What is keyword stuffing in SEO?

What is keyword stuffing in SEO?

Keyword stuffing in SEO is the practice of inserting a large number of unnecessary keywords into the meta tags and the content of a page in an attempt to artificially increase page ranking.

Stuffing keywords is also commonly referred to as ‘webspam’ or ‘spamdexing’.


Why Stuff Keywords?

The goal of keyword stuffing is to trick search engines into ranking a page higher in search results for certain keywords – even if the page does not actually provide useful information or content relevant to those keywords.

Stuffing keywords is considered to be an unethical SEO tactic (also known as a black hat SEO technique) because it is often used to drive traffic to misleading, fraudulent or harmful websites.


Detection of Keyword Stuffing and Penalties

Search engines have become more sophisticated and are capable of detecting and penalising websites that use unethical keyword-stuffing techniques.

As an example, keyword stuffing is a confirmed negative ranking factor in Google’s algorithm.

Google has publicly stated in their spam policies that keyword stuffing goes against their guidelines and results in a poor user experience.

If a website appears to be trying to manipulate the search rankings with repeated uses of keywords or keyphrases, it will be detected, reviewed and given a penalty (also known as a manual action.)

This will cause the site to rank lower in Google’s search results or not be shown at all.


Types of Keyword Stuffing

Types of visible keyword stuffing include:

  • Unnecessarily repeating words or phrases in page content that do not make sense;
  • Adding words that are used out of context;
  • Inserting blocks of the same keyword;
  • Using a high volume of keywords that are not relevant to the topic of the page;
  • Lists of phone numbers without substantial added value.


Avoid Keyword Stuffing

As general advice, it is considered SEO best practice to avoid any/all keyword-stuffing spam techniques.

Instead of stuffing keywords, the majority of search engine optimization specialists recommend that you focus on creating high-quality, relevant, helpful and engaging content that naturally uses relevant keywords, keyphrases and entities.

This approach will improve your website for your target audience, provide more value to your visitors, increase engagement on your website and naturally attract relevant backlinks.

Search engines will recognise your website as authoritative and trustworthy by rewarding you with improved rankings in the search results.