Google: “Keyword Density Matters More Than Links”

Check out this screenshot of a search I did yesterday:

google supplemental results

The search string: bookmarklets seoblackhat.

1st Result in Google for seoblackhat bookmarklets:

seoblackhat.com/2006/03/06/how-to-add-sexy-bookmarklet-buttons-to-your-blog/feed

The size of the web page is 5340 bytes.

No Title or meta tags.

But uses XML title: Comments on: How to Add Sexy Bookmarklet Buttons to Your Blog

bookmarklet – 18 – 2.50%
seoblackhat – 11 – 1.53%

Google sitemap priority: 0.5

Total links to URL: 0 via

In Google Supplemental Results: Yes

vs.

2nd result in Google for seoblackhat bookmarklets:

seoblackhat.com/2006/03/06/how-to-add-sexy-bookmarklet-buttons-to-your-blog/

Title: How to Add Sexy Bookmarklet Buttons to Your Blog SEO Black Hat: SEO Blog
Description: SEO Black Hat : A Great Tutorial on How to Add Sexy Bookmarklet Buttons to your WordPress Blog
Keywords: SEO Black Hat , Black Hat, Black Hat SEO, Search Engine Optimization,
Robots: All,Index,Follow

The size of the web page is 20111 bytes.

Keywords found on page:
bookmarklets – 6 – 0.90%
seoblackhat – 3 – 0.45%

Keywords found in the Anchor tags:
bookmarklet – 17
seoblackat – 2

Keywords found in the IMG Alt tags:
bookmarklet – 17
seoblackhat – 0

Google sitemap priority: 0.5

Total Links to URL: 87 via

In Google Supplemental Results: No

There are several surprising things about these results.

1. A supplemental page can rank above non supplemental results.

2. An RSS 2.0 page can outrank a similar page in html.

3. A page on a topic that has 0 links can outrank a page that has 87 links on the same domain.

Conclusions: Google obliviously cares about links. However, Google seems to be giving the link trust to the domain rather than to the individual page. Then, on a given domain, Google determines relevance of a page based on keyword density even if another page on that topic has more inbound links. Keyword density matters. Domain trust is so important that supplemental results can outrank non supplemental results of a less trusted domain.

This actually isn’t such a bad idea. However, one of the biggest flaws with the current implementation is that an RSS 2.0 page can rank above an html page. Google should change this. Unless a user specifically says they are searching for RSS / XML (or PDF for that matter) formatted pages, html pages should be given much more weight. The last thing anyone wants, (Searcher, Webmaster or Google) is for a user to query and land on a page that is not formatted for their viewing pleasure.

If keyword density is so important to getting the user to the right page on my domain, shouldn’t I be cloaking? As long as I’m not misleading the user – shouldn’t Google change their upsurd public stance against cloaking so webmasters can help with indexing? I’m a target so I really can’t cloak this domain. However, if your domain is more like nytimes.com than seoblackhat.com – you really should be cloaking.

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4 Responses to “Google: “Keyword Density Matters More Than Links””

  1. […] QuadsZilla explores why in some cases on Google: “Keyword Density Matters More Than Links” […]

  2. yolkie says:

    QuadsZilla, I think Google still put pretty much weight on the links volume and the changes frequency. A static page probably can rank well with keyword density & links. But, the main domain would rank well if you updare frequently with keyword density in check.

    by the way, i see that you mention about yout webpage size. is that critical for the seo? i did heard something like Google index size, etc. but have no idea what are those index size for. could you enlighten me, oh QuadsZilla, the Goddess of SEO! 🙂

  3. QuadsZilla, I think backlinks are still pretty high weight for Google. I have been seo-ing with keyword density for certain keywords recently but just can’t beat the first ranker in Google. I also observed that Google would rank you well if you frequently update ur content and keep the keyword density in check.

    btw, you mention something about your web page size. Does that matter in SEO for Google? I did heard stuffs like Google index size, etc. but I have no idea what they are. Oooohh QuadsZilla, the Goddess of SEO, could you enlighten me on this! :p

  4. […] While we have shown that supplemental results can outrank non supplemental results in Google, wouldn’t you rather not have large portions of your site go supplemental in the first place? In fact, our analysis show that you would be better off removing the description tag entirely than having it the same on multiple pages. […]