What is Keyword Stuffing? Why is keyword repetition wrong?

What is Keyword Stuffing?

The term keyword stuffing is an old and common way to introduce the target keyword to Google bots. This method tries to repeat a specific word or phrase in the text of the page; Titles, meta descriptions and even internal links to increase the chances of earning a place.

In practice, this method increases the density of the target keyword on the page and apparently helps Google understand the subject of the page. This technique has been very effective in the last few years, and despite the SEO analysis tools such as the Yoast plugin, its use seems very reasonable and correct.

With the update of Google algorithms, the repetition of the keyword has practically lost its efficiency.

In the past, we tried to make the target keyword being repeated at least in the 3% of the words on the page, or in other words, appear twice in every 3 lines of content. But this method is not as effective today as it was in the past.


Where did the keyword repetition technique start?

In the early stages of search engine design, the design algorithms were very simple. In the early years, these algorithms had a low ability to understand the semantic relationship of words and identify the meaning of a paragraph or even a page.

In this case, the best way to identify the topic of the page was to choose the phrases that were most present on the page. Google bots determined the subject by the amount of repetition of a phrase on the page and the appropriate position in the search results.

SEO experts used the same weakness of search engines and tried to get a better position in these phrases by repeating their desired keyword. Gradually, Google algorithms such as Hummingbird Algorithm and Rank Brain Algorithm were introduced and were able to use artificial intelligence to recognize the semantic relevance of phrases and determine the quality of page content.

As the accuracy of Google bots in identifying the concept and quality of the page increased, the impact of keyword repetition diminished. As far as Google has officially announced, it recognizes the keyword stuffing technique as one of the methods of spam in SEO.

The image below is Google’s detailed description of keyword stuffing, which refers to items commonly used by webmasters.


Common techniques for keyword repetition

Excessive use of a particular phrase will cause Google to notice your attempt to gain a place in that keyword. On the other hand, this method will show the low quality of the content produced by you, which can cause you to lose your place in Google results.

Currently, various methods are used for keyword stuffing on sites, some of which are discussed below:

  • Repeat the target word in the page title

One of the most annoying ways is to repeat a specific phrase in the title of the page or site. In this method, the site administrator tries to repeat specific and synonymous phrases in the page title and thus increase his chances of gaining a place in them.

Google suggests that page titles should be completely specific and descriptive. specific means that no other page on your site has a similar title to this page. Descriptive means that the title of the page is a short and practical description of the content on that page.

2- Repeat the keyword in the page description

The same method is used in the page description. Some webmasters think that repeating a specific phrase or its various combinations in the page description can lead to a place in all of those phrases.

While this method is easily recognizable to Google and you may lose your position in search results. It is recommended that the meta description to be a descriptive and accurate text about the content of the page and use interesting phrases that increase the user’s chances of clicking.

3- Excessive repetition of a phrase in the content of the page

It can be said for sure that the most use of keyword stuffing is seen in the content of the article or product. In this method, the webmaster tries to dedicate at least 3% of his content to a specific phrase.

Why is Yoast seo plugin deceptive?

Yoast plugin has declared keyword repetition as one of the SEO content factors and the prevalence of WordPress has made this method quickly popular in the web space. This plugin is just a tool to analyze your content and its green light does not mean gaining a place in the target word.

Many people think that if the plugin light is green, they will definitely get a good place in Google results. But in many cases they are practically deceiving themselves and of course Google.

This technique not only does not improve your SEO status but can be a compelling reason for your site to be penalized by Google.

4- Repeating the link with the same text in a page or the whole site

In some sites, it is seen that a specific phrase is linked to the desired address in all the content of a page or in all pages of the site. This method usually uses scripts that identify the phrase and automatically link to the target page.

This method is also an example of keyword stuffing and will have a bulk negative impact on your SEO.


5- Targeting the names of neighborhoods or phrases close to each other

In some sites, longer phrases are usually considered more and instead of repeating a phrase on the page, different combinations are used, targeting the names of neighborhoods, cities or even companies. This method is completely contrary to Google’s standards and is an example of keyword stuffing.

What is the right alternative to repeating a keyword?

Now Google is trying to use the key concept to determine the quality of content and its place in Google results instead of paying attention to the keyword and repeating it on the page. There are several methods for conceptualization in content production.

The best alternatives for keyword stuffing are:

  • Use words that are both Synonym and similar in meaning
  • Using descriptive expressions that convey exactly the same concept
  • Link building with long phrases and various combinations
  • Express marginal topics that are directly semantically related to the topic

These techniques help you get the concept you want to Google and of course to the user without having to repeat a specific phrase on the page.

For conceptualization, we need to know Google’s algorithms when analyzing page content. Then, We use the same algorithms to generate standard content that is understandable to both the user and Google.

keyword stuffing

Does repeating a keyword always result in a site penalty?

As you read this article, the first questions that come to your mind are:

  • Despite these rules, how some pages that use this method still have a good place in Google results?
  • How to convey our intended concept to the user without repeating the target word in the text?
  • Is there a standard number for repeating a word on the page?


Google’s goal is to provide valuable and high quality content to the people they search for. That should be your goal too.

If the content you produce is valuable to the user and they enjoy reading it, be sure that you will not be penalized by Google.

Note that you do not need to focus on the number of repetitions of a phrase on the page or remove them from parts of your article. There is no standard number of uses of a word per page.

To avoid being penalized by Google, just do not do it intentionally and with the aim of SEO.

Do you still use the keyword repetition method in your site content? Do you think this method works as well as in the past and has been able to improve your position in Google results? Share your questions and experiences with us in the comments section of this article.

What is Keyword Stuffing? Why is keyword repetition wrong?

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