When you begin your SEO campaign, your goal is to get your web page or website ranked high in the search engines. And you want to do this quickly. Your time is valuable so you want to know how important each SEO factor is so that you know how much time and effort to spend on each. One SEO factor is keyword density. How important is it? Is keyword density worth your time? The answer is divided.
In the 1990s, search engines were taking their first wobbly steps. Keyword density – the ratio of a keyword to the total number of words on a web page – was very important at this time. And since keyword density was such a powerful factor in getting a website ranked high in the search engines, people clung to it and took hearty advantage of it. And word caught on. Soon, keyword density was a common Internet knowledge and many people were upping their keyword density using keyword stuffing – the act of overly stuffing text with keywords. Search engines caught on to this and changed their algorithms. Keyword density became less important in ranking a website.
How important is keyword stuffing today? There are several theories on this. While keyword density isn't nearly as powerful as it once was, many claim that it's still an important factor in SEO. Others claim that keyword density makes little difference in SEO. They call the importance of keyword density a "myth."
In a survey conducted by Shaun Anderson Hobo at hobo-web.co.uk, several SEO experts were asked their opinions on keyword density. The majority agreed that keyword density is not important and some of them even said they ignore it entirely. Barry Welford stated that keyword density is getting less and less important as time goes by. A blogger by the name of Sebastian said that a "Single inbound link with a good anchor text can make a web page lacking a decent keyword density rank higher than every page with tuned keyword density."
Many others believe that keyword density is still important for SEO. Some people believe keyword stuffing is the ticket to a high ranking. Many others believe that keyword density is important as long as you steer clear of keyword stuffing and value readability over keyword density. Some people, like SEO copywriter Yuwanda Black at yuwandablack.hubpages.com thinks that keyword density is most important in the beginning stages of your SEO campaign.
So is keyword density important for SEO? If you compare keyword density to other SEO factors you'll see that keyword density ranks low in the grand scheme of things. It's much more important to focus your SEO campaign on other SEO factors like backlinks and anchor text. But this doesn't mean that keyword density doesn't hold weight in SEO. Even many of the keyword density skeptics work on their keyword density to a degree. So even though there are more important SEO factors, you shouldn't disregard keyword density.
Search engines change their algorithms constantly (See our blog "Dealing With Search Engine Changing Algorithms"). It seems they get smarter by the day. Certain factors that once held a lot of weight in SEO now have much less importance. Keyword density is one of these factors. But keyword density is not completely useless and many believe that it still makes a noticeable impact on search engine rankings. So whatever opinion you have on keyword density, you shouldn't ignore it. It may just give your website a needed boost in the rankings.