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I'm currently working on a site where we have left side CSS based navigation which appears on most pages on the site. Google appears to be following all the links.
When using online keyword density checkers all the left side links are being included in the word counts and signficantly diluting the targeted keyword value for a specific page.
Does Google ignore blocks of text on page that are repetitive throughout the site?
Any ideas on how to improve the keyword density while still allowing for customer usability?
Thanks in advance
some say that google will lower the value of links/text in the footer and other navigation areas, although i'm not too sure.
you could write keyword friendly descriptions at the bottom of the page which could increase the density, however ...
i feel keyword density is not so important as having your keywords in the 'prime' positions, eg... title tag, hx tags, high up the page, and so on.
you can also consider the title attribute of any element as a location for keywords...
<p title="all about my keyword">
Beware that keyword density is an older measure that may have run its course. I think it is conceptually similar to keyword stuffing.
There are newer discussions on co-occurance on this site which may be of more help to you (in particular stuff by tedster and marcia in the google forum)
I am not a google engineer and this is my unsubstantiated opinion.
The above is for "on page" factors. On "Off Page", it's the anchor text (used in the link text) that may make a difference.