Article Stats Collecting

Some folks collect stats, but our team collects GIGS of stats to better analyze what’s going through the pipeline.

Lately, our team has done some tactical drilling into our article databases to show me the most commonly mentioned keywords sorted by category. I suppose you’d call it a keyword density report and as the number of articles climbs towards 80k, we’ve got a statistically quantity to review the data with some level of confidence.

So, what do we do with this data now that we have it?

I’d agree the data would be valuable if it helped an author to figure out what to write about based on what folks are surfing for, but in this case, we have data that is AFTER THE FACT and not before the fact.

…meaning, this keyword density data shows us what our authors are writing about, but it doesn’t really tell us what the marketplace is searching for…just what the marketplace is producing in terms of commonly repeated keywords and keyphrases sorted by top level category.

One of my fears with this data should we release it (currently the decision is to not release it) is that we would edge closer to the keyword whores of the world that write crappy articles based on keyword density metrics…something I have no respect for. I think it’s ok to know what your keyword density is, but it’s better to care about departing valuable information, secrets, tips and expert advice than it is to hit some keyword density value.

One of the ways we’re considering using this data: To help identify authors who produce articles that are too mechanical, too perfect, and too contrived. It’s important that we separate ourselves from the article authors that are only here to game the system.

The difficult part is to figure out how to get our servers to help us tell whether an author is genuine in their article content vs. when they are clearly writing to nail some keyword density metric given to them by their SEO/SEM boss.

Conversely, we could also use this keyword density stats to tell an author when their article repeated a keyword or keyphrase too many times so that they can make their articles in a better natural language that doesn’t look hype-y.

Your thoughts?

6 Comments »


1
Judith writes:

It’s funny… when I write, I just write about the topics I see folks struggling with. I don’t even consider “keyword density” metrics. Never crosses my mind! But then again I wrote “content” for my sites for years before it was dubbed “article marketing.” And I agree about not releasing the data for exactly what you mention may happen–as we have discussed–it already is. Why add fuel to the fire?

If you write naturally about what you know and what you have a passion for, article marketing works without having to analyze the words you use and how many times you use them.

Keep up the great work–you are so right on! ;-)

Comment provided October 6, 2005 at 10:20 AM

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2
Mike Valentine writes:

One way to tell how contrived an article is – is to simply visit the web site linked in the resource box. What you’ll often find in contrived articles with excessive keyword density is a contrived website with excessive keyword density. Try comparing the data from the article to a few pages of the author web site and you’ll see that the best authors are well rounded, informed and provide excellent material both in those articles and on their own sites. I collect keyword data from articles too and what surprises me is how the best writers ignore keyword density. As an SEO, I prefer the concept of Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) that Google is (supposedly) attempting to incorporate. Word roots and relationships and groupings matter more than keyword parroting.

Comment provided October 6, 2005 at 11:38 AM

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3
Vic writes:

Ya know… I find it ironic that I just recieved an email from you folks talking about how writing articles can add $10,000 to one’s bank account and here you guys are berating people for taking keyword density into account when writing articles.

Vic

Comment provided October 6, 2005 at 1:01 PM

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4
Chris Knight writes:

Vic,

This is not a black and white issue.

I’m saying that if you *ONLY* write for keyword density, that you are clearly just trying to game the system.

There is nothing wrong with knowing what your keyword density is, but if you USE that to determine the focus and depth of the article, then the human quality of your article may be lost.

Look, plenty of folks have written hundreds and thousands of articles without even having a clue about what keyword density is, conceptually.

I’m just saying that we prefer authors who write articles with natural language and those who write for keyword density should go find someplace else to submit to.

Comment provided October 6, 2005 at 2:31 PM

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5
Dina writes:

I agree with Judith. If the natural language didn’t work, this site would not be ranked almost always number one on the engines.

The steady content flow and the great number of hyperlinked categories has EzineArticles.com ranking at the top – as a hub or authority site -because that’s what it IS! So, labor over your keyword chains but it makes no difference. People who are simply speaking knowledgably are getting the same results.

By the way Judith, your blog rocks, you saucy thing.

Dina

Comment provided October 6, 2005 at 6:34 PM

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6
Anthony writes:

I agree that we all need to think about writing quality articles. With quality articles comes more traffic to your site.
When I write, I write with passion and conviction without regard to keyword density. My belief is that people will visit my site if they like an article or will avoid it if they receive no value.

That judgment is up to the reader. My goal is to be passionate about the subject that I’m writing about.

Comment provided October 7, 2005 at 5:09 PM

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