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  1. #1
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    Keyword Density?

    Hi

    Can someone point me to a good book or training on Keyword Density?

    We have had an e commerce site for sometime and I have changed shopping carts to clickcartpro about 6mths ago. I have been also been using some pay per click to get sales. I am wanting to increase sales I feel that my Keywords may not be good and I have no idea what Keyword Density is.

    Thanks
    Brian

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    O Rly?? JakeJeck's Avatar
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    It's a worthless measure since about 2002.

    It's basically the ratio of how many times your keywords appear on your page compared to how many words appear on your page.

    If the word Yellow Widget appears on a page 15 times instead of 8 times does that mean the 15 time page is better? Well if Yellow Widget appeared 100 times then it must be super-duper, right!?!?!

    Write good content that people want to link to. Unfortunately manufacturers product descriptions don't equal good content because the same words appear on 50 other websites.

  3. #3
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    We write all the descriptions for the products we sell. I have found one thing I may need to change. We put the name of the backpack in the description one time but all the rest of the comments we put refer to it as backpack. I think I might need to put the full name instead of just using backpack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeJeck View Post
    It's a worthless measure since about 2002.

    It's basically the ratio of how many times your keywords appear on your page compared to how many words appear on your page.

    If the word Yellow Widget appears on a page 15 times instead of 8 times does that mean the 15 time page is better? Well if Yellow Widget appeared 100 times then it must be super-duper, right!?!?!

    Write good content that people want to link to. Unfortunately manufacturers product descriptions don't equal good content because the same words appear on 50 other websites.
    A lot of people would disagree with you, maybe you could give some reasons why you think that.

    Quality of content has nothing to do with keyword density, that much should be obvious.

    Imagine that you're a search engine trying to figure out what a page is about. How would you do it? Would you imagine that the word that appears the most might be what the page is about? The word that appears in the page title, the first heading etc etc

    So, if you want to steer a bot to the conclusion you want it to reach, or at least remove any element of chance, you give your keyword phrase the right density.

    Currently that's considered to be about 3.5%.

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    O Rly?? JakeJeck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    A lot of people would disagree with you, maybe you could give some reasons why you think that.
    Because no reputable SEO source says keyword density matters.

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    O Rly?? JakeJeck's Avatar
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    Before this post the keyword density of this page for the phrase keyword density was 1.141%.

    By saying keyword density a few more times maybe we can bring it up to the optimal 3.5%

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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy hooperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    So, if you want to steer a bot to the conclusion you want it to reach, or at least remove any element of chance, you give your keyword phrase the right density.

    Currently that's considered to be about 3.5%.
    There is no 'optimum' density. How can there be? Why would someone decide that a particular number yields the most relevant page to a query? Simply repeating a phrase a certain number of times per unit of volume doesn't mean that page is a better match to a query than one that doesn't.

    If KD is used it would probably be in a comparative way. It doesn't make sense for there to be an arbitrary constant to aim at.

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    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Keyword density is a great way to lose focus of what you're trying to accomplish: write content that attracts visitors and links. Once you start writing for the search engines you're heading down the wrong path. Yes, be aware of how you can get your keywords in your content but don't do it at the expense of the content itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeJeck View Post
    Because no reputable SEO source says keyword density matters.
    Except the ones that do say it matters.... including funnily enough the guys who wrote the latest Sitepoint SEM/SEO kit.

    Everybody has an opinion, go with your gut instinct or the results of the testing you must have been doing to be so certain.

    I can safely say that there is density over which Google will penalise you because I've tested for it. I could even tell you what it is but I'd be wasting my time cos it doesn't matter.

  10. #10
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    So if I fully use the name of the product would that help? I currently do this

    "Your child will love this cute Stephen Joseph Quilted Backpack! The backpack measures approximately 9.5” x 12” and is the perfect size for your little one! It has a drawstring closure and a flap with a magnetic snap. The backpack also features a zippered pocket on the side with a cute matching keychain! The backpack is accented with a cute Race Car design embroidered on the front. The backpack is adorable just the way it is, but even cuter with your child’s name embroidered on it for FREE! Personalization Included"

    I am thinking about anywhere I have "backpack" putting Stephen Joseph Quilted Race Car Backpack.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy DaveWoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    Imagine that you're a search engine trying to figure out what a page is about. How would you do it? Would you imagine that the word that appears the most might be what the page is about? The word that appears in the page title, the first heading etc etc
    Title, headings, anchor text are obviously important but in my opinion this is very different to what many understand keyword density to mean.

