (IMHO) irrelevant.

    Eg. The use of a specific word or its G recognised synonyms in:

    • Page titles
    • URLs
    • H1 headings
    • Link text (“times” how many linked pages)
    • Use in titles of linked pages
    • The search topic specificity of the website and the web page
    • Etc., etc., etc.

    As to “Add to cart”, there were only 110 Aust searches for this term last month. Why are you interested in it?

    I suggest you don’t worry about “add to cart” searchers. They are probably not potential customers.

    Almost every page on the web has a link to “home”. In spite of this, G does a pretty good job of coming up with relevant results for people who are looking to “buy a home in…”.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1144955
    FastLaner
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    I think you missed the point to my question.

    I’m not talking about using any tool for measuring density or for trying to rank for the term “add to cart”. I mean that if you have a high keyword density it could be classed at keyword stuffing.

    Now with keyword stuffing there are penalties that come along with it.

    Now “Add to cart” of course is very natural and Google will probably look at it this way, but even replacing the term “add to cart” with say an image of “add to cart” will lower the density of this term and perhaps help in the long run with any type of future keyword stuffing type penalties that Google decides to roll out.

    Google can be unpredictable at times and using all precautions to avoid and future problems with Google updates could be a good thing.

    What do you think? Maybe an overkill to try an eliminate generic terms like this (that are repeated over a hundred times on any given page) but with simple fixes it could prove to be a smart move for the future of the website.

    #1144956
    JohnW
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    Hi,
    Have I got the answers this time?

    FastLaner, post: 166157 wrote:
    I’m aware on page keyword density plays a fairly major role when it comes to SEO
    IMHO, “keyword density” is an almost meaningless and misleading SEO term.

    FastLaner, post: 166157 wrote:
    but I am wondering about the density of generic terms such as “Add to Cart”.

    Although I am not trying to rank for this term, would it have a negative effect on SEO if the density of this keyword or any generic keyword is at a high density?
    It sounds like you are describing a page that lists 100 different product names and not much else. If so, it is likely to have problems attaining a high search ranking that have nothing to do with any repetition of “add to cart” text.

    FastLaner, post: 166157 wrote:
    By high i only mean 5-6%.
    IMHO, this is an irrelevant parameter.

    FastLaner, post: 166157 wrote:
    As from experience my best keywords rank when the density is 1-3%.
    See answer above.

    FastLaner, post: 166157 wrote:
    Google can be unpredictable at times and using all precautions to avoid and future problems with Google updates could be a good thing.
    I give up on this one. You will need a very accurate crystal ball to be able to predict what changes will come about through technical innovation or what will be the next search results manipulation scheme that G needs to kick over.

    These answers are only my opinion.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1144957
    Aidan
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    Forget any notion of keyword density, I don’t believe it was ever that simple no matter what some of the tools tell you. IMHO you can put the concept in the same bag as meta keywords!

    #1144958
    FastLaner
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    In my opinion keyword density is VERY important, as it helps you to ensure you aren’t stuffing.

    Maybe I should re-frame my question…

    What is your opinion on keyword stuffing? Do you think a generic term is open to a penalty in the future?

    Of course its not a term that I am trying to rank for, I am more worried about having ANY term “stuffed” that many times on any given page. As a keyword stuffing penalty could affect ranking of the website across all terms.

    #1144959
    MatthewKeath
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    I don’t think it will ever matter that you have the term ‘Add to Cart’ multiple times on a product listing page. Why Google would decide to penalise an entire site for that is beyond me.

    #1144960
    JohnW
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    FastLaner, post: 166231 wrote:
    In my opinion keyword density is VERY important, as it helps you to ensure you aren’t stuffing.

    Maybe I should re-frame my question…

    What is your opinion on keyword stuffing? Do you think a generic term is open to a penalty in the future?

    Of course its not a term that I am trying to rank for, I am more worried about having ANY term “stuffed” that many times on any given page. As a keyword stuffing penalty could affect ranking of the website across all terms.
    “Keyword stuffing” can create different ranking impact depending on where/how the stuffing is used.

    Here are a few major changes that G made over the last 18 months that will impact on various “keyword stuffing” tactics:

    1. Link text stuffing
    It is believed that this factor is partly behind G’s recent war on link building spam.

    2. Keywords in title text
    G has made significant changes to how it assesses keywords in the title text over the last 12 months.

    3. Parts of a web page
    G has made changes to how it assesses above-the-fold visible content, site navigation elements and more.

