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It's In the Clouds

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One of the well known "no no's" of website search engine optimization is something called Keyword Stuffing.

Old search engines used to rank a website by the amount of times you had a phrase listed on the page. If you wanted to be listed for the old "right hand rings" you simply needed to use the phrase "right hand rings" on the page more times than your competitor.

The phrase "right hand rings" is difficult to say over and over, and that's why it's such a good example to today's Daily Golden Nugget, so let's continue with it.

The Diamond Promotion Service started using the phrase Right Hand Ring in 2005, so let's imagine it's 2005 and you are trying to sell to women that want to buy themselves an anytime gift. The common SEO strategy of that time was simply to bloat a web page with your target phrase more times than your competitor.

Whoever had the most occurrences of the phrase Right Hand Ring would be top ranked in the engines. But can you imagine a single web page with the phrase Right Hand Ring used 100 times? It would be an impossible jumble of totally unreadable nonsense, yet that's what people were doing, and the phrase Keyword Stuffing was borne.

By 2008, all search engines started to correctly filter websites that overly used the same phrases on their pages. We estimate the current maximum of repeated phrases is 5 or 6 times on a page.

Now let's jump to 2007 when WordPress blogs were starting to become popular. When someone wrote in their blog, they would commonly tag their entry with a variety of words for later searching and cross referencing. Everyone thought it was a great idea to show all these "tags" as a long list on the side of their blog. This list of words is referred to as a "Keyword Cloud."

What the bloggers failed to realize is that the set of tags is actually a bunch of repeated words similar to keyword stuffing. This effort to improve customer usability actually backfired because Keyword Clouds were what destroyed website rankings.

When was the last time you saw a Keyword Cloud? They are becoming less common as bloggers find out that they hurt ranking.

And that's the bottom line of today's Nugget. Do not use Keyword Clouds on your own website or blog. Instead of us simply saying that, we wanted to make sure you understood the story as to why Keyword Clouds are bad.
AT: 04/07/2011 02:00:59 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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