    Most people will assume that keyword density means cramming keywords and phrases into the content to ensure that they have a certain percentage but in reality good content should be aimed at the user so that they can easily understand what the content contains without having to read it and whilst using words within the text that can be used by search engines can be considered, the traditional meaning of keyword density no longer exists as such.

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    O Rly?? JakeJeck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkcook View Post
    I am thinking about anywhere I have "backpack" putting Stephen Joseph Quilted Race Car Backpack.
    That would read pretty badly from a users perspective.

    If your page title is something like "The Stephen Joseph Quilted Race Car Backpack - Perfect for Toddlers" and you have an H1 heading mentioning the backpack, Google is smart enough to know what your page is about. Do you honestly think you need to repeat that phrase 10 times before google figures out what your page is about? Just put all those features in a bullet point list and make 1 or 2 internal links with the proper anchor text and you're well on your way. If you can then manage to get some external links using the proper anchor text I'd be suprised if you don't reach #1 easily.

  13. #13
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    That is what I was thinking it would read kind of dumb...

    On anchor text can you explain what that is?

    I am doing internal links as related items do you tink that is enough?

  14. #14
    O Rly?? JakeJeck's Avatar
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    Well it kind of depends on how your e-commerce site is set up - sometimes you can't use custom link text.

    This is an example of what I mean - Cool Search Engine. You want your links on category pages or related pages to say the product name, not "Product 323" or "BackPack".

  15. #15
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    oh i get it now I am actually doing that now. Maybe I haven't giving the cart enough time yet I have been on it for around 6mth.

    Does it hurt to put the anchor text in the descriptions of products. I was thinking I could put links to catergorys in the description of the products.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy DaveWoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkcook View Post
    So if I fully use the name of the product would that help? I currently do this

    "Your child will love this cute Stephen Joseph Quilted Backpack! The backpack measures approximately 9.5” x 12” and is the perfect size for your little one! It has a drawstring closure and a flap with a magnetic snap. The backpack also features a zippered pocket on the side with a cute matching keychain! The backpack is accented with a cute Race Car design embroidered on the front. The backpack is adorable just the way it is, but even cuter with your child’s name embroidered on it for FREE! Personalization Included"

    I am thinking about anywhere I have "backpack" putting Stephen Joseph Quilted Race Car Backpack.
    No. Don't fill content with keywords as it will look like spam. Use the paragraph as it is. Put the content on a page with the <title>Stephen Joseph Quilted Race Car Backpack</title> or something similar.

    Use headings to markup the content correctly and if these are the keywords you're targeting then use "Stephen Joseph Quilted Race Car Backpack" within your anchor text, i.e. <a href="#">Stephen Joseph Quilted Race Car Backpack</a>

    Hope that helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by csswiz View Post
    Title, headings, anchor text are obviously important but in my opinion this is very different to what many understand keyword density to mean.

    Most people will assume that keyword density means cramming keywords and phrases into the content to ensure that they have a certain percentage but in reality good content should be aimed at the user so that they can easily understand what the content contains without having to read it and whilst using words within the text that can be used by search engines can be considered, the traditional meaning of keyword density no longer exists as such.
    Maybe we're talking about two different things then.

    My understanding of keyword density is the placement on your page, of enough uses of the your primary keyword phrase such that the search engine will consider that to be what the page is about and return you as very relevant (with all the other stuff done too) when someone searches for that phrase.

    If it's done properly, the human user shouldn't even notice it happening. I never sacrifice the users experience for SEO, I don't need to. It's easy to achieve what I believe to be the optimum density without it being noticeable.

    The user has a good and useful experience and I give my page an edge over the competition on the search engines. I don't know why everybody doesn't do it.

    I like your website btw, very nice.

  18. #18
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    Thank you for the nice comment. This website is my wifes business so I try really hard on it. This is a full time job so it is really important to make a profit or just break even.