    4. Keywords in the domain name

    I could add many other G changes to this list that have impacted keyword stuffing.

    No “keyword density” tool attempts to or can measure these variables.

    G rarely needs to impose a “penalty” on a website. Most of the time its algo changes automate the process.

    Perhaps the biggest deterrent is that if the page looks to human eyeballs like it is keyword stuffed, then you can expect it to have a lower conversion rate.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1144961
    Aidan
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    FastLaner, post: 166231 wrote:
    In my opinion keyword density is VERY important, as it helps you to ensure you aren’t stuffing.

    Maybe I should re-frame my question…

    What is your opinion on keyword stuffing? Do you think a generic term is open to a penalty in the future?

    Of course its not a term that I am trying to rank for, I am more worried about having ANY term “stuffed” that many times on any given page. As a keyword stuffing penalty could affect ranking of the website across all terms.

    Hi FastLaner,

    I don’t believe having something like that is going to be an issue, there must be a bazillion pages out there with ‘Add to Cart’, ‘Order Now’, etc appearing multiple times on the page. As you say those are generic snippets, not target keywords, I believe G is sophisticated enough to understand that. They are probably all excluded as ‘stop words’.

    #1144962
    JohnW
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    Aidan, post: 166274 wrote:
    I don’t believe having something like that is going to be an issue, there must be a bazillion pages out there with ‘Add to Cart’, ‘Order Now’, etc appearing multiple times on the page. As you say those are generic snippets, not target keywords, I believe G is sophisticated enough to understand that. They are probably all excluded as ‘stop words’.
    …and the top ranked page to an exact search for “add to cart” is:

    Run that through a keyword density tool and see what it tells you. ;)
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1144963
    eWAY
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    JohnW, post: 166318 wrote:
    …and the top ranked page to an exact search for “add to cart” is:

    Run that through a keyword density tool and see what it tells you. ;)
    Regs,
    JohnW

    John you should have had a look at it first, it’s in Japanese haha!

    Maclean

    #1144964
    JohnW
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    eWAY, post: 166348 wrote:
    John you should have had a look at it first, it’s in Japanese haha!

    Maclean
    Hi Maclean,
    Maybe I was too subtle…

    How useful is “keyword density” as a ranking parameter when the # 1 page is not even in the same language as the keyword whose density you want to check?
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1144965
    Shout Out Digital
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    FastLaner, post: 166231 wrote:
    In my opinion keyword density is VERY important, as it helps you to ensure you aren’t stuffing.

    Maybe I should re-frame my question…

    What is your opinion on keyword stuffing? Do you think a generic term is open to a penalty in the future?

    Of course its not a term that I am trying to rank for, I am more worried about having ANY term “stuffed” that many times on any given page. As a keyword stuffing penalty could affect ranking of the website across all terms.

    Keyword density is not important at all. As Aiden and John have picked out here, Google are sophisticated enough to know that ‘Add to Cart’ is normal on any website, however if you were to put ‘Add to Cart’ in the title, description and all over the page many many times then you may have an issue but I’m sure your not putting it in your title or description, or as a page header. If someone is trying to cheat Google then thats what they would do and then maybe Google take a look at your site.

    So you really don’t need to worry about it but if you really are nervous about it then just change those ‘Add to Cart’ links to images as you say but again, I wouldn’t bother.

    Thanks,
    Neil

    #1144966
    pauls
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    Shout Out Digital, post: 166574 wrote:
    Keyword density is not important at all. As Aiden and John have picked out here, Google are sophisticated enough to know that ‘Add to Cart’ is normal on any website, however if you were to put ‘Add to Cart’ in the title, description and all over the page many many times then you may have an issue but I’m sure your not putting it in your title or description, or as a page header. If someone is trying to cheat Google then thats what they would do and then maybe Google take a look at your site.

    So you really don’t need to worry about it but if you really are nervous about it then just change those ‘Add to Cart’ links to images as you say but again, I wouldn’t bother.

    Thanks,
    Neil

    My take on this is that those not in the online marketing game reading such topics could easily be mislead. Keyword density could easily imply usage of a given keyword throughout all page elements.
    In this case density and relevance throughout is important.
    eg. if your meta title or meta description on a given page is keyword stuffed or not relevant to page content/theme then this will impact your Google exposure and what Title & Description G shows in its search results for your given page.

    Cheers,
    Paul – criticone
    Marketing tools, empowering you to
    get the most out of your website

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