According to Google Webmaster Tools, keyword stuffing is defined as “the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results”. They go on to say that it “results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking”. So, how can we write good content that our blog readers will enjoy while not getting penalized by the search engines?
A Quick Review of Where You Can Incorporate Keywords for SEO
There are lots of opportunities to use keywords in your blog posts. We can start by using them in our blog post titles, make sure they’re part of the permalink (what shows as the URL at the top of the page) and within our content. We can make sure to use them in heading tags (like the bold larger text that I have above this paragraph) and as anchor text (like these words that link to a related article about keywords and SEO). Since we don’t want to overuse keywords, it’s common to use synonyms. (I like to use the thesaurus option of my word processor for suggestions.)
Matt Cutts Google & the “Synonym” Team
Have you ever wondered what Google thinks about synonyms? Did you know that they have an actual “Synonym Team”? Check out this video by Matt Cutts, (the head of webspam at Google) in response to the question “Should I incorporate synonyms for important terms into my site?”
The Takeaways from Matt Cutts’ Response on Using Keyword Synonyms
Google has an entire team of people whose job it is to realize that car and automobile mean the same thing. So, that’s an opportunity to naturally incorporate both terms in your website content. It’s perfectly acceptable to use interchangeable terms as long as you don’t sound “artificial”, “stilted” or “spammy”
Bottom-line, it always comes down to writing naturally, as if you’re having a conversation with your website visitors. Think of some of your favorite blogs. Why do you visit them? Do some of them make you smile? Make you feel more confident? Teach you something that you didn’t know? Some of the best advice that I read when I started to blog was to “find your voice”. Have you found yours?