May 27, 2024

Ideal Keyword Density

The Ideal Keyword Density

Matt Cutts says . . .

A question I often get asked is what is the ideal keyword density for a given page on your website. For a question such as this, I often simply say that you want to write for humans. After all, Google and the other major search engines need to take proper care of their customers and their customer are humans. Google and the other major search engines actually try to emulate humans. That’s right! They actually try to emulate us.

So how can we gain guidance on this particular SEO topic? Well we can go to the source and the source in this case I choose to listen to is none other than Matt Cutts of Google.

Matt explains it well. At least well enough for me in a video on the topic. He states that there is no clear-cut exact “ideal” density. He explains it using his hands as he draws a curve in the air. This “air curve” – even though neither the scale of the x and y-axis is defined – is still very instructional.

Here is my graph of the air curve that Matt Cutts drew in the air. I think that it provides us with a very worthy explanation of the reasoning behind what is the ideal keyword density.

Ideal Keyword Density - Interpretation of Air Curve drawn by Matt Cutts


Matt explains that if the phrase is mentioned once then this sends a signal to Google that the page must have something to do with that phrase. If Google sees the phrase again then the signal to Google that the page is on that topic is reinforced. However, as the phrase is mentioned more and more then Google starts to receive signals that indicate that the page (really the page author) may not be worth showing. If the density increases even further then the way Matt described things is that the signals being sent to Google are that the page has not been well written, the page may be trying to gain an advantage over other pages simply by using the phrase. Even worse if the density is too high then Google thinks there is an attempt to trick Google and this drives the impact of density well away from the desired result hoped for by the page author.

Matt’s hands seemed to draw a curve that indicated that the result was like falling off a cliff.

Ideal Keyword Density – Summary

Let’s write to please and delight humans. Do not be repetitive just for the sake of getting the phrase on the page a few more times. This could work against you.

If there are any questions in your mind, whether to include the phrase again or not then always make the choice in terms of what would best delight a human. This is not an exact definition for the ideal keyword density but for me it works perfectly.