Is Your Keyword Density Making A Difference?

Keyword Density Since The Penquin and Panda Went To Work

Does our keyword density really matter much anymore since the latest Google updates? I’ve been doing some research and  it appears that the debate over keyword continues today.

keyword density

I had noticed some droppings in our standings in Google search on one of the retail sites. I think I was in such fear of Google updates that I went too low on the keyword density. I began to do research and more research. There is a great tool called SEO Quake – you can watch Inspire to Thrive’s YouTube video on how to install SEO Quake to your web browser. I found the FireFox browser to be the best browser for it. (though I love using Chrome) . 

What  I learned from this exercise was that the competition had a higher keyword density than the retail site I was working on. I began to add a few more carefully placed keywords on them. I had watched Matt Cutts video on the very subject and learned that the quality of the site and the quality of the content was of utmost important. More important than the keyword density. If you don’t know Matt Cutts is the head of Google’s webspam team. I think we should believe him on this one, don’t you?

What really got the ball rolling for me was using the plug-in Yoast. I just love the plug-in for WordPress here.The retail sites I do are not on the WordPress platform and do not use plug-ins. So after using Yoast here for a while I realized something was not just right. That’s when I started to go back to using SEO Quake. It is also great to use SEO Quake on competitors to see if you are missing any key keywords.

SEO Quake

What is the correct Keyword Density to use?

The keyword density is based on the number of words in a post or webpage. If you have 100 words you should not be using the keyword for more than 3 times there. Keywords can consist of one word, two words or 3 words. Long tail keywords are wonderful to use and can set you apart from the competition. It is much harder to achieve placement on page one of Google for a one word keyword.

Have you checked your keyword density lately?




Lisa loves helping others to thrive online through Content Marketing with Social Media, Blogging and SEO. What good is knowledge if you cannot share it with others? She has 20+ years experience in marketing/advertising with 6 years experience in content marketing, social media, blogging and SEO. Check out her latest eBook "Learn to Tweet and Thrive on Twitter" now on Amazon.

39 comments On Is Your Keyword Density Making A Difference?

  • I think most of the blogger don’t keep keyword density in mind while writing the post but I think after writing It should be checked as Google has penalty for over optimization. If the keyword density is too high then It comes under over optimization.
    Atish Ranjan recently posted..Secure Business Applications with Application Testing Security ToolsMy Profile

  • Hello Lisa,

    I think even with Google Panda or whatever, keywords should still be considered important. I try to use 1 to 2 % keyword density in my post. It doesn’t happen all the time, but I try. More than 2% would be overdoing it, and Google may label your post spammy.

    I have also made it a point to use the keyword/s in the title, intro and conclusion of my post. The rest of the 2% KW, I distribute them in the body of the post. So ideally, there are 6 keywords to a 300-word post.

    Thanks again for an informative post.
    Jena Isle recently posted..By: AjchtarMy Profile

    • This is interesting Jena because I see many retailers using over the 2% more like 5-7 and still rank #1 on Google. I wonder if they (Google) treat retail sites differently? I use Yoast on this blog which keeps them under control 🙂 Thanks for the tips.

  • I don’t buy the keyword density bit. I’ve done my own research and see some content do better that only uses the phrase once. I have also ranked on keywords this way to. I don’t know why this is so,

    I think Google looks at how satisfied people are when they come to your page. Just adding the keywords wouldn’t work unless after the update searchers were spending more time on the website. Have you seen if engagement rates increased after adding the additional keywords? I would be interested in finding out if I was wrong.
    Susan Silver recently posted..Keywords Now What?My Profile

    • Hi Susan, interesting. I’ve seen sites that still stuff them and are on page #1 of Google. Thanks for your input on this. I will test that out too on the engagement.

  • Keyword density has always been the important ranking factor, I keep the keyword density at something around 1.5% to 2.5% which does well in ranking the pages.

    Too much keyword density can also get you into trouble for keyword stuffing. I used wordstats plugin to show how many times a keyword has repeated in a post, and highlight a keyword if it is repeated for more than 20 times. One best way to avoid repeated keywords is to replace them with synonyms and words with similar meaning. is one good tool to find word ideas.
    Sreejesh recently posted..Showyou: a Great Social Video app for your iPhone and iPadMy Profile

  • Great post..
    we shouldn’t forced to use keyword in the post..keyword should relate the mush of keyword will not give a good result in google updation..
    katherin recently posted..seo company londonMy Profile

  • Lisa: Over the past year, I’ve “honed in” on the importance of keyword density and the formula for achieving the optimum ratio. The debate will rage on, but I’m not willing to ignore any aspect that has a chance of improving my stats! As you stated, quality content is still king…not only for rankings but also for building a loyal following and continuing our mission to share knowledge, convey timely & useful information and do so in a professional and engaging manner, right?! Fantastic info worthy of everyone’s attention…thanks for sharing!
    Lynn Brown recently posted..Work From HomeMy Profile

  • Hey Lisa

    I have the Yoast SEO plugin installed on my blog and I think it is really useful.

    There appears to be ongoing debate about keyword density. I’ve seen suggestions that you should make this different from post to post to ensure things look natural.

    In any case, if you’re not careful you can sound really repetitive and unnatural if you stick the same keyword in your post over and over again.

