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Keyword Density in Google
How to determine the true density?
notbob




msg:726773
 5:41 am on Jun 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've been using the online tools to determine the keyword density of my webpages.

In the calculation of density, some analyzers exclude any word less then 3 characters while other analyzers include all words.

I've tried both. The ones that omit short words in their analysis result in a density of up to 30% for a keyword, whereas those that don't omit small words results in a density of 12% for my keyword.

My questsion is when google calculates keyword density, do they exclude words less then 3 characters or do they include all words in their analysis?

Thank you

 

Lorel




msg:726774
 3:55 pm on Jun 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I only exclude words less that 3 characters when a 3 letter word is not one of the main words, i.e., for anything related to the "web" you want to not disallow that word. Check out their 3 word list or stop words.

I don't think anyone knows what Google counts for 3 character words but if you search for the word "web" and check the density of the top ranking sites it may give you an idea of what Google DOES allow. I've heard that Yahoo allows less density than google (supposedly implying that you can't rank well in both) but I've seen top ranking sites in both engines.

Clint




msg:726775
 3:56 pm on Jun 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sorry I can't answer your question. I just posted this on another thread that brought it up, but it's more appropriate here. Maybe you can answer this since you mentioned it:

Just how do you do a keyword density check anyway...manually counting? Or is there a tool to use? The % figure at which you arrive, is that counting every single word on a page including the meta tags, then counting how many times the key word(s) appear in the tags and the page's body, then getting the % from that? Or is it some other method?
Thanks.

randle




msg:726776
 4:14 pm on Jun 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is also the possibility it makes no difference these days. If written to read properly, you should be fine.

fischermx




msg:726777
 6:43 pm on Jun 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

My question would be, then, what's the supposed proper keyword density percentage for google?

BigDave




msg:726778
 7:15 pm on Jun 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

The "proper density" is don't bother. Write good copy for your users, and it will be just about right for the search engines. This ain't 1997.

Clint




msg:726779
 1:48 pm on Jun 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I found a "Keyword density check" tool, and it said "Keyword density is terrible" and that it was 25% on the page I tested. I assume it's saying that is too low since I tried another page that was 14% and it said the same thing. HUH? I heard that something like 25% is way too high!? So what is the correct amount?

jd01




msg:726780
 3:04 am on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

The "proper density" is don't bother. Write good copy for your users, and it will be just about right for the search engines. This ain't 1997.

The above quote is the correct answer...

If you do not believe me, find a density analizer, and run it on the top ten sites in Google (or any other major engine) for a number of competitive queries. You will soon find that the answer you are looking for is not in density.

I would say too high *might* be possible, since most pages range from ~1.2% to ~14%, but there are exceptions that are as high as 25% or 30%.

Justin

Clint




msg:726781
 3:14 am on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Justin, that's really confusing. That sounds like Google won't penalize for (as they may call it) "targeted words spam" like your products names commonalities repeated on a webpage....yet they do, don't they?

I just want to know a % figure to avoid.

BigDave




msg:726782
 3:19 am on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Clint,

Don't worry about it. Write for your user.

MikeNoLastName




msg:726783
 7:58 am on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

"You will soon find that the answer you are looking for is not in density. "

... or that you need a better density checker :)

Munster




msg:726784
 9:47 am on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Nice one Dave, Keyword density is so 90's!

The trouble with keyword density analysis is that if you get obsessed with it what happens is that you end up with a load of copy that makes no sense and thus does not sell, and you end up tripping spam filters.

The real rule of thumb is, write your copy well, make sure you mention your keywords a few times but not enough to spoil the copy.

Dont lose sight of the real goal. Traffic and conversions are your target, not #1 for widget. Writing good copy will give you 1000's of other number 1's that will bring you more traffic than that 1 golden keyword that everyone else is optimising for!

Clint




msg:726785
 10:01 am on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

but not enough to spoil the copy.

Well that's just the problem! ;) I can't find out just how much will "spoil the copy".

Dont lose sight of the real goal. Traffic and conversions are your target, not #1 for widget. Writing good copy will give you 1000's of other number 1's that will bring you more traffic than that 1 golden keyword that everyone else is optimising for!

