Keyword and Keyphrase Abuse Guidelines

Over the past (3) months, we’ve had to draw some lines in the sand due to the increased volume of article submissions that included high keyword/keyphrase repetition to full-out blatantly keyword abuse.

We’ve made mistakes by rejecting a few hundred articles that turned up as false positives for keyword abuse when in fact, the author wasn’t trying to hit any keyword density metrics. This went on for a (4) week period in the middle of December 07 through the middle of January 08 until we eased the restrictions to lower the rejection mistakes on our part.

FACT: 2,416 articles were not accepted in the last 30 days due to keyword/keyphrase abuse.

Worse, I can’t tell you specifically what our internal criteria is for when we’ll reject an article for keyword & keyphrase repetition vs. abuse because we need to be deliberately vague to prevent gaming of the system.

Here are some guidelines to help you AVOID having your article rejected for keyword and/or keyphrase abuse:

  • Don’t make repetitive key phrases and keywords bold or italics.
  • Don’t use software to assist yourself to meet keyword and key phrase density metrics.
  • Don’t repeat key phrases more than once per sentence.

An example (changed to protect privacy) of a paragraph from an article we rejected for keyphrase abuse of the word “Massage Table”:

For the members who we rejected their article for keyword and/or keyphrase abuse when in fact you didn’t use any software or weren’t aiming for any keyword density score, I and we apologize.

If you’re one of the good members (the greater majority are good) and want to increase the chance of having your article accepted when you know you naturally write very keyword dense, here are some guidelines to consider:

  • Aim to ensure your target keyphrase is not repeated more than once every 100 words.
    • Example: Your article is 700 words and your keyphrase is “Yoga Mat” should not be repeated more than (7) times in the entire article body.
  • Know that our sensitivity is less about natural keyword repetition and more about blatant keyphrase abuse.

You can expect in the coming weeks that we’re improving our reporting within your membership interface to help you know why specifically an article wasn’t able to be accepted for keyword repetition or abuse.

For now, if all of this sounds like noise to you… then ignore it all because you are most likely in the 99% who have not had an article rejected for keyword abuse. :-)


Derek Dashwood writes:


Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 3:45 PM


Marte Cliff writes:

If people would just see how stupid the sentences sound when they do that, they’d realize that they may get a high placement with search engines – but that when humans try to read it they’ll reject it.

Writing like that is the same as saying “Sam asked me to go to the store with Sam because Sam needed a box of cornflakes for Sam’s breakfast.”

How goofy!

Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 3:48 PM


SEO Dallas writes:

Thank for the information.


Josh Spaulding writes:

I think this is a positive addition to the EA’s guidelines. However, it may be a little too strict. I had an article denied, which I personally wrote and I never concentrate on “keyword density.”

I’ve been writing “natural” articles for over a year and my primary goal is to always provide, solid, quality information.

This was only one article and there are always hiccups with every new update, which is completely understandable.

Hopefully the criteria is investigated a bit more though.

Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 3:51 PM


Joanne writes:

Thank you, Chris, for being so diligent – for following up to ensure that the process is working smoothly, and for letting folks know why articles have been rejected. I’m sure that the percentage of writers in violation is very small, and agree with Marte that people need to remember that human beings will ultimately be reading – or rejecting – these articles. Keep up the great work.

Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 3:54 PM


Nadine writes:

Hello Chris
I truly love I have never had an article rejected until the change in your system. I do not saturate my articles with keywords because the words sound unnatural and don’t flow well when you do that. Three articles that I wrote were rejected but were accepted in a heartbeat elsewhere.
Your directory is still my favourite. I realize you need to weed out any abuse of your system and am glad you wrote to us about this issue to clear up any misunderstanding.
Thank you.

Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 4:02 PM




I agree that we’ve got a lot of improvement to do within the keyword repetition guidelines.

The goal is to identify legitimate abuse while allowing natural keyphrase speech. All next week we’ll be tweaking this some more plus doubling back to re-review the rejected articles to take another look.


Your Sam comments made me laugh. It’s so true that people submit stuff like that every single day. Yikes!

Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 4:04 PM



Thank you Chris, for maintaining the integrity and high quality of EzineArticles! I hope folks come to understand that when we focus on delivering value we are richly rewarded in ways we could never anticipate. I am proud to be one of your authors!
Dr. Jackie Black

Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 4:09 PM



When I decide to write an article, I first look for great keywords. If I can’t find a few, I don’t normally write my intended article at all, or I put them aside until I do find keywords. The goal is to draw readers to what I am trying to convey. Why write an article if no one is going to read it? If I just wanted to write and not worry if anyone would ever read them, I would just keep my words in a folder or write a journal.

