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What Is Keyword Stuffing, Actually?

Search engine optimization best practices can get confusing if you don’t understand the terms, or if you do understand and you employ incorrectly. Of course, it can be confusing even if you do everything right.

Let’s take a look at keyword stuffing, for instance. It seems like a pretty straightforward concept and in many ways it is. But a webmaster can get confused trying to figure out just how their content ended up with too many keywords even though they tried their best to avoid that happening.

Unfortunately, the discussion around keyword stuffing is often mixed in with discussion on keyword density. But it doesn’t have to be.

Keyword density if often described as the proper amounts of keyword compared to the amount of text on your web page. If you have 100 words of text and one instance of your keyword then your keyword density is 1%. If you go back and add five more instances of your keyword then your keyword density becomes 5%.

SEO gurus used to teach that a keyword density of 2%-5% was ideal. Some still do. But the problem with that is it means content producers must spent their time counting keywords. But if you look at how web pages are ranked you’ll see that titles and URL carry a lot of weight. There are other factors weighed heavily by search engines as well. But the number of keywords per 100 words of text is a bit of an olf-fashioned way of measuring keyword effectiveness.

Keyword stuffing happens whenever a webmaster takes a page with mediocre ranking and adds keywords to it for the purpose of ranking it higher in the search engines. But such a practice has a relatively low level of return. You are often better off optimizing a new page on your website using a particular keyword phrase and just doing a better job of managing your keywords.

It is often believed that keyword stuffing is black hat or that it is on shaky ethical grounds. Not true. Just because you added keywords to your text doesn’t mean you are stuffing. But it doesn’t mean you’ll be successful either. Keyword stuffing is best described as the process of adding keywords to text (often where unnecessary) for the purpose of getting a page to rank better in the search engines. Webmasters do this because they believe that numbers - that is, keyword density - count.

You should really only go back and add keywords to your web pages to make them more readable and not worry about ranking higher. If you follow Google’s guidelines you shouldn’t have too many problems ranking your web pages.

How Google Is Making Local Business Better

The specific data you’ll be able to track includes:

If you run a local business, things just got better for you. Google has announced that it will now start providing Google Analytics data for businesses that are listed in its Local Business Center.

Number of impressions your LBC profile receives via search or Maps search.
The number of actions people take to interact with your business listing.
Top search queries used to find your listing.
Zip codes where driving directions came from.

The value of this information extends far beyond mere search. The zip code information, for instance, could be used to help you add business locations. If you see a lot of queries coming from a specific zip code and you know that residents in that zip code have a long way to travel to get to your office, you could open up a satellite office in that zip code or a new business location.

Just like with Google Analytics and any website you own, knowing the top search queries to find you is smart for future optimization reasons. So, in a word, this information is valuable to you and now you have access to this information through your Local Business Center listing. Take full advantage of it.