What is the ideal keyword density of a page?

By | August 9, 2019

Today’s question comes from the
Bay Area of California. The question is, “What is the
ideal keyword density: 0.7%, 7%, or 77%? Or is it some other
number?” Oh, boy. Keyword density, let’s talk
about it a little bit. A lot of people think there’s
some one recipe and you can just follow that like
baking cookies. And if you follow it
to the letter, you’ll rank number one. And that’s just not
the way it works. So if you think that you can
just say, I’m going to have 14.5% keyword density, or 7%,
or 77%, and that will mean I’ll rank number one, that’s
really not the case. That’s not the way that search
engine rankings work. So the way that modern search
engines, or at least Google, are built is that the first
time you mention a word– hey, that’s pretty
interesting. It’s about that word. The next time you mention
that word, it’s still about that word. And once you start to mention
it a whole lot, it really doesn’t help that much more. There’s diminishing returns. It’s just an incremental
benefit, but it’s really not that large. And then what you’ll find is
if you continue to repeat stuff over and over again,
then you’re in danger of getting into keyword stuffing,
or gibberish and those kinds of things. So the first one or two times
you mention a word, then that might help with your ranking,
absolutely. But just because you can say it
seven or eight times, that doesn’t mean that it will necessarily help your rankings. So the way to think
about it is this. Think about the keywords
that you’d like to have in your copy. Make sure your copy’s long
enough so that you can work those keywords in to your copy
in a natural way and not an artificial way. And my recommendation is to
either read it aloud, or read it to someone else, or have
someone else read it, and sort of say, do you spot anything
that’s artificial, or stilted, or it doesn’t quite
read right? And if you can read through
the copy and have it read naturally where a person isn’t
going to be annoyed by it, then you’re doing
relatively well. But if you’re like one of
these guys where all you’re doing is– I know you’re interested in
red widgets because red widgets are one of the best
things in the world to have. And if you’re an expert on red
widgets, then you’ll know that the best source of red
widgets is blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Then that’s really
going too far. And you can really kind of tell
whenever you land on a page if you’re an experienced
SEO, if someone’s just like trying to get the same phrase
on the page as many times as possible, because it
just looks fake. And that’s the sort of area in
that niche where we try to say, rather than helping,
let’s make that hurt a little bit. So I would love it if people
could stop obsessing about keyword density. It’s going to vary. It’s going to vary by area. It’s going to vary based
on what other sites are ranking it. There’s not a hard
and fast rule. And anybody who tells you that
there is a hard and fast rule, you might be careful, because
they might be selling you keyword density software or
something along those lines. So I hope that helps. Maybe we can dispel that
misconception and people realize not to worry
that much about it. Just make sure you have the
words that you want to have on the page. Make sure that they
read naturally. And you should be in
pretty good shape. Thanks very much.

71 thoughts on “What is the ideal keyword density of a page?

  1. Karl Kratz Post author

    Why keyword density means mathematically nothing to search engines (German):

  2. Pieter Goyens Post author

    Thanks for sharing this video, Matt.

    I like to add some personal thoughts: in an attempt to achieve some magical keyword density, your webpage will become difficult to read and just looks spammy or unethical. If Google derived webpage relevancy based heavily on keyword density, then all you have to do is repeat your target term over and over. This isn't where the true meaning of the page lies.

    Keyword density is a worthless SEO metric. And keyword density tools are a waste of time!

  3. Google Doodle Videos Post author

    Matt, do you analyse the "site-wide keyword density" as an "autority-faktor"?

  4. Mike Roberts Post author

    True that. I hate reading a page that just reads like crap

  5. RealProVideos Post author

    Great explanation Matt. Keywords are an enigma to many real estate professionals. I am glad you acknowledge their importance. Would like to hear more about the best ways to move up with search engine ranking.
    Agi Anderson
    Real PRO Advisor

  6. Businesses For Sale Austraila - BSALE Post author

    Great video! Love the humour! We might be guilty of "keyword stuffing" Google is getting smart! Back to the creative drawing board!