With that said,

I appreciate your info here about how not to abuse them.

Not bolding a repetitive keyword or keyword phrase is something I did not know before. Ahh I love your newsletters and this is why.


Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 4:10 PM


Sandy writes:

I had an article turned down for keyword abuse.

When I queried how I could be abusing keywords with a density of 2.7%, I received an apology and my article was accepted.

So far so good.

When I applied for Platinum status I was turned down for having written an article that did not conform to EzineArticles guidelines.

So in effect I am being penalized for an error committed by your good selves, which seems a trifle inequitable.

I do agree strongly that high standards must be set, otherwise eventually everyone suffers if quality levels dip.

However, I feel that the monitoring of these standards should be done in such a way that innocent authors are not penalized.

Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 4:33 PM


joshua estrin writes:

I say Bravo! This is not about how to beat the system it is about timely topics and articles.

Besides your site is ranked so high the Search Engines index you and our articles remarkably well.

Keep raising the bar it keeps us all honest


Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 4:46 PM



Thank you for the guidelines. 7 keywords in 700 hundred total words sounds reasonable to me. If I find myself going over I will try the synonyms and antonyms process and try to replace keywords where I can. Also thanks for the I love EzineArticles coffee cup.

Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 5:07 PM


Mary H. Ruth writes:

I am very impressed with your candor and honesty. A new writer here, I admit this site is on a list of dozens like it in my “articles submission” file. But the communications you make, their tone and forthrightness, are truly outstanding! Thank you for your oh-so-refreshing honesty.

Everyone says SEO is about repeating keywords/phrases, but I think it’s really a lot more complicated than that . You have to repeat while not appearing to repeat, and you have to shore up every tag and page with a long trail of connections. It’s really no different from real life …

Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 5:07 PM



Great post for every article writer!

I for one would not attempt to disagree with the wise decision you’ve made about word spam. But for sure, only using 7 keywords in a 700 word article seems a small percentage for the search engine bots?

One great advantage of using less keywords is saved time and less headaches, and I’m all for that.

Thanks again for the advice. Sincerely,
John Adams

Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 5:54 PM


Marvin writes:

The rules have have established will should actually help writers craft better quality articles. In theory, higher quality will help articles get picked up more frequently and as a result achieve a wider distribution and more back links which. As a net result the effect should in fact be more effective than stuffing articles with keywords.

Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 6:01 PM


Nika writes:

I’m not sure what all this keyword talk about keywords is. Should keywords be kept out of the keyword part of your article about keywords? Whether you use less keywords or more keywords, you should check that your keywords don’t exceed the correct keyword amount.

Okay, now the word has lost all meaning!

Thanks for your great tips,

Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 6:06 PM



Hi Chris!

The question of the keywords always intrigued me a lot, especially when I saw many of my articles at the top while I didn’t care for keywords – I only repeated them once or twice without intention.

I wrote a few articles without repeating any keyword. They are at the top too!
Why? In the beginning I even thought that Google was very intelligent and sensitive like a human being!

I didn’t have time to care about this matter, but I guess I deciphered the mystery because the explanation I found is very good: as a real writer that writes literature, I know that a good writer shall always avoid repeating the same word in a document. If possible, never repeat it.
This is exactly what I do when I write and this is how Google could recognize that I’m really an expert writer.

If you don’t repeat a basic word, you have to use many expressions and synonyms to replace it. This is what Google can observe: too many synonyms. The document is richer depending on the variation of synonyms. If you are a very good writer, you use too many synonyms because you avoid repeating the same word in your text. So, you can in fact repeat many times the same thing, but it doesn’t appear: it is camouflaged by the alteration of words.

Of course, you cannot exaggerate, otherwise your text will look like Chinese. You have to use simple words and never oblige your reader to consult the dictionary in order to understand your sentences! If you overdo with the synonyms you become incomprehensible.

Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 6:07 PM


Carol writes:

I’m making this comment here because when I clicked on the link for Traci Wilson, this is where it brought me. Actually, what I have to say fits here. In her Cats and Dogs article for today she was talking about how animals felt pain.
The word she used with neutering and cutting the horns off bulls was “spade”. It finally occurred to me she meant “spayed”. This is the 2nd time in less than a month I have noticed she does not know how to spell. I suggest she get MSN’s spell check or else go back to school.
I wonder about the expertise of someone who cannot spell basic words.

Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 6:13 PM


Marte Cliff writes:

I just have to say, I love Mary Ruth’s comment about this being like real life.

Right on!


Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 7:27 PM


Paul writes:

Hi guys,

It is indeed very funny, or sadly funny if you want, to read one of those sentences.

I am yet to submit to this excellent site however, I am just about to do it. Liestening to Christopher Knight has been a total trigger on my inspiration.

I say listening because is what I‚ve done so far, nevertheless, I am eager to read everything my time and health allows me to.

And I would like to have a massage table to take some massages the kind of massages only massage tables are able to ….. Justjoking! LoL!

Have a great online session folks!

Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 7:41 PM


Rhonda Morin writes:

This has been my problem for years. When writing about decorating for example, the “guru’s” teach to write like you said, massage table, massage table, massage table. But when I am writing about an interior design subject, I may never use the word interior, home or design again in the article because you know we are talking about your home and decorating it. In order for the article to get picked up by EzineArticles and other webmasters to use on their sites and in their ezines, you almost have to “spam” the article in a way.

I am happy to hear that EzineArticles doesn’t just take every and all articles. Gives me hope for my sometimes illusive articles to get published.

Rhonda Morin

Comment provided February 1, 2008 at 9:47 PM



Learning and learning and learning…are my keywords. Yea, it’s dense and repetitive. But learning is the key, forget the word. Words will be in abundance if learning is on.

Comment provided February 2, 2008 at 1:46 AM


Pramod writes:

Hi Chris
Though I have not had any article so far rejected because of key word issue, it is my appeal to you that you increase the number of repetitions per 100 words. Just one key-phrase per 100 words is actually very less and may hinder the effectiveness of the article. Repetition is often used as a way to drive home a point and not just to stuff the article with a particular key word.

Thanks anyway for informing.

Comment provided February 2, 2008 at 7:38 AM




Sure, I agree that a member should not be penalized if our editors made a mistake.

Sorry, I can’t say more to protect your privacy but know your query will be answered next week by our support team privately.

Comment provided February 2, 2008 at 1:11 PM


Marte Cliff writes:

The article about “spade” made me chuckle. Around this community a lot of people – even some in animal rescue – call it “spaded.”

The word “spayed” as in “spay and neuter” really only applies to altering a female animal. Male animals are neutered.

Where on earth did anyone come up with the idea that it had to do with de-horning a bovine?

On another note, I agree with Rhonda – and I sometimes forget to include the keywords at all! Then I have to go back and see where they might fit without wrecking the flow of the copy.

Comment provided February 2, 2008 at 1:27 PM



Rhonda Morin, I liked what you had to say about defining interior decorating with other words,( keywords).

When I first created my website I realized that I had not actually defined my art, what kind of art was it?

Keyword searches actually helped me define it within the boundaries of what people are actually looking for. Writing articles and further keyword searches have added to my repertoire of creativity. I feel grateful.

A Lot of keywords that define art are not good keywords. I could not come up with anything that defined my art other than Goddess Art.. and different takes on that. I had never thought of my paintings as being Goddess art. Yet, I feel that if a person is indeed searching out Goddess art, and lands on my site, they will not be disappointed…I would not be abusing the keywords I used.

In my searches I also realized that fairies were huge and people were indeed looking for that kind of art. Fairies are not really what I do, but I decided that because fairies are so big I could offer free coloring pages of them and still be honest in my text on my website. I would then have more keywords and facets of them to use in my text in articles.

I think that someday I will just stumble upon (excuse the pun if you use Stumble Upon like me) a keyword that will spark a certain creative vein in me to further define myself with my art. The goal is indeed to know exactly what the public is looking for, while maintaining ones integrity within the realms of what ones expression is.

I continually look for new keywords so that I am not stuck with a couple good ones and overuse them, which is the subject at hand.

So the whole keyword issue is very important… in many ways.

Comment provided February 2, 2008 at 1:42 PM



Wow Carol!

You couldn’t have sent a private message to Traci about her spelling error? You chose to post it here for all to see?

I hope everything you write from now on is correct. It won’t be of course. In time you will find yourself making an error and maybe even twice. I only hope you remember that you took the opportunity to embarrass someone in pointing out theirs.

