Updated: August 19, 2022.

In this quick SEO FAQ video, you will get to know Olga’s insights and commentary on whether too many keywords are bad for SEO, how many are actually too many, and how to approach keywords in general.

Are too many keywords bad for SEO?

Wondering if too many keywords are bad for SEO? How many keywords is too many? What is considered keyword stuffing?

If you are new to SEO, you probably have a lot of questions regarding keywords, what they are, how to use/approach them, and more.

It is easy to get confused and get it wrong as a lot of myths and bad advice are circulating on the internet. But don’t worry. I got you covered.

Are too many keywords bad for SEO? [Video]

Key points on whether too many keywords are bad for SEO

Yes, using too many keywords is bad for SEO. However, again, I don’t want you to treat this too literally.

I am not saying that search engines will punish you because you used a certain phrase eight instead of five times. What I mean is:

  • If you use too many keywords, the quality of your content will most likely suffer.
  • If your content is not of high (or very) high quality, your users will not like it.
  • You should focus on your content and whether it answers your users’ questions, not solely on whether it contains keywords.
  • Google is all about pleasing its users. If you want to please Google, you should please your users first.

How many keywords are too many for SEO?

A lot of SEO tools show the suggested length of the article, the number of times a given keyword or/and its variation should appear in the copy, etc.

rank math ai
Here are the Rank Math SEO recommendations for the article you are reading.

These tools also measure the so-called keyword density which is the percentage of times a given keyword appears on the page in comparison to the total number of words.

keyword density
This is the keyword density of the very article you are reading right now 😱

You probably expect me to give you an exact number of keywords or keyword density that you should avoid. Nope!

I want you to stay away from counts/percentages and use your common SEO sense instead.

You are probably using too many keywords if:

  • Your article does not sound naturally
  • You artificially change the naturally-sounding sentences/phrases so that they contain a given phrase
  • You use phrases that cannot be used in a grammatically-correct way in a sentence e.g. SEO audit free
  • If you are repeating the same keyword over and over again only to see the green score in your SEO tool
  • You put your keywords in the ALT text of the images instead of describing the actual content of the image
  • You are hiding keywords from users and only showing them to search engines (i.e. doing keyword stuffing)
  • You are not focusing on your users and how your content will resonate with them

I strongly suggest that you DO use SEO tools that show you on-page SEO optimization suggestions. However, these tools should only be your guidance, not the ultimate ranking formula you need to blindly follow.

How you – a successful SEO – should approach keywords & their count

I have been preaching it for a long time. Always use your common SEO sense first and the tool data second.

Keep in mind the following and you will never get the keyword game wrong:

  • Keywords are a relatively old SEO concept. You should think about keywords as topics and always consider the search intent of a given keyword/phrase/topic.
  • No matter how great your content is, it will never rank if it does not match the search intent for that keyword/topic. Keep in mind that the search intent of a topic may change over time.
  • Conversely, don’t be afraid of using keywords. Make sure to put the important keywords in all strategically-important places, such as the title tag, copy, headings, meta description, URLs, anchor text in internal links, etc. SEO tools, such as RankMath will help you make sure you do that. On-page SEO is very important.
  • In most cases, you want to target one keyword/topic per page to avoid cannibalization and duplication issues.
  • When in doubt, make sure to study Google quality guidelines.

Other SEO FAQs you might be interested in:

Olga Zarr is an SEO consultant with 10+ years of experience. She has been doing SEO for both the biggest brands in the world and small businesses. She has done 200+ SEO audits so far. Olga has completed SEO courses and degrees at universities, such as UC Davis, University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins University. She also completed Moz Academy! And, of course, has Google certifications. She keeps learning SEO and loves it. Olga is also a Google Product Expert specializing in areas, such as Google Search and Google Webmasters.