  7. Michael Burke Post author

    I've watched a few videos from Google about SEO, I'm left with the impression that Google make it up as they go along.

  8. Swetank Raj Post author

    i got the motto! Matt really explains great! We should use keywords so that it looks natural and yes healthy! you can use 99 or just 9. The better it blends with the content the more it ranks.

  9. Roy Palmer Post author

    MATT CUTTS – 9 letters and 4 of then are T :0)

  10. Joe Ford Post author

    Around 5% is generally accepted. It's as much about making the content user friendly and to try to have related words to the keywords you're after. So if the key word you want to rank for is 'coffee' go with relative key words such as 'mocha', 'beans' or 'caffeine'.

  11. Jamie Monk Post author

    I do like these webmaster videos. they are good at telling you what NOT to do, and what NOT to worry about.

  12. Rafał Kuśnierczyk Post author

    I hate you and your corporation. You tell bullshit, make funny face, meanwhile you destroy someones life by penalting his website. Why ? Not keywords, not links no bullshit ! It's all because your corporation want to get money from AdWords ! Wan't to earn ? Pay us and earn 30%, the rest goes to us. Thank you for destroying Internet !

  13. Aaron Blankenship Post author

    What is your website, I'll tell you whats wrong with it.

  14. Thomas Taylor Post author

    Fuck you and don't try to by funny. Xmass is coming so it's time to drop down some websites and get more $ from AdWords ! Fuck this evil corporation !

  15. Albert Ślusarczyk Post author

    hate Google at all. Only bullshits and nothing else. You should to sort this company because in this way you`ll lose many regular users. Internet is going to be horrible with such search engine.

  16. Mike M Post author

    He must be joking! So you have a 100Kb page comparing say, every one of 200 investment funds. Of course everyone of them has "fund" in their official name. So because you have THE most comprehensive page of information on ALL these funds they are going to penalize you for putting the official titles of more than 7 or 8 of them. This is insanity! Or how about all the events in a theater for May 2013? Their new highlighting system wants event dates, but then they penalize you for too many "Mays"?

  17. Beau Croghan Post author

    I like how Google and Matt Cutts take the time to help the everyday webmaster. It's nice that they know that by help us they are helping themselves and their users. So anyway Thanks guys really appreciate it!

  18. Darren Evorglens Post author

    Great video. I want to find more of them on other topics. I subbed you. You can sub me back if you like. I'm a singer : )

  19. VirtualTicher Post author

    The important thing is to think about users and forget about the keyword density.

  20. Digital Ad Agency / Adwords Consultants NYC LA San Francisco LONDON Post author

    Google's Algorithm is about finding NATURAL sounding content. Nature varies. So there's not going to be a rule like 3.1415% Has to be a keyword.

    Every topic has a very different natural keyword density. There's a company called: Yum Yum Yam Yam Walla Walla Couscous.

    Is everything they upload automatically spam?

  21. WESH UK Post author

    If every webmaster was as chilled as Matt, the web would be so much more awesome…

  22. B2M Online Coaching and Marketing Post author

    Very clear and helpful. Two main lessons:
    1. Make sure your text reads well and is clear to someone else.
    2. Use keywords in moderation.

    This sounds like good advice for writing text for PEOPLE, not just Google.

  23. Spook SEO Post author

    Instead of focusing on keyword density, focusing on making your content "shareable" and interesting to make people actually finish reading it will do you awesome results even as far as SEO is concerned. For one it reduces your bounce rate, it makes people share your content, etc…

  24. EverSpark Interactive Post author

    While keywords located in the content is important to SEO, the most important part of content is in its benefit to the reader. If the content isn't readable due to keyword stuffing, they won't linger on the site very long.

  25. Stefan Teofanovic Post author

    And how about commercial websites? Like accommodation booking and staff? Who is crazy to share this kind of content?

