Google hates keyword stuffing and clearly addressed this SEO tactic in the Panda update last year. In fact, Google actually states this in their webmaster guidelines about keyword stuffing:
“Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.
Examples of keyword stuffing include:
- Lists of phone numbers without substantial added value
- Blocks of text listing cities and states a webpage is trying to rank for
- Repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural, for example:
We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Here are some sites online that are using keyword stuffing so you can take a real world look at this technique in action:
Take a look at the footer to see the stuffing in action? But although this site is clearly in violation of Google’s rules, it is still getting top placement on important industry specific keywords. Take a look at the content and you’ll see that it is in some places nearly unreadable for keywords interspersed in the content. So why has this site not been penalized? There simply may be more at play than we know that is keeping this site in the top spot.
Here’s another site that is using the tactic that Google has clearly disavowed at the bottom of the page just as an example. Although this site does not have top 60 result placement, it is a fine example of what to steer clear of in regards to keyword stuffing.
So back to the topic, if Google hates keyword stuffing, why are top sites still using it and why have they not dropped in placement? Although these sites may have slipped through Google’s filter, there may be other factors at play that are keeping top sites using stuffing still at the top. Or it may also be that Google simply has not caught up with sites using these tactics. Whatever the reason, for sites that are using this stuffing, I would recommend a slow revision to remove it while improving content and user engagement.
I personally don’t believe that using just these disavowed techniques will get any site top placement. What gets placement is a combination of quality content, some degree of keyword density (1% to 2%), quality inbound links, and shareable content.