The other problem you face is being delisted or ignored because a search engine sees your SEO
efforts as keyword stuffing. It’s a serious problem, and search engine crawlers will exclude your site
or pages from indexes if there are too many keywords on those pages.
Once you have the two or three keywords or phrases that you plan to focus on, you need to actually
use those keywords in the content of your page. Many people think the more frequently you use the
words, the higher your search engine ranking will be. Again, that’s not necessarily true. Just as using
too many different keywords can cause a crawler to exclude you from a search engine index, overus-
ing the same word will also cause crawlers to consider your attempts as keyword stuffing. Again,
you run the risk of having your site excluded from search indexes.
The term used to describe the number of times a keyword is used on a page is keyword density. For
most search engines, the keyword density is relatively low. Google is very strict about ranking sites
that have a keyword density of 5 to 7 percent; much lower or much higher and your ranking is
seriously affected or completely lost.
Yahoo!, MSN, and other search engines allow keyword densities of about 5 percent. Going over that
mark could cause your site to be excluded from search results.
Keyword density is an important factor in your web-site design, and is covered in more depth in
Chapter 4. But there are other content concerns, too. Did you know that the freshness and focus
of your content is also important in how high your web site ranks? One reason many companies
began using blogs on their web sites was that blogs are updated frequently and they’re highly focused
on a specific topic. This gives search engines new, relevant content to crawl, and crawlers love that.
Consider implementing a content strategy that includes regularly adding more focused content or
expanding your content offerings. It doesn’t have to be a blog, but news links on the front page of the
site, regularly changing articles, or some other type of changing content will help gain the attention of
a search engine crawler. Don’t just set these elements up and leave them, however. You also have to
carry through with regular updates and keep the links included in the content active. Broken links
are another crawler pet peeve. Unfortunately, with dynamic content links will occasionally break. Be
sure you’re checking this element of your content on a regular basis and set up some kind of a user-
feedback loop so broken links can be reported to your webmaster.
Finally, when you’re creating your web-site content, consider interactive forums. If you’re adding
articles to your site, give users a forum in which they can respond to the article, or a comments sec-
tion. This leads to more frequent updates of your content, which search crawlers love. The result?
An interactive relationship with your web-site users will keep them coming back, and give an extra
boost to your search engine ranking.
Images or graphics on your web site are essential. They’re also basically ignored by search engines,
so what’s the point of putting them on your site? There’s a good reason that has nothing to do with
SEO. Without images, your page is just boring text. You’re not going to be happy with using plain
text instead of that cool new logo you had designed for your company, and neither are your users.
They want to see pictures.
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