Types of matches

There are different qualities of matches. There's exact matches, synonyms and thematically associated wording...

It's easy to calculate keyword density for exact matches, and maybe some synonyms. But every word a ratio of relevance to any other word, so it's equally important to consider the general relevance of all the words on your pages.

Do you ever wander off-topic?

EXAMPLE: Calculating "exact-match keyword density"

To calculate keyword density, for the appearance of a given keyword on any given page... Simply count how many times the keyword is mentioned on the page, and the divide that by the total number of words on that page. For example, our homepage (on 29th June 2010) currently mentions the term SEO 10 times, out of a total of about 350 words on the page. That gives us an "exact-match keyword density" of 10/350.

Considering synonyms and "thematically associated wording"

Alongside 10 exact matches of the term SEO, out homepage also has 2 mentions of the fully-worded term Search Engine Optimisation which typically means exactly the same as SEO, and search engines are getting good at spotting synonyms like this.

Search engines will also know that we mention the term search a lot, often (but not always) in the phrase search engine, and all such terms are very relevant to a search term like SEO, so we would score quite highly on a test for density of "thematically associated wording".

AVOID: Keyword Stuffing

Keep it natural, avoid "keyword stuffing".

While the occurence of an exact match typically carries more weight that the occurence of vaguely associated word... The occurence synonyms and thematically associated wording within proper sentence structure on a page is a key way to send a strong sign to search engines that your content is naturally-written and not just spamming with a bunch of keywords.

Theme Scopes


Site-Wide Theme

It's important to maintain the general theme of the site, throughout the site. For example, our site is all about SEO Examples; so the whole site, including this page, should be relevant to SEO (search engine optimisation) and full of examples.

Page-Wide Theme

It's important to maintain the specialist theme of the page. For example, the theme of this page is Relevance, so everything on this page should be about relevance.

Section-Wide Theme

It's important to maintain the super-specialist theme of each page section; as defined by the most recent, relevant heading. For example, in this section here, we should be talking specifically about Section-Wide Theme; and in the previous section, we were talking only about Page-Wide Theme.


Just as you should stick to the point of your site on all your pages, you should also try to make sure that most of the sites which link to you are also associated with the same theme.

  • Remove "Theme Scopes" section and merge it onto the Emphasis page.
  • Consider which page to merge the Keyword Stuffing bits onto.
  • Continue scanning through videos on youtube.com/user/GoogleWebmasterHelp