Keyword density can be a confusing issue in SEO. While some SEO companies suggest that keyword repetition is vital, others believe that it could be a detrimental practice to an otherwise excellent page. What is there to know about keyword density? How many recurrences of one word is too much?

There is no right or wrong answer, at least in terms of a general rule. The search engine company has the right to penalize a page if they believe the webmaster is using far too many keyword repetitions. On the other hand, if the subject matter is complex, a lack of keyword repetition could work against a top page ranking.

Some clients will state that 1% density is more than enough, since search engine algorithms are highly sophisticated and can easily track with keywords being highlighted naturally. However, some clients may insist upon a 5% keyword density. While this might seem like an old school tactic, some webmasters do report seeing results even when using this high density. Ultimately, it is dependent upon the competition. If there is a lack of quality sites competing against a high keyword density site, then obviously, it would not be penalized for an over-enthusiastic presentation. On the other hand, a SPAM site with dozens of keywords for a few short paragraphs would probably not stand a chance.

We in the SEO industry recommend natural repetition, which includes not only recurring keywords in the paragraph but also on the page title, in subheadings and in META tags. We believe in repetition; provided that it’s natural, conversational repetition—the type you might hear from an experienced public speaker. However, high keyword repetition for the sake of a cheap victory in search rankings, is going to disappoint you. For more on keyword strategy, contact an experienced SEO Company.