What is keyword stuffing and why is it bad for SEO?

Keyword stuffing is the practice of loading a webpage with keywords in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or group, or out of context. Filling pages with keywords results in a negative user experience and can harm your site’s ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.

An example of keyword stuffing

To understand why this is bad, let’s take an example: say you run a shoe store and you want to rank for the term “tennis shoes,” so you decide to put those words in every sentence of your webpage copy. This can be done in various ways:

-Repeating the words ” tennis shoes” over and over again (for example: “Our tennis shoes are great! Tennis shoes are awesome! Tennis shoes are the best!”).

-Placing the words “tennis shoes” into a different part of speech (for example: using it as an adjective). For example, you could write “We sell high-quality tennis shoes at our online tennis shoe store.”

-Using the words “tennis shoes” as part of another phrase or sentence that doesn’t make sense without it. For example, you could write something like “Many people love to play tennis in tennis shoes”.

Black hat SEO

Black hat SEO techniques have been around since the beginning of the internet. They are essentially tactics that are used to manipulate search engines into giving you higher rankings for your website without actually improving your content or creating a better experience for users. Google considers keyword stuffing to be a black hat technique as well as spammy. This is why SEO professionals now advise anyone who is looking to improve their visibility in the SERP (search engine result pages) to avoid this practice.

Consequences of keyword stuffing

Search engines are advancing every day and this practice can now be easily detected by the likes of Google. Keyword stuffing is a spammy practice and will lead to your site being penalized by search engines.


If you’re caught keyword stuffing, Google is likely to penalize your site and its pages by lowering their rankings. This means that fewer people will be able to find your website when they search for relevant keywords, leading to a drop in traffic and lost revenue.

User Experience

Keyword stuffing is also a negative user experience. After all, if someone searches for “best cat food brands” and finds a page with the words “cat food brands” repeated 10 times on each paragraph of text, they’re probably going to leave that site immediately after realizing there isn’t any useful information on it at all.

Better Alternatives

If you want to improve your ranking in search engines, there are better ways to do it than keyword stuffing.

  • Write great content that is easy to read and helpful for people who come across it.
  • Add images and media files to your web page where appropriate. This will make it easier for people to consume and understand what you have written.
  • Use variations of your keyword that fit naturally within your text.
  • Focus on providing the best experience for your users.


In order to maximize your SEO goals while creating high-quality content, you should include your primary keyword in the title tag and first paragraph. You can also use variations of your keywords throughout the content as well as secondary keywords.

If your content sounds natural and is something you would happen to say in a presentation, then you shouldn’t be concerned about keyword stuffing. However, if you would be embarrassed to read your content as it would sound strange and be a continuous repetition of your keyword, then it’s time to think about re-writing your content.

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