Monday, September 14, 2009

Optimum Keyword Density

I had a reason to poke around the web today looking for what SEOs have to say about optimal keyword density. I saw a variety of different opinions, and the one that resonated with me the most is the right brained perspective. As you might expect, most people are looking for a number, and I would say that the consensus that I saw was around 2%-7%. This makes sense to me as a general rule of thumb, but the answer that I was feelin' was something along the lines of, "It varies, go with what works."

It seems to me that the operative word here is "relevancy" in general. If you have a site or a blog that stays on a particular topic, or at least stays in touch with the general theme while extending outward, the content will naturally have an appropriate keyword density. When I write on this blog, I never think about using the words that I'm targeting. But, because the blog is about Internet content and SEO, the bots have no problem identifying it as a source of information relevant to the providing of Internet content. (Of course the URL doesn't hurt either, but that's another post.)

One SEO said that if you are concerned that you may have too many keywords on a page, you probably do, and that rings true. Yet, people report having success with up to 35% keyword density, which sounds like a lot, but it is working for their page, so why "fix" it? It's all about results, and I think that the left brain tendency of many people in technical fields leaves them looking for a numerical absolute where there really is none.

The place where I differ from many is that I am not going to clear it all up for you here in one fell swoop. Those who insist that they know for sure what is best in every instance are either lying, or deluded. However, what I am saying with a degree of certainty is that if you stay on point with your content without trying too hard, your keyword density will probably be just fine. If you do this and you are not seeing results, it may not be the content that's the problem. But it may be. And that's the way it goes.

This is not to say that intelligent, earnest, informed effort is of no value. The Content Dude is just about facing reality when it comes to SEO. I know that most people who read this blog won't take me seriously because I always say that there are no absolutes (and I drink too many White Russians). But I'm going to continue to be myself, state my case, and serve clients who respect honesty and the uncertain nature of predicting exactly how Google bots will see each individual page on the web.

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