Should people who write articles watch their spelling? Absolutely! But come on, no need to post someones error here.

How rude!

Comment provided February 2, 2008 at 1:58 PM


joshua estrin writes:

I agree. While I try to watch my spelling the concept as I understand it of blogging is this a a community and it is also a concept that involeves a “digital diary” of our thoughts

Why would anyone come here if they thought a typo or too (wink) would engender a slap on the wrist.

The creative process is perfectly imperfect isn’t that one of the reasons we all love it so much?

Comment provided February 2, 2008 at 2:05 PM




You said: “Just one key-phrase per 100 words is actually very less and may hinder the effectiveness of the article.”

I respectfully disagree. The effectiveness of an article has nothing to do with hitting keyword density metrics.

It’s for this very reason I delayed talking about this topic for 3 weeks as I mulled if the positive benefits of the awareness would outweigh the downside benefit of some members trying to “up” their keyword density (something we don’t want to see).

Comment provided February 2, 2008 at 3:00 PM


Carol writes:

Well, Kathy, if you had read the whole message, you would have seen that this is the site I was sent to when I clicked the link for Traci Wilson. Don’t get upset with me. Tell ArcaMax

Comment provided February 2, 2008 at 4:57 PM



Carol… I did read your whole message. I did see that. When you arrived at this blog you didn’t notice that more than Tracii would see your message?

This is not a monumental thing.. I am not upset with you. You are another person doing the best you can, just like me and just like Traci. I just think that sometimes some things are not meant to be written or said.

I am the first to admit though Carol, that I have messed up a thousand and one times! so you are not alone.


Happy day to you.

This is LIFE TAKE ONE! Yay!

Comment provided February 2, 2008 at 5:24 PM



Ahh see!

I messed up again!

I added an extra ‘i’ to Traci’s name.

Wow, that is one trillion, billion and one mistakes I have now made. Waa!

Comment provided February 2, 2008 at 5:28 PM



FYI on this Traci Wilson issue:

EzineArticles has no member called “Traci Wilson”.

Let’s move on.

Comment provided February 3, 2008 at 7:09 AM


Paul Lalley writes:

The whole concept of keywords and keyword density loses relevance in light of the fact the keywords and keyword density are two concepts that apply to search engines, not buyers.

SEO, the so-called objective of keywords and density of keywords, is obsolete.

A visitor is just as likely to arrive on a site via a PPC, text link or some other means.

Keywords will cease to have any value as SEO shrinks in importance.

Paul Lalley

Comment provided February 3, 2008 at 8:03 AM


Jan Verhoeff writes:

Keyword effectiveness doesn’t always have to be one specific keyword, either. During the crackdown, I had one article rejected numerous times, and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Finally, I emailed Chris to ask.

My title was “keyword stuffed” unintentionally. I hadn’t stuffed it, but I had used keywords in my title of eight words, and those words set off the mechanical keyword snatcher. I changed the title (using the same idea, just simpler words) and it passed.

NOTE: I just love that inbox thingie!!! Instant access to the support team is AWESOME!

If you write about a topic long enough, the keywords come naturally and you aren’t stuffing anything, no robots required. This post isn’t stuffed, it’s written, by a real person, and yet the “problematic term” is referenced frequently.



Comment provided February 3, 2008 at 8:54 AM




The majority of article rejections by mistake for this keyword abuse/repetition issue was because of a single keyword that tripped our thresholds.

We’ve since eased up significantly on the keywords and are much more focused on stopping repeated key phrases, especially when used to the point where the article quality suffers grammatically.

Comment provided February 3, 2008 at 10:40 AM



In regards to Jan’s comment, we should not use keywords phrases in our title at all?

Comment provided February 3, 2008 at 12:32 PM



YES, you can use keyphrases in your article title. They should not be repeated more than once in the article title.

We recommend a 40% keyword intelligent article title and 60% natural language title.

Comment provided February 3, 2008 at 12:36 PM


Jan Verhoeff writes:


My article had 8 words in it and all 8 words were keywords, I can’t remember the title now, but it was quite applicable. It was just that all 8 words were also keywords in my list of keywords.

Most of my titles would be like:

Two Keywords – Using Keyword Phrases as Title Cornerstones

That particular title was just extremely tite.

(I wasn’t complaining about it being nixed, just explaining that I didn’t understand why it was being nixed which frustrated me, and once I asked, it was explained. Thereby promoting the use of the inbox messages to support.)


