In trying to understand how google ranks a page in its search results, I learnt that keywords were important. Google determines the relevance of a page based on the density of the keywords and ranks it accordingly. So, a page which has more occurrences of ‘Nikon D2’ will be deemed to be a page on Nikon D2 and ranked accordingly. Also, words in bold or italics are given more weightage.
So, it occurred to me that the best way to rank higher in the search rankings was to have a high density of keywords in the page. I started writing all the posts with the keywords in mind. I put the keywords in bold throughout the page.
Of course, I knew that my text read like rubbish. But I was obsessed with ranking high in the search results.
My gambit worked initially. My page ranked very high in the search results for Warren Buffett. However, thereafter, it completely disappeared from the search results.
The reason: I was guilty of “keyword stuffing”.
Google’s official page defines “Keyword stuffing” as the practice of loading a webpage with keywords in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google’s search results. It points out that filling pages with keywords results in a negative user experience, and can harm the site’s ranking. Instead, to rank high in the search results, webmasters must focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.
So, I followed Google’s advice and rewrote the text to read as follows:
And I am happy to report that my pages have reappeared on the first page of the search results.
If you want to check whether your pages are falling foul of keyword stuffing, you can use the keyword tool found here and elsewhere. Generally, it is best to use your common sense to decide whether your text reads artificial or not.