Keyword Stuffing

Glossary  |  2 mins

Read the next term in our glossary

Keyword stuffing is an SEO practice that involves adding large numbers of targeted keywords into a website, via elements such as titles, meta descriptions, and body content.

One example of keyword stuffing would be writing a meta description made up entirely of keywords that the page is intended to rank for, accompanied by body copy that includes such a high concentration of keywords that it makes reading it feel difficult and unnatural.

Some site owners employing keyword stuffing will hide unnaturally large numbers of keywords in their site content with techniques such as making the font and background colour the same, or reducing the font size to a value so small it can’t be seen by users.

The Effects of Keyword Stuffing

Whether it’s done intentionally or not, keyword stuffing is considered a form of unethical SEO, is associated with fraudulent or otherwise poor-quality websites, and will hurt a website’s potential to rank.

Google has said that keyword stuffing results in a poor user experience, and therefore gives their algorithms cause to rank pages lower compared to sites with informative meta data and quality, readable content. If Google’s crawlers detect hidden text on a page, this can even give it cause to de-index the page completely.

To ensure you steer clear of keyword stuffing, webmasters and SEOs should be sure to follow a few best practices when it comes to organising pages and creating content:

  • Write long-form content:By expanding the body of a piece of content, it’s much easier to keep targeted keywords distributed naturally, rather than crowbarring them into every other sentence
  • Measure keyword density: Whether manually or with a free tool, measuring keyword density and keeping it at a healthy level (1-2% of total words) will help you make sure your page won’t be flagged for keyword density
  • Focus on a small keyword group per page: Focussing more on a primary keyword, and 2-3 secondaries per URL, will make it significantly easier to avoid cramming several different keywords into a single page
Back to glossary

EBook Icon eBook

Download a PDF version of our glossary for everything you need to know


Keyword Stuffing FAQs

What is keyword stuffing?

Keyword stuffing is the practice of using an unnaturally high concentration of keywords on a page’s meta data or body content. Though it was a viable SEO technique in the early days of the internet, Google’s algorithms have now been penalising pages that engage in keyword stuffing for some time.

How to avoid keyword stuffing?

SEOs and webmasters can avoid keyword stuffing by maintaining a variety of standards in their content creation, such as focusing on user experience, natural language and following E-A-T guidelines.

Questions to ask your link builder