Comment provided February 3, 2008 at 1:18 PM



Hi you cutie Jan.. I am just trying to understand so I don’t mess up.

I have consistently used one or two keyword phrases in every title I have ever written just about. It seems that Chris is saying that is OK as long as I don’t abuse how many times I use them within the body of my text.

Right Chris??

So Jan, you are saying that if the keyword phrases are the cornerstoneof an article that you can’t use then in your title? Or if they are in your keyword list?

Humm I am confused by that.

Chris just wrote:

They should not be repeated more than once in the article title. And, “YES, you can use keyphrases in your article title.”

Comment provided February 3, 2008 at 1:42 PM


Jan Verhoeff writes:


Every word in my title was also listed in my keywords. That was the problem. I hadn’t used the same keywords, I’d used different ones, but they were ALL in my list of keywords.

Use keywords and phrases, but use them just once.


Comment provided February 3, 2008 at 2:12 PM


Jackie writes:

I have posted a number of articles on EzineArticles but the last one I tried to post got rejected 4 or 5 times for keyword abuse. I do not write with keyword density in mind. I try to provide a quality article concerning my niche.

I revised the article that was rejected, taking out words and re-wording to the point that my article was really losing quality of content. Not only that it was taking a lot of my time changing and re-submiting the article.

I finally just deleted the article and posted it on other article sites.

Haven’t posted another one since. I’ll try again with something new.

Thanks for letting us know what has been going on.


Comment provided February 3, 2008 at 3:05 PM




I researched your specific issue and we would have accepted your article in question upon your last revision.

Sorry, you were one of the few hundred that were rejected wrongly…Will send you a private email right now with more detail.

Comment provided February 3, 2008 at 3:31 PM


Doug Barger writes:

Hi Chris,

This is Doug Barger.

I just wanted to say thanks for the EzineArticles coffee mug and gourmet coffee you sent a few months back and also for taking measures to preserve the quality of submissions.

I’ll admit that it was a test of patience to keep re-submitting articles after rejections, but it was well worth it when they were finally approved.

I also want to thank you for posting the guidelines.

You are still #1!


Comment provided February 3, 2008 at 8:26 PM


Judith Tramayne writes:

Frankly I’m for this new rule. I like writing and submitting articles to a site that upholds higher standards.


Comment provided February 3, 2008 at 10:06 PM


Ramon Greenwood writes:


Please help me understand the issue of duplicate submissions.

Namely, is there any penalty attached to submitting an article to you and then submitting the same article to other directories and ezines? Or to submitting the copy from my newslette as an ezine article to you and others.

Many thanks for your great service.

Comment provided February 4, 2008 at 10:40 AM




We never penalize anyone for submitting an article to us and then submitting that same article to another website or even your own website.

Your article submissions to EzineArticles must only be exclusive to your author name; they do not need to be exclusive to EzineArticles.

Some members have weird personal rules with the way they syndicate their content. Example: They write an article and submit it to us; they change the name on the article and submit it some place else… and when we find that out; we suspend or reject the articles because we can’t verify that the content submission is unique to the authors name.

Summary: Content submitted to EzineArticles must be unique original content and exclusive to your author name; but it does not need to be exclusive to EzineArticles for us to accept it.

Comment provided February 4, 2008 at 10:49 AM


Ramon Greenwood writes:


I was surprised by your admonition: “Don’t make repetitive key phrases and keywords bold or italics.”

I thought I read somewhere that keywords in boldface or italics are more apt to be found by search engines.

Advise me, please.

Comment provided February 4, 2008 at 3:12 PM



That is what I have read before too, that you should bold or italic one time only, your best keyword, in the first paragraph.

Comment provided February 4, 2008 at 3:18 PM




Making your target keywords or key phrases in BOLD or ITALICS makes your article look like keyword spamming.

Even if what you read is true (I really don’t know if it is true), we’re not going to allow that on articles that we accept.

Bolding keywords and keyphrases for SEO only reasons is a huge mistake and destroys your credibility.

It adds no value to the user and it’s deceptive because the reader thinks you’re trying to call their attention to something important and when they find out you’re just trying to get some SEO love, they know you never cared about them in the first place.