How else are you going to get traffic from SE's if you're not #1 or close to it? What is always good for humans (i.e. good "copy"), is not always good for SE's. Google proved that recently. You can right great copy, but it's of no use if you have no visitors due to being way back in SE SERP's because your site isn't friendly enough or optimized enough for SE's.

For most of the key phrases I monitor, I'm on the 1st page in ALL SE's, and in a couple of dozen phrases 1st, 2nd or 3rd on the first page. The main reasons why I want to find out about this keyword density is in the event an SE changes their "keyword density algo's" and causes the "excrement" to hit the fan again. ;) I'm also just curious, I'm not about to change anything and screw up my SERP's right now. But it's at least worth investigating for a few phrases where I'm on the 2nd or 3rd page of the SERP's.

Clint




msg:726786
 10:53 am on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well this is interesting. For one of my monitored 3-word phrases where I WAS 1st on the 1st page out of 2.5 million hits, where I'm now 3rd thanks to Bourbon behind two totally non relevant hits, (one having hidden text), for these areas:

All text: PR - words - repeats - density Page Elements: Title - Link - Alt - Kw - Desc - Bold - HTags

I am respectively: 5, 800, 4, 1.5%, and 9.7%, 0.9%, 2.4%, 10.7%, 5.7%, 0.0%, 0.0% .

The 1st two sites in the G results are ALL ZEROS for ALL "Page Elements", as well as ZEROS for "repeats" and "density"! 1st and 2nd spot have respectively 129 and 535 words, and a PR of 3.

Interesting.

Again, the 1st spot is some exporter in India with hidden text on the page, and the 2nd spot is the LOGIN AREA for THIS FORUM! This forum has about as much to do with the search, as George Washington did with NASA! These two spots have been this way since Bourbon!

I did the check again on another phrase that devastated me in Bourbon. I was also 1st on the 1st page for it, but now I'm 7th on the 1st page behind multi-million dollar places. Hits 1-6 for density are: 0%, 2.87%, 0%, 0%, 1.44%, 0%, then I'm 6.94%!

On another phrase where I got back to 1st on the 1st page, my density on that page is 1.89%, then it's 0% for 2-6 positions, 7th spot is 11.6%, then all 0% rounding out the top 10.

Intriguing. <shakes head not knowing what to think of this...other than KD apparently means nothing>

VikramLashkari




msg:726787
 1:13 pm on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

hi clint,
yours keyword density research seems to be very wide. I am really excited to know more about the Keyword density from you if u can tell me.

See what do u think if i achieve keyword density just near to my competitor, will that helps me to go up in the SERPs or i too have to work on Backward links to come up in SERPs.

One most important thing is that my site is having PR7 and it is cached daily. I am doing changes in home page daily to come up in top 10 Sites for specific keywords inculding keyword density changes. I am worried that will google considere this daily change as spam. AS i am doing this daily changes(including keyword density) in order to achieve position in TOP 10 Sites.

Pleaes reply this, i have few more questions

Thanks

Rollo




msg:726788
 1:24 pm on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

In either case it looks like you may be stuffing. I think keyword density is overrated and not that helpful in the serps anymore in Google. I think it's a carryover from the days when number of times a keyword occured in the body determined rankings (in other engines). It seems to help most in Yahoo, but, yes, write for users.

BennyBlanco




msg:726789
 2:10 pm on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Clint,

For those sites that you mention that had zeros but were ranking near the tops, your next step should be to analyze the anchor text in their backlinks. Guarantee that the phrases they are ranking for can be found in abundance within their anchor text.

Just a thought. But density is definitely a thing of the past for any "money" keywords. However, for niche phrases, you can still get by with barely any backlinks and stuffing phrases on your pages.

Panacea




msg:726790
 2:23 pm on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Dont worry keyword density

sailorjwd




msg:726791
 4:15 pm on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

IMHO...

It is nearly impossible to get any measure of keyword density even for your own pages if you have internal or external links. And it is definitly impossible to get the keyword density of another person's page.

All those links are passing keywords to the page.

I have a page that ranks #1 for a 3 word search. The first word doesn't appear in the title, h1, or body of the text. It only appears in two links in the navigation area - so there's about 15 links coming into the page with the keyword.

