Keyword Stuffing in 2022: Does It Matter?





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June 6, 2024


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Keyword Stuffing in 2022: Does It Matter?

Keyword Stuffing in 2022: Does It Matter?

Confession time: I used to be a serial keyword stuffer. Back in the day, I’d cram as many relevant (and sometimes not-so-relevant) keywords into my resume as humanly possible, all in the name of beating the dreaded Applicant Tracking System (ATS). You know the drill – copy-paste the job description, hide the text in white, and voila! Instant keyword-rich resume, right?

Ah, the good old days. But as it turns out, that practice isn’t just frowned upon these days – it can actually do more harm than good. So, what’s the deal with keyword stuffing in 2022? Does it still matter? Let’s dive in.

The Rise and Fall of Keyword Stuffing

Back in the early days of search engine optimization (SEO), keyword stuffing was a common tactic used by marketers and website owners to game the system. The idea was simple: the more keywords you could jam into your content, the higher you’d rank in search results. And it kind of worked – for a while.

As Laura M. Lavoie points out, this practice became so rampant that search engines like Google had to take action. They started cracking down on blatant keyword stuffing, penalizing websites that were doing it, and eventually, the practice fell out of favor.

The same thing happened in the world of resumes and job applications. As Dianna Conover explains, job seekers started to realize that cramming their CVs with keywords, whether visible or hidden, was a surefire way to get their applications tossed in the virtual trash. The ATS systems were getting smarter, and they could detect this shady behavior.

The Modern Approach to Keywords

So, if keyword stuffing is a no-no these days, what’s the right way to incorporate keywords into your resume and online content? The answer lies in strategic, thoughtful use of relevant keywords.

The key is to identify the most important keywords from the job description or industry, and then weave them naturally into your resume and online presence. As Dianna suggests, you should aim for 8-16 carefully selected keywords, and use them in your professional summary, skills section, and throughout your work experience.

But the real magic happens when you don’t just list the keywords – you show how you’ve put them into practice. Share specific examples and stories that demonstrate your expertise in those areas. This not only satisfies the ATS, but it also engages the human reader (aka the hiring manager) and makes your application more memorable.

The Perks of Thoughtful Keyword Use

Think about it this way: when you use keywords strategically, you’re not just trying to beat the system. You’re actually showing that you have the skills and experience the employer is looking for. Here at MCR SEO, we’ve seen time and time again how this approach can pay off.

For one, it helps you get noticed in the first place. The ATS will pick up on your relevant keywords and push your application to the top of the pile. But more importantly, it shows the hiring manager that you’re the perfect fit for the role. No more guessing games – you’re demonstrating your value in a clear, compelling way.

And let’s not forget the benefits for your online content. When you use keywords thoughtfully, you’re not just stuffing your pages with random terms. You’re crafting content that’s genuinely useful and engaging for your target audience. That’s the kind of thing that search engines love, and it can do wonders for your website’s visibility and authority.

The Bottom Line

So, does keyword stuffing still matter in 2022? Not in the way it used to. The days of mindlessly cramming keywords into your resume or website content are long gone. But that doesn’t mean keywords don’t matter at all – they’re still a crucial part of any effective SEO and job-hunting strategy.

The key is to use them wisely, strategically, and in a way that adds value for your audience. Ditch the old-school keyword stuffing tactics, and focus on creating content that’s informative, engaging, and truly reflective of your skills and expertise. Trust me, your search engine rankings (and your dream job) will thank you.

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