The concept of keyword-stuffing has been taking the Google world by storm. And according to some analysts, it won’t be going away anytime soon.
But what is keyword-stuffing?
Google defines keyword-stuffing as, “the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or group, or out of context (not as natural prose). Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience and can harm your site’s ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.”
This basically means that when you are adding keywords to their business name in Google My Business, you must remain extra-careful and as these keywords will have a direct impact on your site rankings. It is termed a double-edged sword, as it can drastically improve your site rankings, or on the contrary, will result in a huge drop in the same.
This practice or hack is facilitated by adding unwanted descriptors in your business’ name, ones that might not be similar or match the business’ real-world name. This misleads the consumer, further damaging the reputation of your business.
The concept of keyword-stuffing has been taking the Google world by storm. And according to some analysts, it won’t be going away anytime soon
The Internet giant, however, doesn’t support this practice. Google is known for implementing strict actions against those who go against their guidelines.
Over the past years, Google has reportedly suspended over 40% of businesses that were found using unnecessary keywords, specifically the ones that did not identify with the real-word name of that business.
Some businesses were given a soft suspension, and most others had to face a hard suspension. In a soft suspension, the company disables you from accessing your listing, however, it still appears on Google and Google maps. It can be seen if you type your business’ name and will also feature all the reviews attached to the same.
However, in the case of a hard suspension, Google completely removes your business’ existence from Google Maps, which eventually could result in major losses. Therefore, in order to avoid such ramifications, many businesses have entirely rebranded themselves. The rebranded identity should directly correlate with the business’ original name to perpetuate the growth of your listing and eventually your business.
Impact on the Real World
A general observation done by many researchers suggests that this phenomenon of keyword-stuffing is mainly explored by law firms.
As mentioned above, firms and businesses are now in the process of rebranding themselves in order to match Google’s criteria. This rebranding process was pioneered by the law industry, as legal firms across the globe underwent a legitimate rebranding procedure, adding relevant keywords under their business name, so that they can add those keywords while listing their business with Google My Business.
Not only does this improve your ranking but also prevents any sort of suspension from Google’s end.
The service provider (here, Google) will accept the usage of certain keywords, provided they resemble your real-world business identity. However, this Internet tactic has become very mainstream, which leads your business to become redundant and boring
According to Google, “Represent your business as it’s consistently represented and recognized in the real world across signage, stationery, and another branding. Your name should reflect your business’ real-world name, as used consistently on your storefront, website, stationery, and as known to customers. Accurately representing your business name helps customers find your business online.”
The aforementioned statement is an attestation to the fact that the service provider (here, Google) will accept the usage of certain keywords, provided they resemble your real-world business identity. However, this Internet tactic has become very mainstream, which leads your business to become redundant and boring.
The usage of similar keywords within a single industry might create a sense of repetition, which will indefinitely hamper your business’ individuality.
If there are too many firms using the same keyword, chances are that a user might drop that keyword altogether, thinking that all the businesses that operate under the said keyword offer similar or the same services; something which might not be true at all.
Hence, to avoid such situations, one must always conduct his research properly, followed by an objective measurement of the pros and cons of a certain digital trend. Because you know what they say, “The Internet gave us access to everything, but it also gave everything an access to us.”
Guest contributor Anoushka Adya is the Founder of Di-mention Studios, also known as Relier Connect, an award-winning digital marketing agency. Adya is a marketing professional with over 10 years of work experience. She is also a known entrepreneur with two successful startup businesses, Lajja Diaries, a platform for women to voice their experience with abuse. Any opinions expressed in this article are strictly that of the author.