Keyword Stuffing

What Does Keyword Stuffing Mean?

Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of inserting many instances of particular keywords into Web content to try to get better search engine rankings. It involves putting keywords into Web pages, as well as inserting them into items like headers, meta-tags and meta-descriptions.


Techopedia Explains Keyword Stuffing

Although there is no rigid rule on how many keywords constitute keyword stuffing, experts suggest that the practice is apparent in reading text or even in reading meta-descriptions or other attachments. The key is that keyword stuffing often appears extremely inorganic because keywords are inserted in places where they do not belong.

The practice of keyword stuffing becomes more transparent and easy to explain in the context of “long tail” keywords, which are longer keyword phrases that often have four or more words. In fact, new Google algorithms punish the stuffing of long-tail keywords more than the stuffing of shorter ones partly because the former negatively affects the readability of text. A simple example is the use of a keyword phrase such as “cooling technician specialist in Miami, Florida.”

Stuffing the above keyword would include sentences and paragraphs that refer to a “cooling technician specialist in Miami, Florida” where the full phrase is not needed or where it does not line up with the natural flow and punctuation of the text. For most readers, it is easy to see where one or more of these instances have been added because it does not read right or look right according to our perception of how text is written.

New practices by the dominant search engine, Google, have made keyword stuffing rather obsolete and ineffective in gaining search engine results. However, throughout the last two decades, as the Internet grew, keyword stuffing was a common and almost accepted practice for trying to get better standings on Google search engine and other search engine results to reach more readers and deliver more page views.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.