5 Negative Consequences Of Keyword Stuffing On Your SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an integral part of a brand’s digital marketing strategy. It requires many components to rank high on search engines. One of which is the integration of relevant keywords. However, many content creators and digital marketers go overboard and commit the big NO-NO: SEO keyword stuffing.
The thought behind this is: the more, the better, right?
While keyword optimization is crucial to achieving high search rankings, proper keyword usage. must be observed. With many companies stuffing keywords, purposely or not, the tide has changed, and it now does more harm than good. That’s because search engines have caught on.
In this article, we’ll discuss what it is and why it’s time to focus on achieving an acceptable keyword density rate by showing examples of its consequences. Additionally, we’ll give you some proven tactics on how you can produce better SEO-friendly digital content.
By the end of this, you’ll have a greater understanding of how this can impact your business and what you can do to strengthen your SEO strategy, particularly when it comes to keyword-related tasks.
What Is Keyword Stuffing?
It is the practice of inserting keywords into a piece of content to manipulate search engine rankings. This is done by repeating the keyword, or a variation thereof, over and over again in the body of the content.
In many instances, keyword-stuffed pages will be evident since the keywords would stand out in sentences because they have no reason to be there. It’s a technique that’s been around for ages and used to be quite effective in rising through the ranks. Thus, many companies used it to manipulate the system during the early days of SEO.
However, that’s not the case nowadays. It has gotten attention from various search engines, and it’s now considered a black-hat tactic, which means it’s against the guidelines. The rules were updated since stuffing with irrelevant keywords led to a negative user experience.
With that, let’s dive into the numerous consequences of keyword stuffing in SEO so that you can know better.
5 Ways Keyword Stuffing Can Harm Your Website
Although it’s still around, it’s not the best way to get your site noticed by search engines. Now, companies that do this purposely know the risks. Although, there are still many out there that do this unintentionally. Therefore, they are oblivious to the repercussions.
But don’t worry. We prepared a list just for you. Hopefully, this article can open your eyes and you can start being careful on the path of producing valuable content.
1. Your Website Can Get Banned
Google has been working for years to eliminate keyword stuffing from search results. It has several tools that help them determine whether or not a site engages in such activity. Hence, they’ve implemented penalties to discourage companies and content creators from continuing this tactic.
Some of the keyword-stuffing penalties that are handed out include demoting your website in the search rankings, and worse, Google can ban your site from its search index or SERP (search engine results pages).
If you’re a business engaging in such a tactic, Google My Business (GMB) also reserves the right to penalize, especially if you’re stuffing keywords in your business name. Have a look at the image below for a better understanding.
If you get banned, your business will take a hit. With the accessibility of search engines, losing your website reduces your reach with potential customers. Additionally, it increases the chances of your current customers dropping you.
A great example of a brand following the GMB guidelines is a face mask brand called Green Supply. When you search it on Google, it’ll only show the exact brand name with no keywords attached to it. Thus, there is no risk of website or business profile suspension.
Following the rules also increases the brand’s chances of ranking high when someone searches for face masks on sale. Furthermore, having an acceptable brand name on search engines allows the audience to easily identify it among the other results that’ll show up.
2. Lower Ranking And Reduced Visibility In The SERPs
Let’s say you don’t get banned from search engines, it doesn’t mean you’ve beaten the system. As mentioned, Google and others can drop you in the overall rankings, leading to reduced visibility.
The overuse of keywords can result in your page getting tagged as spammy content. As a result, it can lower your visibility on SERPs, making it harder for your target audience to find your business.
Moreover, when your site’s visibility is lower, it makes your content less enticing and less relevant to users. With today’s hyper-competitive nature in rankings, your business website will be going home as a failure as it seeps lower on the SERPs.
It’s hard enough to rank on the first page of Google search results, don’t make it harder for your brand by engaging in stuffing keywords.
3. Your Content Won’t Be Shareable
Keyword-stuffed content is not shareable. Nobody wants to share an article with the words “best car service” repeated numerous times in one paragraph. Let’s be honest, actual readers might find that type of content embarrassing. There’s no way they would want others to know they’ve read such low-quality content. Look at the image below and see if you’d like to proudly share it.
And if people aren’t sharing your content, that means fewer eyes on your company. Plus, you’re missing out on a huge potential exposure. On top of that, even your current customers might be put off if your content always seems spammy with the same keywords being repeated dozens of times in one post.
But that’s not all. Since fewer people are engaging with your content, there are also fewer people to buy your products or use your services. As such, it’s crucial to focus on creating high-quality, relevant content that is informative and captivating.
Let’s give a real-life example to show you shareable content. In an article about the most luxurious hotels in the world, you can see that the content is short, engaging, and visually appealing.
And most importantly, if you search for the keyword “luxurious”, you’ll only find it 6 times on the whole webpage of about 1500 words. That’s a great keyword ratio. Hence, it makes the content more digestible and shareable for readers.
Remember, sharing content is extremely easy in today’s social media era. So use that to your advantage and play it smart instead of using black-hat SEO tactics like keyword stuffing.
4. Creates A Bad User-Experience
When you stuff your content with keywords, it’s not just the search engines that are annoyed—your users are too. Useful and information-rich content is what anyone wants, including your target audience. However, keyword stuffing leads to a terrible user experience.
When your audience sees content that’s been stuffed with keywords, they get frustrated because they know it’s just there to show up higher in search results. They don’t want to read content that was written for search engines—they want to read stuff that was written for them.
As important as SEO is, you have to remember that you’re creating content for people. They’ll be the ones to decide whether to buy from you, not the search engine results.
What’s more, overusing your focus keyword makes it harder for a user to find what they’re looking for. If the audience keeps deeming your content irrelevant and spammy, you’re losing a lot of engagement and possible customers. Plus, If Google decides your site isn’t providing a good experience for users, they’ll lower your ranking in search results.
Not to mention, if your audience doesn’t find your site relevant, they’ll bounce and go to another website. The higher the bounce rate, the lower your ranking gets. And there’s no cheating against that algorithm.
5. Leads To Brand Damage
Last but not least, SEO keyword stuffing issues can damage your brand. It’s the culmination of the other negative consequences we’ve discussed. Here’s how it will happen:
- Lower ranking = reduced visibility = brand damage
- Unshareable content = less engagement = brand damage
- Negative user experience = less likely to return = brand damage
Additionally, stuffing your content with irrelevant or excessive keywords will wear down even your most loyal customers. It’s a cheap tactic that doesn’t even have to be done if you take the time and effort to develop a solid content or SEO strategy.
The ultimate goal is to develop content for real people who you want to use your products or services. Yes, SEO is crucial to your company’s growth, but you have to do it right for your strategy to be successful. There’s no need to take a shortcut with keyword stuffing.
Following our discussion of the consequences, let’s move on to how you can avoid the stuffing tactic and make your content SEO-optimized without the damage.
What Can You Do To Utilize Keywords Safely?
There are several ways you can use keywords without bearing the consequences. By adhering to the following methods, you’re one step closer to making your content more SEO-friendly.
A. Effective Keyword Research
Keyword research is the practice of looking for keywords and phrases that people are searching for on the internet. It allows you to get a clear picture of what people are looking for and help you create content that’ll attract more visitors to your website.
Furthermore, it gives you a sense of how relevant your content might be by understanding how many people are searching for certain topics and phrases. Keyword research tools will help you determine what is popular within different industries, or even just on your website.
For instance, if you have a lingerie brand, you can just type the word “lingerie” in the keyword generator tool, and it’ll give you dozens of keywords you can use.
Additionally, it’ll show you some SEO-related metrics to guide you in choosing your main keyword. See the image above for an example. Plus, it gives sample questions the brand can use for its FAQs, including “how to store lingerie?” and “how to style lingerie?”.
B. Go Beyond Your Primary Keyword
Aside from the primary keyword, you could also utilize secondary and long-tail ones. A great mixture of the three throughout your blog post, article, or any other content helps add context that proves relevance to your page. Hence, it may help with your ranking on SERPs once Google picks up on it.
To help you further understand, we’ll give you a short breakdown of the three:
- Primary keyword: It describes or represents the main idea behind your content.
- Secondary Keywords: These are related to primary keywords and are used to expand your audience. They contain additional terms that make the primary keyword more specific or accurate.
- Long-tail keywords: These are phrases that contain multiple words and are used when searching for specific information on a topic.
There are different ways you could get those three types of keywords and integrate them into your content. One is to use a software or keyword generator tool. Some of them are free, but if you want to see other SEO metrics, you might have to pay for them.
Moreover, if you have an eCommerce store, you could ask a developer to create a PostgreSQL database for you. It’s a great way to get and store user data to help you with your keyword research because you’ll know what the website visitors are searching for in your online store.
Lastly, you can hire an expert Virtual Assistant (VA) who’s adept with research, writing, and content creation. The VA can help you determine the right combination of primary, secondary, and long-tail keywords by analyzing your target audience’s searches. By delegating this task to someone knowledgeable, you can focus on the other aspects of your SEO strategy.
C. Distribute Your Keywords
One of the most powerful ways to improve your SEO is by distributing your keywords naturally in your content. Distributing keywords throughout your content helps search engines index it more effectively because they can better understand what each paragraph is about. This gives them a better idea of how to classify your website and its pages in the search results.
You can do this by utilizing all parts of your content. If it’s a blog post, make use of the heading, title, meta description, and image captions to insert your keywords.
In addition, you should consider splitting up long paragraphs into shorter ones. This makes it easier for readers to consume your content. Plus, it also helps Google understand what each paragraph is about and how they relate to one another.
D. Write Longer, High-Quality Content
One of the best ways to avoid keyword stuffing is to cover your topic thoroughly. As such, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to insert the keywords more naturally instead of overstuffing your content. And if you can’t avoid using two or more keywords in a paragraph, use their synonyms instead.
Of course, you still have to make sure that what you’re writing is of high value and relevance. Low-quality long content won’t do well if Google picks up on it. Hence, you mustn’t force yourself or your writer to prolong your content.
A great example is this article about writing a proposal for a web development business. As you can see, the writer broke the topic down to make it more in-depth. The article includes a list of ways to write better proposals. Not to mention, each method was explained very well and the length, almost 1500 words, is just right to sprinkle the keywords naturally instead of forcibly inserting them.
E. Clear Search Intent On Each Web Page
Without clear search intent, the chances of keyword stuffing increase. It’s because you have no idea what your target audience is looking for. Thus, you’re more likely to throw around different keywords to see which sticks.
If you’re not sure what your search intent is, try asking yourself these questions:
- What does my audience want?
- How can I help them find it?
- What will they do once they get there?
Make sure each web page has a clear purpose and goal. If a web page addresses several topics, it can get messy about which keywords need to be there. With clear search intent, you’ll know what information to focus on and find the right keywords that represent it. As such, it’ll be easier for your target audience to find your website when they search online.
A great example is this web page about AI-powered soft skills assessment consultation. When someone searches “AI skills assessment tools”, they could easily find that page because it contains the right keywords.
Once they click on it and stay on the page, it’ll send a signal to Google that the information on it is relevant because they didn’t bounce and look for another website. That means that the content and search intent match. Thus, increasing the chance to rise in the search rankings.
SEO and its many components can be quite a challenge for content creators, writers, and companies. With stiff competition, it’s hard to stand out and get on the 1st page of Google search results. As such, some do everything they can to rise in the ranking. One of the frowned-upon methods that are practiced, purposely or not, is keyword stuffing.
Would it be easy to avoid doing it? It takes time and practice to avoid stuffing your content with keywords that aren’t even needed.
What’s more, you’re going to need a solid SEO strategy and be extremely adept at its other components to avoid delivering keyword-stuffed content. But worry not. You don’t have to carry the weight of SEO alone for your company.
Here at SEO Digital Group, we have the experts and the tools to launch your website onto the 1st page of Google. With us, you won’t have to worry about the negative impact of keyword stuffing. We can help you with your SEO campaign, keyword research, link building, and many more. Contact us now so we can get started and bring your site to the top.