Keyword Stuffing

"Keyword stuffing" describes the practice of loading a webpage with your SEO keywords in an attempt to manipulate your site's ranking in Google search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or group, or out of context (not as natural prose).

Obviously, filling your pages with keywords in an unnatural way will harm your site's user experience, but it can also harm your site's ranking. Google uses an algorithm tool called Penguin to detect keyword stuffing. If Penguin catches you, your domain name will be penalized in search results. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.  Examples of keyword stuffing include:

  • Lists of data without substantial added value    
  • Repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural, for example: "We train students on world-class leadership. Our world-class leadership training is world-class. If you’re thinking of joining world-class leadership, please our world-class leadership program."
What can you do if Google penalizes you for keyword stuffing?

Here's how to handle things if your site has been flagged for violation:

Follow the steps below to identify and correct the violation(s) on your site:

  1. Use the Fetch as Google tool in Search Console to check for content that’s visible to our crawler but isn’t visible to a human user (you!) when visiting the site.
  2. Check for text that’s the same, or similar, color as the background of the webpage.
    Tip: You can often reveal such text by selecting all the text on the page, e.g. by pressing Ctrl + A or Command-A.
  3. Check for any text hidden using CSS styling or positioning, as described in our guidelines.
  4. Remove or re-style any such text so that it’s equally discoverable by search engine crawlers and by human users.
  5. Check for lists or paragraphs of repeated words without any context.
  6. Check <title> tags and alt text for strings of repeated words.
  7. Remove any such words or other instances of keyword stuffing.