    I am on here trying to learn more about getting in higher in the search engines the natural way. Pay per click is breaking the bank.

    I am wanting to know what keyword density is so I think we are kind of talking bout the same thing. Everything that I have read so far talks about you must have good keyword density before you can even start SEO

  19. #19
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    Can someone point me to the Sitepoint SEM/SEO kit. also is it good?

  20. #20
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    I would make sure the page for each product has more keywords for that product than any other. If your links have alot of products listed make sure the main product keyword is listed more times.

    No set density most sites range from 2 to 5 so that is 2 times to 5 times keywords shows up for every hundred words. If you put alot more keywords on page that is called keyword stuffing and can hurt site in search engines.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy hooperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    I can safely say that there is density over which Google will penalise you because I've tested for it.
    Are you sure that it was the keyword density that caused the penalty? Because.... consider a page with one word on it (the keyword). Density = 100% (can't get bigger than that), and if that is the only occurrence of the keyword in Google's index, that page will rank #1. It won't be penalised simply because of the density. So does Google hard code it's algorithm to ignore KD > arbitrary threshold when number of words on page = 1? I doubt it. That's clumsy code. You'd then have to introduce another arbitrary constant: y = number of words on page.

    So the new rule would be:

    penalise page if keyword density > (arbitrary constant 1)% unless number of words on page < (arbitrary constant 2). That doesn't make sense, it's too clumsy. Rambling now, going to bed. Sort it out amongst you

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    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Keyword density definitely isn't as simple as the percentage of the words on the page. So those analysis tools people use are a waste of time and those people who tell you to worry about are telling you to worry about something you can't accurately measure anyway.

    Worrying about it is waste of time. If your page reaches a (theoretical) point where the search engines feel a need to penalize it then the odds are that content is so poor that page was never going to rank well for anything worth ranking for anyway. So it all comes back to writing good content for your users.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hooperman View Post
    Are you sure that it was the keyword density that caused the penalty? Because.... consider a page with one word on it (the keyword). Density = 100&#37; (can't get bigger than that), and if that is the only occurrence of the keyword in Google's index, that page will rank #1. It won't be penalised simply because of the density. So does Google hard code it's algorithm to ignore KD > arbitrary threshold when number of words on page = 1? I doubt it. That's clumsy code. You'd then have to introduce another arbitrary constant: y = number of words on page.

    So the new rule would be:

    penalise page if keyword density > (arbitrary constant 1)% unless number of words on page < (arbitrary constant 2). That doesn't make sense, it's too clumsy. Rambling now, going to bed. Sort it out amongst you
    As Stymiee says, it's not as simple as the number of words on the page. My take is that se's are looking for a lot more than just a percentage, such as semantic structure of the content. They might expect to see a standard distribution of the kind of words that are used in real writing. They're looking for evidence that it's a useful site.

    But, if you write your page for a human, which is what you should be doing anyway, and then carefully optimise for a certain keywords density you can use the fact that the bot is trying to figure out what the page is about and rank for a particular term without spamming or over optimising.

    A page with one word on it is a bit of an extreme example. Even if it got indexed it would rarely be more relevant than practically every other site on the subject... Go lower and you get into the area of spamming, go lower still you hit the right spot.

    I recently optimized a site at around 10%, without it affecting the users experience I might add, and the pages got indexed all right but weren't showing for any of the keyword phrases. I reduced the density to around 3.5% whilst leaving the keyword phrases in the vital places and now they're showing at No.2 & 3 on Google for one of the less competitive phrases.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy hooperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    But, if you write your page for a human, which is what you should be doing anyway, and then carefully optimise for a certain keywords density...
    Then you're not writing for a real user. You start off writing for a human and then change it. I would just just write for a huiman and leave it at that.

    I used the one word page example to illustrate my point. I was hoping you could extend the concept to 2 words, 3, and more.

    It doeasn't make sense to have a made up constant to aim for. If any density is used in determining where a page ranks, it would be used in comparing the density of page A to that of page B. Simply coding if KD = 3.5% then score = score + 1 is a bit weird.

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    SitePoint Zealot WEBLAUNCHPHXX's Avatar
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    Quality is more important than keyword density. So, use your keywords smartly in content of your site and avoide over optimization by repeating your target keywords in content.


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