    I have used SEO Quake but not for a while. I thought it was just for Firefox and as I use Chrome now, I will maybe check it out on Chrome.
    Tim Bonner recently posted..Can Social Media Be Bad For Your Health?My Profile

  • Hi Lisa!
    your post is informative and i like seo quake too.keyword detail,quality content are very essential for the updation of your sites.yoast is wonderful.i like your ideas.thanks for the advice and suggestion.
    anshul recently posted..Hotel Booking Reservation SoftwareMy Profile

  • Well I can be short about this. Yoast works.
    Keywords are still essential for letting your blog(s) appear on the 1st page of Google above the fold. The ‘trick’ is not to overdo the keyword density. There is some room to play with. Info from a random post on my site:

    Keyword / keyphrase appears in 1 (out of 2) subheadings in the copy. While not a major ranking factor, this is beneficial.
    The keyword density is 1.89%, which is great, the keyword was found 11 times.

    There is also some ways to add some more, without driving Panda insane in the alt tags of your pictures. Yoast counts occurrences of the keyword(s) in the body text though…
    Jan Bierens recently posted..Google Funnies – And more.My Profile

  • Hi Lisa, I’m just a blogger and would never claim to be a SEO expert so don’t put a lot of stock into this, but…

    Truthfully, I don’t even pay attention to keyword density anymore, for the most part. I have SEO by Yoast installed and I leave the “Focus Keyword” space blank until everything is finished. Even then I won’t follow EVERY step to improve the grade; I think it can get us in trouble if we’re not careful. I got to the point I just blog and write naturally; after all, that’s exactly what Google’s looking for, right?

    We DO need keyword density so Google knows what and where to index but I’ve spent too many years going back and editing after Google updates. Today Yoast tells us to have our keywords in the page title, description, subheadings and in the first paragraph. Tomorrow Google might decide that’s too much and now we’re back to the drawing board. lol

    It wasn’t long ago we were ranking very well with our keyword phrases in the URL, H1 tags and images. Now, images can hurt you, H1 tags are limited to just one per page (Caution: that includes the index page where we tend to show multiple posts) and the URL is going the way of the meta keywords. And don’t even get me started about the inbound anchor text. And now the personalized search just turns everything upside down. I hope I didn’t just give you a headache because I just gave one to myself. lol

    I just decide what my keyword phrases will be, if I even bother with the research, and try to apply a little common sense to a natural flow of content. Is it paying off? Not at all but I’m having a lot of fun. 🙂
    Brian Hawkins recently posted..What Do YOU Love And Hate About Newsletters?My Profile

    • Hi Brian, I love Yoast. I do the opposite of you, I fill it in first. Interesting. I would agree blogging naturally is the best way to go with Google. Oh yes personalized search is turning things upside down for sure! You did give me a little headache here but I’m used to it. As long as we are enjoying it (fun) then it is worth it. 🙂

    • That’s a truly expert opinion, Brian. How can you say you’re not an SEO expert. You may not be professional, but your opinion shows that you’re insightful and experienced.
      The post was great, Lisa, and the comments are a really enlightening discussion in their own right. Congrats on maintaining a good blog.
      Thank you all!

  • 😯 Are you talking English to me? 😉 Yeah, I’m absolutely clueless but I am simply amazed at the technology you find online Lisa. This is truly an interesting post! I’m going to have to dig into this a lil further. :mrgreen:

  • I am horrible with using keyword density Lisa, I admit. But I’m creating another niche site and am definitely going to do this one much better then my others. They are still making me money, even after all the Google updates, but I haven’t updated them in awhile. I hate sites that over use their keywords and their posts just don’t flow naturally.

    I love SEO Quake and am using that extension on Google Chrome. I think everyone should be using that little tool and those who aren’t are definitely missing out.

    Thanks for sharing this and I had seen Matt’s video some time back as well. That’s why I’m so glad that he shared it’s more about the quality of the site and content then the keywords. Trust me, you have to have those keywords there but concentrate on delivering the best content and you’ll do great.

    Adrienne recently posted..13 Steps to Relationship Marketing Success I Learned While Getting My Hair CutMy Profile

    • Hi Adrienne, love to see your other sites too! Glad to know it works in Chrome too, when I first tried it there it wasn’t. I’d agree content rules before keywords. Thanks for coming by and commenting. I will check it out in Chrome now too.

  • I added the Yoast plug-in but haven’t watched the tutorial yet. My eyes glaze over when reading tech stuff. I’ll check out SEO Quake. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve done SEO writing, so I’m aware of the importance of repeating words and phrases but don’t always do it myself.
    Lauren recently posted..Dentist DementiaMy Profile

  • Informative post Lisa!

    Oh yes – yoast is wonderful and so is SEO Quake, though for using it I too have to switch to Firefox when I love Chrome! However, I think with all these recent updates and more in the pipeline, one fixed kind of keyword density formula doesn’t really work. I say this because I have tried using it thrice, and sometimes even more times and sometimes even less than 3 times in 100 words, yet things don’t seem to work.

    I guess what works now is to use a variation or synonyms of the main keyword as well within your post, or else keep the hit and trial method to see what really works well for you. And yes, long tail keywords always work wonders. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..Do You Have the LUCK Factor in Your LifeMy Profile

  • Hi Lisa,

    I was using the plugin of Yoast’s for a client website after you introduced it here and that’s really cool. I think you are talking about keywords in content but not the keywords meta tag, right? ‘Cause Google has been ignoring keywords meta tag from long time ago due to abuse on keywords.

    I think Matt Cutts is right there. However Keyword density tools measure it technically and I do believe we can measure it how much we over promoting and using same stuff over and over when we go through the content once again after reading it. Variation is a fact of writing, right? 🙂

    Thanks for introducing this tool and actually it’s nice you come up with a video dear. I gotta try this out on client website 🙂

    Mayura recently posted..How to Set Up a Company Page on LinkedInMy Profile

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge