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Matt Cutts Talks Keyword Density

Don’t annoy readers.

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Google has put out a new Webmaster Help video, featuring (as usual) head of web spam Matt Cutts. This time, Cutts is answering his own question, rather than a user-submitted question.

The question is: What is the ideal keyword density: 0.7%, 75, or 77%? Or is it some other number?

“A lot of people there’s some one recipe, and you can just follow that like baking cookies, and if you follow it to the letter, you’ll rank number one,” he says.

Shockingly, that’s not the case.

There’s no set percentage for keyword density, that will help you rank, according to Cutts. “That’s not the way that search engine rankings work,” he says.

“The way that modern search engines, or at least Google, are built,” says Cutts with a slight chuckle, “is that the first time you mention a word, you know, ‘Hey, that’s pretty interesting. It’s about that word.’ The next time you mention that word, ‘oh, OK. It’s still about that word.’ And once you start to mention it a whole lot, it really doesn’t help that much more. There’s diminishing returns. It’s just an incremental benefit, but it’s really not that large.”

“And what you’ll find is that if you continue to repeat stuff over and over again, then you’re getting in danger of keyword stuffing, or gibberish and those kinds of things.”

“So, the first one or two times you mention a word – that might help with your ranking. Absolutely. But just because you can say it seven or eight times, that doesn’t mean that it will necessarily help your rankings.”

“The way to think about it is this,” Cutts wraps up. “Think about the keywords that you’d like to have in your copy. Make sure your copy is long enough that you can work those keywords into your copy in a natural way and not an artificial way. And my recommendation is to either read it aloud or read it to someone else or have someone else read it, and sort of say, ‘Do you spot anything that’s artificial or stilted or that doesn’t quite read right?’ And if you can read through the copy, and have it read naturally where a person isn’t going to be annoyed by it, then you’re doing relatively well.”

Another tip for surviving Panda? Don’t annoy readers.

Matt Cutts Talks Keyword Density
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  • Matt Cutts

    Good summary Chris.

    Keep an eye on the comment section for any negative comments on Google. If you see one, delete and tweet the IP of the criminal to me or to Barry Schwartz. Don’t worry about the ethics of it, I just want to run his /her IP against our Analytics and G+ logs to see who he /she is.

    It’s getting too much, I just did another 1.55 minute video and they are never satisfied. Memo to webmasters: Advertise if you want traffic!

  • http://www.freeonlinegames-to-play.com freeonlinegames

    great stuff about keywords density but Google has already mention in webmaster guide line keywords density should be 3.4% check it out in webmaster tools.

  • http://www.hub-uk.com David Jenkins

    A few weeks ago I had a rant about Matt Cutts and his dress sense, especially those pastel T-shirts. Is this video a sign that he read my advice and heeded it or just coincidence? Just looks so much better.

    It would be nice to be able to add to my CV “Sartorial adviser to Matt Cutts”.

  • http://www.tenddeapact.com TS – Web design Ireland

    This video clears some doubt I had about keyword density. I have always thought over doing it doing make the site read well.

  • http://www.phuket-holiday.com Fabio

    Google has a keyword density of 7.14% for the keyword “google” and it ranks #1 on google!

  • http://www.geeknoob.com Kundan Bhardwaj

    No matter what the experts say but we know that keyword density really matters a lot and the myth remains unrevealed.

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