Someone posted in the forums that they were going to take another look at their keyword density on a page to see if they could optimize the page better. Keyword density was used by search engines in the 1990′s, but I don’t think that keyword density is a valid measurement any more at all. Keyword repetition, on the other hand, matters as much as it ever has, and might even matter more.

What’s the difference?

Keyword density measures the percentage of how often a keyword phrase is used on a page compared to all the other words on a page. If you have a page with the word “poker” on it, and no other words, the keyword density for the phrase “poker” on that page is 100%. And the keyword density for all other phrases on that page is 0%. Different SEO’s give different advice about what keyword density is ideal for a search result, but I would suggest that it doesn’t really matter, and they appropriate keyword density varies according to which query you’re looking at.

An example would be a phrase like “clonie gowen photo”. A page with a single photo of Clonie Gowen with a caption of “Clonie Gowen” would have a keyword density of 100% for “Clonie Gowen”, but it would have a keyword density of 0% for “Clonie Gowen photo”. But is the page still relevant to the phrase “clonie gowen photo”? Of course it is. Is it likely to rank? That depends on the competition and what they’ve done with their pages.

Keyword repetition, on the other hand, measures how many times a keyword phrase is repeated on a page. Keyword phrases can be repeated in multiple ways. One way a keyword phrase can be repeated is via inbound link anchor text. Every time another page links to your page with a keyword phrase, that’s one repetition. The phrases you use linking out from a page count toward repetition too. If I have a page about “poker link building”, and I link to ten different articles about “poker link building”, each time using the phrase “poker link building” in the anchor text of the link, then I’ve created ten repetitions of the phrase “poker link building” on that page.

How likely is it that a search engine will think a page that links to ten other pages about “poker link building” is relevant to that query? Especially if it uses the phrase “poker link building” each time in the anchor text? How likely is a page that links to ten other quality pages about “poker link building” to be a good resource for a searcher seeing information about “poker link building”?

(For those of you keeping score, that was 8 repetitions in 2 short paragraphs.)

But using a keyword phrase 100 times on page doesn’t have to create an unnatural keyword density (whatever that means anyway). You just need to focus on whether or not the page makes sense and reads well to a visitor. The easiest way to repeat a keyword phrase 100 times on a page instead of 50 times on a page is to write a longer piece of content for that page. Just creating a bulleted list like this:

  • poker keyword density
  • poker keyword density
  • poker keyword density

…only makes sense in a certain context. (This context is one of them.)

Most poker SEO’s focus on keyword density and inbound link anchor text in order to get rankings. Keyword density is useless now, and inbound link anchor text works but isn’t as efficient as other methods of creating keyword repetition. Repeating keyword phrases on a page is the poker seo secret that most people miss. I’m constantly amazed at how many people will include a keyword phrase in the anchor text pointing to a page, and they’ll include it in the title tag of the page, but then they’ll forget to actually use the phrase in the text of the content on a page. Or they’ll only use the phrase once on the page.

Everything else being equal, a page that repeats a keyword phrase twice is going to be considered more relevant than a page which only uses a keyword phrase once.

And if you think about it, this makes perfect sense from the search engine’s perspective.