Comment provided February 4, 2008 at 3:32 PM



I had an article on Fair Trade Towns rejected because I kept using the keyword phrase “fair trade town.” Well, okay, I understand the problem of keyword abuse, but when an article is about something, you have to keep talking about that something. After it was rejected, I looked at the article to see if I could revise it. But I couldn’t without changing the sense of the article. Changing a sentence like “Media, Pennsylvania was the first fair trade town in the United States” to “Media, Pennsylvania was the first [town][city][village][hamlet] in the United States” is nonsensical in general and utterly nonsensical in an article that is, after all, about fair trade towns.

And by the way, the fair trade towns movement is a movement advocated by an organization called Fair Trade Towns USA to promote fair trade. I know that sentence contains repetitive use of keywords — but it is a definition that is both accurate and helpful. And it is not spam!

Comment provided February 5, 2008 at 10:33 AM




You were one of the ~200 wrongly rejected for kw repetition.

Your article has been accepted:

UPDATED: 2 minutes after I posted the comment: Upon further review, you repeated “Fair Trade Town” 15 times in the article body on a small 428 word article. That’s excessive. Now I am the one who messed up accepting it. I’m going to leave it accepted, but in the future: We’d ask you to not repeat any key phrase more than once per 100 words.

Comment provided February 5, 2008 at 10:45 AM


Jan Verhoeff writes:

Once per hundred words… Sheesh! Now I have to count! LOL


Comment provided February 5, 2008 at 12:34 PM




The 1 keyphrase per 100 articles is NOT A RULE.

It’s a guideline mainly created for those who abuse keywords and keyphrases.

We’d accept articles that have more than one keyphrase per 100 words if the article looked natural.

It’s when a keyphrase gets repeated 2 to 3 times per sentence or repeated excessively when compared to the total word count that it becomes an issue.

Comment provided February 5, 2008 at 12:57 PM


Jan Verhoeff writes:

Okay, I won’t tell you how much trouble I was having trying to decide what constituted a word. But I gotta tell ya, I was sweating it!!! (My latest area of expertise is ocean front property in Arizona – if you’re interested, I have several acreas to sell.)

Now… is it five letters, or is it a real word? Do two letter words count??? What about kangaroo, does that count as one word or two?

I think I better get off of here before Chris bans me for stirring up the pot!!! LOL


Comment provided February 5, 2008 at 4:48 PM


Meryl K. Evans writes:

Christopher, thank you for cracking down on this practice. It’s no surprise EzineArticles is one of the most popular article libraries on the Internet.

Comment provided February 6, 2008 at 5:02 PM


Denny writes:


On another note – I’ve been having my articles routinely re-categorized into areas that have nothing to do with what I write about. I’m a horse racing handicapper and author yet my articles get routinely placed into Casino-Gambling. As you may know, that is blackjack, roulette and the like.

I don’t know why this keeps happening (again, every single one of my articles are purely about horse racing.)

I love the site. I love the service. But that is driving me crazy.

Thanks for listening – Denny

Comment provided February 8, 2008 at 3:24 PM




I show all 11 of your articles are in the Horse Racing category:

I can see why our editors might have been confused because your domain has the words BET and WIN in it… I’ve added a note to your membership file about this issue and hope that clears it up for future articles.

Comment provided February 11, 2008 at 8:15 AM


Gary Simpson writes:

Hi All,

Well I read that MASSAGE TABLE example and it was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. Who would want to read junk like that?

I mean, I can understand that some people want to rank higher for keywords but really, it’s pretty unintelligent if you think a REAL person is gonna put up with reading the same words over and over again. Or over and over again. Or over and… well, you probably get the idea.

Write for people not machines.



Comment provided February 14, 2008 at 6:11 AM


Brian Hawkins writes:

Hi Chris,

I just submitted an article and listed three key words:
Credit, Credit Repair, Credit Score

I understand about the body of the article but would this be considered abuse since I used the word ‘credit’ in all three keyword terms?


Comment provided February 18, 2008 at 7:52 PM




That’s not keyword abuse.

Using the word “CREDIT” 29 times in a 722 word article might be considered excessive, especially if it destroys the readability of your sentence structure.

(6) uses of the keyphrase “CREDIT SCORE” in a 722 word article is NOT abuse. You’ve followed the 1 or fewer keyphrase per 100 words abuse guideline.

Another litmus test to use is this: Did I over-use a keyword in any single sentence? ie: Did I use the word “Credit” 3-5 times in a single sentence? That would be abuse. In your case it doesn’t appear to be too repetitive.

Comment provided February 19, 2008 at 8:08 AM


Paul Lalley writes:

Hey, Chris,

I feel alone in the dark in this thread.

