Does Keyword Stuffing Hurt Rankings on Google?

screenshot of twitter exchange between john mu of google and SEO person

So many people I speak with are overly worried about things that are in fact irrelevant when it comes to rankings on search engines. Or they are afraid to use strategies that in fact do work very well when applied rationally.

People have heard that "keyword stuffing" will result in a penalty. Or that by having less than perfect crawls of their site (miscellaneous errors), that their site content will be penalized and shunned by Google.

Who hasn't gotten an email from an "SEO Company" offering to do a "free analysis" of their website? Then they send you a report showing all these errors, and prey on peoples fear and lack of technical expertise and experience to lead them down a trail of actions that don't mean anything.

John Mu from Google says - "lots of sites get things wrong, but they are still useful". Focus on what actually matters to your business and branding.

Key Takeaways

  1. Focus on being useful, which means being relevant. Google ranks the most relevant content to the search. Keywords.
  2. Keyword stuffing isn't a penalty. In a perfect world, content will have a delightful balance of keywords, related terms, and information that is relevant to the reader. In reality, our clients don't always have the resources, or it isn't a priority to have perfectly composed content.
  3. Don't sweat the small stuff.  Creepy SEO companies will tell you are doing things wrong and that these errors will result in terrible penalties unless you pay them to fix things. Google is simply looking for the most relevant result for queries using keywords and context.
    Do care about using keywords, and keyword phrases. Using the right words, in the right context allow us to be relevant, and get in the game. This is particularly important for e-commerce where we are selling a product, and we need maximum visibility - ASAP.
    Implement the right words, in the right places - and if you have the resources or the topic is important to your business, go back and make the content perfectly balanced with informative, interesting or compelling content with balanced keyword density, variety - etc.


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