Keywords are words or phrases that help search engines index and rank a page. These also help internet searchers to look for relevant information. Web developers who want their websites to have a good rank use keywords to manipulate the indexing and ranking by a search engine. They are important for online marketing and SEO because they can increase the traffic to your website and give your business a great net presence.
Nature and Use of Keyword Stuffing?
In the early days of internet, when a search was generated, the search engines used an algorithm that picked out the keywords and matched it to the meta tags and content of the sites to return a query. The relevance and the page rank of a site were determined by the number of times a keyword was present in the site. The belief that the more a keyword or phrase was used, the better the ranking of the site, lead to Black Hat tactics of keyword stuffing. Some unscrupulous webmasters, put in too many keywords in their websites, just so that their sites enjoyed a good page rank and were easily indexed by search engines.
Keyword stuffing may be described as a black hat technique of putting in too many keywords in a web page, whether as meta tags or within the content to manipulate and influence the ranking of the site in search results.
Different Forms of Keyword Stuffing
Webmasters used various ways to stuff in keywords. These included:
- Making the Keyword Text Invisible: This is a text that is visible to the search engine but not to the users. This included using the keyword or phrase written in the same color as the background. As it blended in and did not disturb the visual quality of the website, webmasters put in the same keyword multiple times in the hope of increasing the relevance of their websites.
- Using Keywords that have no Relevance to the Content off the Website: This form employs the use of non-relevant but high traffic keywords into the website Meta tags, to increase the traffic to the site and improve its ranking. This meant that the site showed up for a search totally irrelevant to its content or what it was promoting.
- Using Hidden Links and Texts: Hiding text behind pictures or images or placing text on the page beyond the boundary is another form of keyword stuffing. These texts are not visible to the user but can be read by search engines while indexing.
- Keyword Overkill: This form is the most obvious form of keyword stuffing. In the hope to deceive the search engines and make it believe that a site is relevant to the keyword, the keyword is used everywhere in the website. It is used over generously in the content as well as in the meta tags, comment tags, and the Alt Attributes.
- Duplicate Tagging: This occurs when the same title tag and description tags appear on several pages in a website. This may be intentional or sometimes it can happen accidently when the CMS automatically generates the title and description tags.
Search engines led by Google realized that keyword stuffing was detrimental for their business. Google changed its algorithm making it more organic and user-friendly. Black hat is taken very seriously, now if search engines discover keyword stuffing, the site is penalized and sometimes even banned. A site that is stuffed with keywords has no value in the present day.