There’s so much concern about keyword density, percentage of keywords in headers and other forms of SEO arcania.

First, no one knows for certain what Google’s latest algo is looking for. They change the darn thing hourly.

Second, stated in a previous post, the significance of SEO, and therefore keyword density, have diminished considerably in this age of RSS, syndicated content, directories, blogs and other access routes to a site.

I’ve been spending a lot less time worrying about keywords and more time trying to build connectivity within my site’s topical neighborhood.

Site visitors find my site and services through syndicated content, hosted content, guest blogging and other SEM tactics.

SEO is dead as a useful means of growing a site to success.

Just one man’s opinion.
Paul Lalley

Thanks for your time.

Comment provided February 19, 2008 at 8:46 AM


Marvin writes:

I’ve just read the comments posted by Paul Lalley re SEO being dead. By coincidence I am current working on an article about the diminishing importance of SEO as a marketing strategy. According to my research to date, Paul is definitely not alone in his opinion that SEO is much less important now that it has been.

Many others have expressed those exact feelings. Everything I’ve read suggests very strongly that Google is doing all it can to discourage key word stuffing or any tactic which is intended to artificially improve Page Rank.

It is important to note that Google, while being on top of the heap now, has to operate in a very competitive environment. New search engine technologies are being developed all the time which could challenge Google’s dominance.

By creating new rules Google has recognized that uses want results which truly represent the search terms they have entered. Their new rules designed to help ensure that their SERP will provide contextually relevant content. This is exactly what Google’s competitors are trying to do as well.

Irrespective of who wins the Search Engine Wars, all of us who write articles will have to play by their rules and it’s pretty much guaranteed that those rules will continue to change and to survive we must do so as well.

Comment provided February 20, 2008 at 7:47 AM


Robert writes:

I’ve had a couple of articles sent back to me where I’ve encountered difficulty trying to divine exactly which word was “abused.” When I just changed some nouns to pronouns the articles were accepted. I’m not making any effort at all to use SEO or keyword density. I have listed some terms that identify the article I’ve sent in so any reader could know if it’s something they’re interested in–was that a mistake? Should I just leave keywords blank? For those of us who don’t know which keyword is repeated too much, aside from using the pronoun “it” a lot, do you have any suggestions how to avoid tripping into the keyword counter trap? The changes I’ve made to get past keyword counting haven’t improved readability. The articles are still readable, but they were better before I had to tinker with them and I was just writing “in the flow.” Thanks for your help.

Comment provided February 21, 2008 at 2:17 PM




Conjunctions or what I call “junk words” are not included in any of our calculations.

The new tool we introduced earlier this week:
…Is designed to take the guess-work out of helping you know which keyphrase or keyword our editor thought was repeated too much.

Keyword abuse is a much small issue vs. Keyphrase repetition. The greater majority of our issue is with keyphrases being over-used to the point where it becomes unnatural.

Comment provided February 21, 2008 at 3:52 PM


Gary Simpson writes:

I’m in the same boat as Robert. I don’t intentionally abuse keywords. I do as he says: I write “in the flow” too.

When I have an article accepted and then it gets taken down for a “problem,” after a week of strong views, most of the time I have no idea which part is the “offending” part and I just have to guess and re-submit. So, in effect, I am “de-sensitising” in the dark, hoping that what I am doing will make the article good.

I just got pinged for a “bloat.” I thought it maybe three words in my title being bolded at the end of the article, so I unbolded (is that a word?) them.

Did the article get isolated because somebody reported it or did it trip a meter because it got too many views in too short a time? I just don’t understand how it can get approved and then after a week it can get disapproved.

Maybe I’ll have to purchase one of those massage tables to massage my articles into shape in future. I dunno. I’m just being frivolous now because I don’t use any software to get the keyword thing 0.01% under the maximum allowed “abuse.” I just write naturally.

I totally agree that the massage table commentary above is utterly ridiculous. Articles like that are the same as verbal stuttering but done deliberately and they are nonsense.


Comment provided February 21, 2008 at 4:17 PM




I just investigated your issue.

You were not doing anything wrong.

(2) of our editors didn’t handle your article review correctly. They’ve been notified of the mistake to prevent it in the future.


Comment provided February 22, 2008 at 1:49 PM


Gary Simpson writes:

Thanks Chris,

I’m glad that has been cleared up because I was perplexed with it all.


Comment provided February 22, 2008 at 10:59 PM


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