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For example, I have a website to sell shoes. There are many types of shoes and many brands, so I will have many pages.

In my main page, if I choose keyword "shoes" in my meta tag, it should be good because only 1 keyword.

In my sport shoes page, if I choose keywords "shoes" & "sport shoes" in my meta tag. Now there are two keywords in this PAGE. The density in this PAGE should be 50%/50%. However, the keyword density of my WHOLE SITE will be 66% to "shoes" 34% to "sport shoes".

My question is that whether google use the keyword density of a SITE or of a page??? If it is of a whole SITE, does it mean I will hurt the ranking if I have more keywords in my SITE?

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good suggestion. Thanks – Marco Dec 29 '12 at 19:34
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

There're two issues here: your question about whether to optimise keywords at site or page level, and a wider one regarding the optimisation practices that question is predicated on.

Should you optimise keywords at page or site level?

  1. Search engines rank pages, not sites. The site as a whole can influence how its individual pages perform, but all else being equal, it's an individual page's content (and links, social references, etc.) that will determine its performance.

  2. Optimising at page-level makes practical sense. If you were to optimise keyword density at a site-wide level, you'd still do this by altering page content, but you'd need to decide which pages to alter and by how much, for each term, to alter density for the entire site – very unwieldy and imprecise.

Does keyword density still matter?

As the information John linked to illustrates, search engines are still, in basic terms, matching keywords in web pages to keywords in search terms. So the importance of a word in a page influences its ranking.

For that reason, crude SEO practices such as increasing keyword density have, until relatively recently, worked perfectly well.

But since the above linked answer was written, Google has released a lot of algorithm updates, many of which are aimed at combatting crude efforts to "game" their search engine. I recommend reading up on them carefully.

The bottom line is that the kind of SEO by numbers approach you're asking about is not as effective as it used to be and, worse, may even have a negative effect on your site.


Optimise at page level, but you probably shouldn't worry about keyword density too much anyway. You don't need to take my word for it, here's a Google engineer speaking on the subject.

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My answer would be a big fat NO.

The reasoning is very simple actually: the second you listen to a formula for textual written content, the second it becomes badly written at best, or horrible spammy garbage at worst.

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A good thing to remember is using numbers to base your density on may work today but the algorithms change all the time. So what works today may not work tomorrow. Its much more sustainable to make a user focused article/page and just ensure you mention the keyword on the page in the correct places. As long as you don’t over do it you will be fine. Also if you keep the onpage optimisation to a minimum then it leaves you scope for optimising inbound links. I have found that a highly optimised page with an ok level of optimised links coming in can have negative effects. Where as a page with just one or two mentions keeps you well clear of issues. This is from testing we have done over recent months.

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