Keyword density refers to the percentage of the occurrence of a keyword or keyword groups in comparison with the total number of words in a web page. Keyword density is considered as a key factor in search engine optimization.
There has been ample debate over the proper keyword density of a web page. Since search engines have their own algorithm to determine the page value of a certain web page in terms of specific keyword/keyword group, the ideal keyword density may vary according to different search engines.
Search engines will never disclose their current algorithm publicly. There are many reasons behind this. Hence, no one can exactly tell what percentage of keyword density is ideal to rank higher in search engine’s result pages. But search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing etc. occasionally give some clue about how their crawlers index a website/web page. This is something that helps us to make assumptions about different search engine friendly customizations for our website. And this is where comes in the necessity of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and other SEO terms like PR rating, keyword density, inbound and outbound link, bounce rate etc. As a matter of fact, all the above terms have come into existence based on the reports given by major search engines.
Is keyword density a myth?
If you are relatively new to SEO and want to know whether keyword density can make a difference or not, then you have come to the right place! I am an experienced SEO writer and I have written thousands of SEO optimized articles so far. I have worked with different organizations from different parts of the world starting from small start-ups and established companies. I have done ample research on keyword density. Now I am going to share some of my experience with you.
Google has been updating their SEO related policies frequently. After some major updates by Google (e.g. Panda, Penguin, EMD updates) natural white hat SEO techniques are being encouraged by SEO experts. But the scenario was not the same before. I saw many worthless websites ranking high in the Google search. This is mainly because of their keyword stuffing techniques, cloaking and other black hat SEO tricks. When Google realized that some people are taking advantage of their policy regarding keyword density, they started to implement hard-and-fast rules and impose ban on the websites that used the same keywords again and again irrelevantly.
Now Google is aware of this keyword stuffing thing more than ever. But they have not yet thrown aside the key idea of keyword density while indexing a website. Keyword density is such a wonderful tool to sort out the relevant websites that all the major search engines still give it a priority.
How to calculate keyword density
If you are working with a single keyword (e.g. law), use the following formula to calculate keyword density:
Number of repeated keyword/total word count *100 (e.g. 15/500*100 = 3%)
However, if you are working with keyword groups, then use this formula instead:
(Nkr*Nwp/Tkn)*100 (Nkr = Number of keyword repetition, Nwp = Number of words in the phrase, Tkn = Total number of word in the text)
Ideal Keyword Density
After some latest algorithm updates by Google, now-a-days keyword density between 0.5%-1% is considered as ideal density by most of the SEO experts.