Keyword density plays a major role in SEO? I made an analysis by comparing the keyword density of top pages ranking on Google.

In general, keyword forms the content or the information that people need. When there is a need, people search for it using Keywords.

As search engines have to show the relevant information, it has to match the “keywords entered by the user” with the “actual keywords placed on a web page”.

When there is an appropriate match, your page shall rank higher apart from so many other parameters that decide the rank especially with Google.

This is a common sense thought.

And that’s the truth, no one can deny.

When it comes to keyword density, it tells exactly how many times (say, in percentage) a keyword has been used on a particular page considering the total number keywords (keeping at 100%).keyword cloud

Keyword Density and Your Writing Style

The Wikipedia’s definition of keyword density is more appropriate to understand:

Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page. In the context of search engine optimization keyword density can be used as a factor in determining whether a web page is relevant to a specified keyword or keyword phrase.

Density = ( Nkr / ( Tkn -( Nkr * ( Nwp-1 ) ) ) ) * 100. where Nwp = the number of terms in the keyphrase.

When you naturally make a content with relevant information – the keyword density comes by itself.

It purely depends based on the writers style.

You can also see keyword density as a parameter to improve your writing style.

  • When you have higher density, it means you are putting lots of info on your content. Probably, you are confusing the reader.
  • When you have lesser density, it means you are putting less info on your content. Probably, you are conveying less to the reader.

It’s totally based on your own writing style and how you are conveying an information to the reader.

More experienced writers may use different varieties of words which may bring contextual meanings to a particular keyword. Again, the writers knowledge matters a lot. When you speak about something in-depth, when you have a lot of knowledge about a particular topic, you may write a lot about it, using varieties of words/feelings.

For example, you can take your own blog.

  • First, go and read that very first blog post.
  • Then, go and read one of your latest blog post.
  • You can simply realize, how your writing had improved.

If you compare the keyword density between these 2 blog posts, you may find a major difference. That’s natural with every blogger.

I am not much good in English language. I won’t stop writing. When I read my very first blog post today, I can realize that it had improved a lot 😉

Keyword density varies by your writing style.

How it Affects Ranking? What is the Good Keyword Density?

Many of those so-called SEO experts had made it more complicated by speaking lot more about keyword density.

At the same time, how search engines had evolved over years is also an interesting fact.graph

Earlier, I had seen lots of pages with keywords stuffed at the bottom which were ranking higher on Google. Now-a-days, you can’t even see a single page, even if you are searching for a more complicated or rarely used keyword. This shows the maturity of keyword density and how it had evolved or improved.

My take is,

  • keyword density is not used for ranking pages instead it helps to analyze, if a page is spammed with keywords or not. Basically, Google may use it to filter out pages with keywords framed or stuffed.

In simple words, over density means spam.

You can forget about the density and keep it natural until you convey the message, that’s the good keyword density.

At the same time, have the target keywords in mind while writing and use it throughout the page wherever appropriate.

Keyword Density Analysis of Ist vs 10th Ranking Page.

From ranking perspective, I made a study on the Ist Ranking Page vs 10th Ranking Page by comparing the keyword density of a specific keyword used at various places of the page like: body, headlines, links.

I used the free SEObook’s keyword density tool for all the analysis.

Ist Ranking Page

Let’s take an example of this article by Hubspot – this ranks 1st almost for different combinations of keywords related to “blog post”.

I analyzed this example article and here are the results:

The keyword “blog post” (2 words) is used,

  • at 1.47% density throughout the page
  • at 7.14% density on the headlines only
  • at 1.37% density on the body text
  • at 1.65% density on the links

10th Ranking Page

Similarly, I took yet another example article by Hongkiat – this ranks on the 10th position for the same keywords related to “blog post”.

Again, I analyzed this example article and found the following results:

The keyword “blog post” (2 words) is used,

  • at 1.67% density throughout the page
  • at 1.93% density on the body text
  • at 0% density on headlines, links

The Result:

If you see both of these articles, you can easily find out the difference that:

  • the 1st ranking page has keywords used with more density on the headlines
  • the 10th ranking page has 0% density on the headlines
  • the body text density for both of these pages is almost nearby

With this 2 comparison’s in mind: I can conclude that keyword density has to be positive on body text, more weight-age on headlines.

However, comparing only 2 articles won’t help you to conclude strongly on anything.

Keyword Density Analysis of Google’s Top 10 Ranking Pages.

I further extended the analysis and compared all the top 10 ranking pages for the same keyword and here are the results:

Ranking Position on Google URL Keyword Density on entire page

(in %)

Keyword Density on Body

(in %)

Keyword Density on Headlines

(in %)

Keyword Density on Links

(in %)

1 Hubspot 1.47 1.37 7.34 1.67
2 Problogger 0.86 0 0 1.75
3 Wordstream 2.0 1.61 9.52 0
4 Coschedule NA NA NA NA
5 Bufferapp 0.78 0.68 6.0 0
6 Socialtriggers 2.4 2.39 0 0
7 Socialmediaexaminer 2.7 2.13 0 3.8
8 EnchantingMarketing 0.73 0.47 0 0.9
9 Dummies 0 0 0 0
10 Hongkiat 1.67 1.93 0 0

From these data, I can see that:

  • Headlines are playing a major role, the top most pages are almost having keywords on the headlines
  • The 1st Page has keywords on all the elements: body, headlines, links
  • All these pages don’t have keywords on the Image ‘alt’ tag.

Keyword density analysis is a must have logic related to “text processing”. Search engines like Google must use this kind of analysis especially to match the user given keywords with those on your page.

My take is,

  • keyword density can very well replicate your writing style (from the reader perspective)
  • it can also replicate the spamminess of a page (from the search engine perspective)

Watch the below video from Google, he is also speaking in aligned to my thoughts.

Let me know, how are you using keyword density? Do you think it plays a major role in Ranking?

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