Have you ever done a search on G and looked at the cached copy of the top page to see where the keywords are? once in a while G will tell you that the word XYZ doesn't appear on the page and only appears on links pointing to the page... Therefore in some cases you don't even have to have particular word on the page.

BigDave




msg:726792
 5:13 pm on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

other than KD apparently means nothing

I believe that is what several of us have been trying to tell you.

The search engines have gone far beyond simple keyword density checks. They look at how you use the keywords. They look for synonyms and words that they have come to relate to the keyword.

If the search is [car], there is a very good chance that they also know that "automobile" means the same thing. They also know that "tires", "engine" and "transmission" are words that are associated with "car"

But even density in those other terms only means a little in the grand scheme of things.Searching for the magic keyword density will not keep you from taking a hit with various updates. No one thing will.

Ignore keyword density. Write for your users.

Wizard




msg:726793
 5:43 pm on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

When I place main keywords in title, h1, meta description and links, in the minimum amount to make it clear what the page is about, and I put an on-topic content, I usually already got 12% density.

Pages with densities up to 50% and even more happen to rank in Google under certain circumstances, but exceeding over 12% is already not safe IMHO. So I don't know what does it mean to worry about to small keyword density.

KD is still an important factor, but I think it's not up to exact percentage. If you make a site with almost exact density on most pages, for example, 14-15%, you'll indicate you're a spammer. Non-standard distribution of KD of page targeted keywords among the site is one of the best indications of spam, so Google is very likely to exploit it.

CygnusX1




msg:726794
 6:45 pm on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I personaly like 7% for keyword density on the main phrases I go after. It's not too high and not too low.

Clint




msg:726795
 9:03 am on Jun 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Clint,
For those sites that you mention that had zeros but were ranking near the tops, your next step should be to analyze the anchor text in their backlinks. Guarantee that the phrases they are ranking for can be found in abundance within their anchor text.

Just what is "anchor text" anyway, is that link text?

Clint




msg:726796
 9:14 am on Jun 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

hi clint,
yours keyword density research seems to be very wide. I am really excited to know more about the Keyword density from you if u can tell me.
See what do u think if i achieve keyword density just near to my competitor, will that helps me to go up in the SERPs or i too have to work on Backward links to come up in SERPs.

One most important thing is that my site is having PR7 and it is cached daily. I am doing changes in home page daily to come up in top 10 Sites for specific keywords including keyword density changes. I am worried that will google consider this daily change as spam. AS i am doing this daily changes( including keyword density) in order to achieve position in TOP 10 Sites.

Pleaes reply this, i have few more questions

Vikram, I got the tool's URL from you. ;) That's what I was using. You should run your own tests comparing your search phrases with your competitors. Any results I get may not be the same for you.

sailorjwd




msg:726797
 8:40 pm on Jun 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Have any of you tried reducing the keyword density caused by repeated menu navigation words to a certain page?

Anyone tried using the &##*$!; (where xxx is the ascii character code for a letter) to break up a word in the menu so it wouldn't be recognized by G? Would this work?

Lorel




msg:726798
 1:44 am on Jul 7, 2005 (gmt 0)


If you do not believe me, find a density analizer, and run it on the top ten sites in Google (or any other major engine) for a number of competitive queries. You will soon find that the answer you are looking for is not in density.

Checking the density is only one thing that needs to be analyzed. You also have to consider the PR of the top sites and also how many links they have, etc.

Usually PR 6 or PR 7 sites with low KW density and even not using those words in the title will outrank a PR 5 with high density.

It's also interesting to analyze what is their main focus. Often it has nothing to do with the Keywords being targeted but solely their PR.

I managed to get a VERY COMPETITIVE targeted phrase from #57 to #4 by practicing with keyword density (not spamming) and the site is only PR 5. The #1 to #3 postions are held by PR 7 and PR 6 sites so not likely to outdo them. But it's nice being on the top half of the 1st page of results.

Johan007




msg:726799
 9:15 am on Jul 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Write for your users, that s what Google wants and likes, otherwise your writing for MSN Search users.

robotsdobetter




msg:726800
 9:25 am on Jul 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Write for your users, that s what Google wants and likes
I don't think Google knows what it likes and doesn't like. Just do a search on just about any keyword and the top ranking web pages most likely not writing for the users, but for the search engines.
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