Browse Definitions:
Definition

keyword density

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Keyword density is the percentage of incidences of a given keyword on a web page relative to the total word count on that page.

Keyword density was once a key factor in determining a page’s search ranking, and the more times a keyword appeared in content, the higher the page would be ranked.

In the internet’s earlier years, high keyword density meant a web page would appear higher ranked in searches for that keyword. It was assumed that if a keyword appeared more on a given page, that page would be more likely to be relevant to the user’s search and have more relevant content. Following that logic, naturally, such a page should be ranked higher and appear higher on a search engine results page (SERP), so that users would find it more readily.

However, the supposition of relevance was only true if a page was written naturally and optimized for readability and quality of content. Often, that page ranking method was exploited through keyword stuffing, which involves overuse of a keyword in content, to the detriment of quality.

Currently, search engines lower the rank of pages that try to exploit keyword stuffing. For search engine optimization (SEO), the prevalence of a keyword must be balanced because the analysis used to rank pages is much more sophisticated than it once was.

Lots of effort goes into preventing invalid content from appearing prominently in search results. Both keyword stuffing and the low-quality writing that stems from it can lead to a site being marked as unscrupulous. A search engine may designate such a site as part of a bad neighborhood. The best approach is to write content for users, not search engines, while naturally and appropriately using valued keywords.

A keyword density of between one and three percent is best for SEO. You can check keyword density by dividing the number of times a keyword appears on a page by the total number of words on the page and then multiplying by 100. Keyword phrases should be treated as a single word for the calculation. Keyword density checking tools are also available.

This was last updated in June 2017

Continue Reading About keyword density

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces.

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

SearchSecurity

  • FIDO (Fast Identity Online)

    FIDO (Fast ID Online) is a set of technology-agnostic security specifications for strong authentication. FIDO is developed by the...

  • cryptanalysis

    Cryptanalysis is the study of ciphertext, ciphers and cryptosystems with the aim of understanding how they work and finding and ...

  • Trojan horse (computing)

    In computing, a Trojan horse is a program that appears harmless, but is, in fact, malicious.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • SSD TRIM

    SSD TRIM is an Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) command that enables an operating system to inform a NAND flash solid-state ...

  • cloud storage service

    A cloud storage service is a business that maintains and manages its customers' data and makes that data accessible over a ...

  • cloud hosting

    Cloud hosting is the process of outsourcing an organization's computing and storage resources to a service provider that offers ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close