If you’re in the business of search engine optimization it’s fair to assume that you’re always looking for new ways to return higher rankings in the SERPs. In the earliest days of search engine optimization (SEO) one way this was achieved was through keyword stuffing the content of a page, which created a hodgepodge of content that was heavy on keywords and light on quality content.
Targeting Nonsense Keywords
Since 2012, the issue of keyword stuffing in content has been addressed by Google in algorithms that flag the content as unreliable. The updated Google algorithm targeted EMD (Exact match domains). This change “encouraged” webmasters to brand a URL similar to the way you would brand a physical brick and mortar business. For example, you would never see a brick and mortar real estate agency in Florida named Waterfront Condos in Beachfront Florida, but it was deemed as acceptable and reasonably effective for SEO in URLs until Google’s EMD algorithm change.
Old Battle, New Target: From Content to URLs
With the option of keyword stuffing dampened, some creative Black Hat SEOs moved on to keyword stuffing in URLs. The practice of keyword stuffing in URLs has continued to be used by these less scrupulous SEO practitioners without penalty, until now. Bing, the Microsoft-powered search engine, recently announced the creation of a URL Keyword Stuffing Filter. The new Bing filter is said to reduce traffic to spam sites by 75%, which equates to approximately 1 in ten URLs.
Here is a hypothetical URL using our own URL:
Can it create a Difference?
Bing estimates the impact of its keyword stuffing filter to be three percent of search queries. This means that the equivalent of approximately five million sites with around 130 million URL signals have the potential to raise a red flag in regard to keyword stuffing. Sites that have a strong potential to be flagged by Bing’s keyword stuffing filter.
Signals that Suggest Keyword Stuffing
- • Site size
- • Number of hosts
- • Number of words in host/domain names and path (unigrams=1 word and bigrams=2 words)
- • Percent of the site cluster comprised of top frequency host/domain keywords
- • Site/page content quality and popularity signals
- • Domain names with repeating keywords
- • URL squatting (capitalizing on misspellings)
Does a Bing Announcement Merit Notice?
When it comes to making changes in search engine information, Google’s dominance means that any changes it makes are thoroughly assessed and critiqued by SEOs throughout the world. In contrast, Bing’s announcement seemed to create a healthy dose of skepticism and less interest from SEOs, but don’t discount Bing just yet. Currently, Bing accounts for 18 percent of online search, according to searchengine.com, so it’s not out of the running yet. Despite a preference by most for Google, the Bing announcement did garner a number of positive comments from SEOs who praised Bing’s transparency in their methods to detect and filter spam in URLs.
Rank Fuse Interactive can help you create a search engine optimization plan that will optimize your standing in the search engines. To learn more about how a custom SEO plan could benefit your business, talk to the search engine specialists at Rank Fuse Interactive.