Postmortem of Keyword Density

Is the phrase “Keyword Density” seems correct? I don’t think so. Why only me? Even MatCuts from Google and RandFishkin of Moz says so.

MatCuts has mentioned about Keyword Density that it not just the way it works and RanFishkin from Moz states that truth is simply that modern search engine has never ever used keyword density.

In this article, let us check whether this concept is real or a myth.

There is no such term called Keyword Density.

The percentage of keyword is a fake concept that was used until the year 2005 to a great extent. And still now, many beginners who read the PDF notes and joins digital marketing forums still use them. But, the fact is that there’s no term such as “Keyword Density”.

What actually exist is “Keyword Frequency” and it is essential not for Google but for IR that means Information Retrievals. So, let’s start our journey and unveil the facts behind “Keyword Density”.

There are 2 aspects that you need to understand when discussing about this highly debatable concept.

  1. What is Keyword Density?
  2. Is there any impact of Keyword Density?

What is Keyword Density?

Most of the time, people answer in terms of percentage. For example, in a 100 words article, if the keyword is used 2 times, then the keyword density is 2%. Again, in a 500 words article, if the key term is used 10 times, even then the keyword density is 2%.

This logic is used by both Yoast plug-in as well as RankMath in their panel. Think for a moment, is percent and density both are same thing?

Wikipedia says density is a measure of mass per volume. On the other hand, the definition of percentage as stated by Wikipedia is that a percentage is a number or ratio that represents a fraction of 100.

Even a student of class 10 knows the difference between a percentage and a density. Then, why plug-ins like Yoast and RankMath are using this wrong concept?

Nation wants to know.

This is simply because they are tools. They are running their business and have nothing to do whether you are learning SEO. It does not matter whether you are on the right track or not.

Now, from where did the numbers of keyword frequency starts from or rather the evolution of keyword frequency started?

There is a term called “TF-IDF”. This term stands for Term Frequency – Inverse Document Frequency. It is a text analysis system and is used by the computers to analyze how importance a phrase or a term is important or rather crucial in a document.

People started to confuse Term Frequency with Keyword Frequency. Later, this term Keyword Frequency got evolved into Keyword Percentage. But, as the term Keyword Percentage does not sounds so cool, the term got changed to Keyword Density.

TF-IDF is a real concept and is used by classical search engines. It can signify the importance of a phrase in any given document.

The formula for TF-IDF is as follows;


Thus, the myth behind the concept of this concept evolved from the real concept of TF-IDF.

Is there any impact of Keyword Density?

TF-IDF is highly crucial for Information Retrial Systems and search engines along with Google have strongly used this concept in the initial phase. During those times, keyword repetitions have an impact on the rankings. As days passed and with newer technological updates like the PANDA update, BERT and Google’s New Algorithm SMITH, Google started to understand and analyze the real meaning of the documents like a real human being. Google Algorithm can work both on English and Hindi content

Earlier to BERT, the PANDA update has eliminated the effect of keyword repetition.

Therefore, write impactful content and do not waste your precious time in repeating the keywords.

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