Keyword stuffing refers to an outdated search engine optimization technique that involves filling a page with a certain number of keywords. Often, those keywords make content difficult – if not impossible – to understand. The technique worked with Google’s simpler algorithms, but now, keyword stuffing can result in a Google penalty.
Some examples of keyword stuffing include repeating the same word several times on a webpage and creating a big block of text that lists cities you are hoping to rank for in an attempt to manipulate search results. Many law firms are guilty of keyword stuffing; it used to be a very common practice.
Google is focused on creating a positive user experience. Their algorithms now ferret out examples of keyword stuffing and are poised to penalize sites that use it. While most of the keyword stuffing you find on law firms’ websites is confined to the bottom portion of a page – it’s not as blatant as it used to be –the algorithms still find it and consider it a strike against your site.
Here’s an example of keyword stuffing for the words “Aspen” and “real estate.” Notice how the keywords make the text difficult to read – if someone actually spoke these words to you, you’d be confused:
The following are examples of lawyers using keyword stuffing to attempt to rank for locations. What makes it worse is that this text is small and located at the bottom of the page – and Google may recognize that as a sign that the firm is trying to sneak the text by them to avoid a penalty. (It won’t work.)
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