  26. HomeWorkoutRoutines1 Post author

    I have to say that when I started in IM the keyword stuffed articles held my attention for the first sentence and were gone!

    My take is have some respect for the person who is looking for information on a topic. Write your article like you would write a story, relate and be friendly to the reader.

    We tend to write for ranking but instead we need to write for reading.

    Cheers, Mike FD

  27. Anton Susman Post author

    C'mon boy. Your google is just an amount of scripts, so just tell us how it works

  28. RankYa Post author

    For whoever worries about "keyword density" haven't learnt what SEO is all about. Focus on your visitors user experience first, then the density will take of it by it self. This terms is getting rather retarded as I keep hearing about it from so called SEO experts who know SEO enough to be dangerous. Just forget about it.

  29. John Palmer Post author

    It seems you adjusted the question to justify a rant about manipulating the G-system!

    "What is the ideal keyword density to get to number 1" would have, BUT the Q was: "what is the ideal keyword density".

    The answer is also not as cut and dry as "just write the copy for a human and not for The Google Algorithm" either.

    Write your copy trying to make your content viral and interesting. Use Social Bookmarking and work on Optimising your content with Flesch Theory.

    Google Flesch – Hit Wiki.

  30. Dharam Chaudhari Post author

    Why do you want to rank for specific keywords ? may be bcz you are selling that product or service and you want to sell more. But Make sure content is for your prospect not for search engine. focus on value that you would like to give your prospect,

  31. Melinda de los Santos Post author

    Funny thing, just last night I was trying to learn how to get the keyword density of my site using the new tool that replaced the Keyword Tool. I wanted to know which products I had the most of on my site.

  32. Melinda de los Santos Post author

    So THAT'S what keyword density is. The mere thought of it seems artificial, and more trouble than it's worth. But, like making a good cake, you need the right amount of baking soda 😀

  33. Gary webster Post author

    I am not sure about keywords but google sure are stuffing alot of credable sites.

  34. Peter Klausz Post author

    Great explanation and theme consistency.  This guy is awesome

  35. Mark Wojcicki Post author

    A commonsense introduction that keeps it real.

  36. mojiganga2 Post author

    well, how about if for example a page sells coats, and it has 20 coats for sale, each one of them with a description containing the word coat.. How can I get around not repeating the same word if there isn't any other way to describe it?

  37. YITONG TONY Post author

    So, to what certain degree, does the keyword density affect the page ranking? I have read some papers, it said that the key word density used to be one factor to determine the ranking, but now it's not included as a factor google will use.

  38. Michael DeNardo Post author

    Hello Matt

    What should we focus on? I love working with small mom and pop businesses. so I need to be very precise so I don't waste their time and money.

    is there a priority list? From the perspective of a designer/developer how do I translate an unknown good business to the web? Thank you so much!!!!!!!

  39. Printing Cafe ( Next Day Printing Service ) Post author

    How is about the product page as it requires not only one keyword to rank?

  40. Greenwood Nursery Post author

    Hi Matt – So….it's really more about the connection with the reader? As long as we/copywriters write to describe and express our ideas and points to readers, we should actually be good with keyword density. Right?

  41. HyperDrive Post author

    How do you explain SaraBeautyCorner then? Complete contradiction of this video.. she gets 10-20million views EVERY time.

  42. AMO Post author

    Got a little bit clarity on using the right keyword. I therefore conclude that Google penalize those using repeated words in every aspect of their pages. (Sigh!)

  43. OMGMEWMEWCAT Post author

    since when does bill gates do these kind of vids

  44. Dominic Isidro Post author

    Did you just ask a question to yourself, Matt?

  45. PakVlog Post author

    So what about the conception of density there are a lot of other video makers and seo professionals using to tech about key word density. so what about that

  46. Backyard Stranger Post author

    Even done with naturally, sometimes what happens companies and clients are not ready to accept what content writer has or an seo person until they are not told of how much #keyworddensity is used for search engines such as #google. Can you help out here?


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