A few years back SEO was understandable to the webmaster. They know how to rank on the first page on SERP’s. Then standard optimum keyword density was one of the main factors to rank on the first page. People then used a certain percentage of keyword repetition in their article to rank higher for particular keywords.
Webmasters were starting take advantage of this features by keywords spamming. All focused no keyword density rather than focused on quality of content. It was running well until google updates their algorithm(Panda Updates).
This algorithm able to find over optimize content. If anyone tries to use particular phrases more than a certain amount(%) then it comes under keyword stuffing. If google finds you are doing keyword stuffing then google penalize you for that content. Sometimes manual action may be taken to penalize the whole site.
They update the algo to serve best user experience to the users. Before updating the algo SEP’s sometimes shows the irrelevant result because of keyword overused keyword repetition. Google starts seeing this as a spamming and they update the algo.
For Panda updates, the huge amount of websites gets a penalty. They loose their rank from SERPs for keyword stuffing. They used more than optimum keyword density percentage, desperately to get a higher rank.
Definition of keyword density: You will find many keyword density formulae online. The general formula for calculating keyword density is how many times you use particular phrases in your content to total words in the text. For percentage(%) calculation multiply it with 100.
Suppose, you have written a piece of content with total 100 words and five keywords or phrases repeating in your text. Then keyword density will be 5%.
What is optimum keyword density?
If you have a basic idea about SEO then you probably know: why keywords are important for online business?.
But the question is what is optimum keyword density to get a higher rank. Honestly, there is no such rule or no such algorithm google follow after Panda updates. There is no optimum keyword density you have to follow to get a higher rank. Now google is smarter than you think. If you try to keyword stuffing google easily can identify you and penalize you. So my suggestion is not to play with google ever.
There is no ideal keyword density for higher ranking. But most of the SEO expert think to maintain 1-3% keyword density. But again I will tell you there is no such rule that you have to follow 1-3% keyword density. Just be careful that your text looks like natural. Take a look what’s Matt cuts tell about keyword density:
Always check keyword density while writing a content. You will find many online keyword density checkers like this one.
Is keyword density still important in 2017?
Yes! keyword density still matters to get a higher rank. But it’s importance decreases than before. Maintain a certain percentage keyword density is just a one ranking factor among hundreds of factors. There is no optimum keyword density that you have to follow. Generally, 9-10 targeted keywords are used for 1200 words article.
Optimize an article for one keyword is not working effectively anymore. Now it’s become a kind of a foolish practice. Always try to use LSI & semantic keywords along with your targeted keywords. Maybe keyword density is not carrying more weight for SEO but without it, you will not be able to rank higher.
Where should I use keywords on my page?
Maintain an optimum keyword density is not much useful than placing the keyword in the right place. Placing the keywords in a right place in the article comes from On-Page optimization myth. Placing keywords in the right place make the search engine to understand what the page is about.
The search engine is not a human it is just an algorithm so we have to follow the rule what it wants. If we mess with that then it will also mess with us.
There are certain special positions where you must have to put your keywords. Let’s see those important positions:
- Put keywords in the title(always try to keep the keywords at the starting of the title)
- Keywords in the URL
- keywords in the subheading
- Always try to use the keywords in the first 100 words
- Keywords must be placed in the last paragraph also
- Use keywords in bold
- Use keywords in italic
- Try to use it in anchor text and much more…………………
All these comes under On-page optimization.
Do keywords still matter?
Nowadays google give a less weight age ranking factor on keywords. But that does not mean keywords has no value for search engine optimization. Hundreds of ranking factor working behind this. A keyword is just one of them. I have written a post why keyword research and keywords are vital for success? you may check this for more details.
Recommended reading: Importance of search engine optimization.