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How important is keyword density now?

Is it important as it once was?

     
8:23 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi everyone, first time posting, I love this forum!

In Brett's now famous and great posting, "Successful Site in 12 Months with Google Alone", he writes:

F) Density, position, yada...
Simple old fashioned seo from the ground up.
Use the keyword once in title, once in description tag, once in a heading, once in the url, once in bold, once in italic, once high on the page, and hit the density between 5 and 20% (don't fret about it). Use good sentences and speel check it ;-) Spell checking is becoming important as se's are moving to auto correction during searches. There is no longer a reason to look like you can't spell (unless you really are phonetically challenged).

However looking at more recent threads, it seems that people are saying this is no longer the case. Should I be concerned about getting the keyword up there x many times, or just go for plain usability? Also do things like bold and italic text mean anything anymore?

9:22 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Welcome to Webmasterworld jimphilli! :)

I would say put each phrase once in the title, once in the description tag, once in the heading of the page and 2-3 times in the body text of the page. I have never worried about the keyword density. It is far more important that the page reads well to human visitors.

8:32 am on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks sem4u, I appreciate the help!
6:02 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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sem4u, I agree - but then again, with that advice you'll most likely end up with a keyword density meeting general recommandations (5 to 15%) anyways. ;) W.
5:10 pm on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Should I be concerned about getting the keyword up there x many times, or just go for plain usability?

Mildly. If I'm writing about Widgets and I only use the word "Widgets" once and thereafter refer to them as "they", that makes it hard for both robots and skimming humans to easily ascertain what that page is about.

But when it comes to ranking, your time would much better spent thinking about how many pages you can create that are tightly semantically related (in Google's opinion) to your keyword. Making such pages and then linking them so they cast their votes for the "main" keyword page is a much more fruitful SEO endeavor than searching for a mythical optimal keyword density.

2:01 pm on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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its all about keyword density...

Dont write about cars if your niche is widgets.. and if you don't use the word cosmetics they never find you.

silly example:

widgets, widgets, widgets is spam but..

"You can now use anti-animal widgets from the biggest widgets producer of the world. Widgetsare colors to put on your face. Don't use widgets if you are under 18 blabla.."

The theorie: dont optimize for SE's.. just optimize to keep w3schools teachers happy. If SE's dont rank you high, it not your problem.....

The SE's are just no good.

[edited by: mona at 4:52 pm (utc) on Mar. 28, 2006]
[edit reason] no specific KWs, please - thx! [/edit]

5:34 am on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes! Keyword Density doesnt matters much mow with Google.

But it seems to be working for MSN for now. Cause MSN is a AI based SE and it is highly dependent on keywords right now.

Hope this helps

4:59 pm on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't think keyword density is as important as it once was. sem4u pretty much stated what I generally try to do. The main focus of your content should be the readability for users, not SEs. Just write an article like you would normally, and then see where you can go in and slip in some keywords where it doesn't make it sound ridiculously optimized for SEs.
5:39 pm on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think on-page factors like keyword density and anchor text are more important now then they have been for the last few years.
4:00 am on Apr 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'll have to disagree with last several posts. KW density and positioning is important. Most site owners now know about links and such and since search engines still ( and I'm sure will always) take in account what the hell your page is about, "smart" text layout can make a difference between #1 and #10.
9:21 pm on Apr 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Number of occurences (not the same as density) and location, and consider the possibility of "normalization" based on page size. There's a difference between a 100-word page and a 1,000-word page.
12:25 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What if you have a site that deals with only one keyword with variations? Our site is an e-commerce site with products that are all variations of one basic keyword. How do we not look like we are loading keywords on our page?
 

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