It's that time of the month again, so I got me a six pack again and about to drop some knawledge on y'all. I'm going to talk about keyword density and why Google couldn't give less of a fuck about it these days. First of all, don't get me wrong. Keywords are important. Disregard them and you're obviously screwed. However, keyword density really isn't. We're done with that. It's gone, bye, ciao, sayonara. Why, you ask? Google is still just an algorithm - it just isn't so stupid nowadays. Whether you have your keyword in your article 0.5% or 1.5% of the full word count doesn't matter at all. What if your keyword was five words, compared to three? Is there a magical number? Do you need more content in order to have the perfect keyword density to match the number of words? Do qualifiers and stop words count? These are all stupid questions that we shouldn't be asking ourselves - at least not anymore. If anything, mentioning "why do I have a wart on my balls" multiple times in your ball warts article is only going to hurt your ranks. It doesn't look natural at all (then again, are warts?) and probably even having it in your content more than once could hurt your ranks. An IRL Example You don't have to take my word on this. Let's take a look at one of the more popular drones out there, the DJI Phantom 4. The keyword "DJI Phantom 4 Review" has 2900 monthly searches and KWFinder gives it a difficulty of 57. While I'm all about manually double checking your keywords and SERPs, anything over 40 competitiveness I'll take KWFinder's word on it I would never waste my time with it. So, let's see who actually IS ranking for it. We have TheVerge.com on #1 with https://www.theverge.com/2016/3/10/11193354/dji-phantom-4-drone-review Where is the keyword found on their page? It's in the H1 heading and the permalink of the page and that's it. Go ahead and do a CTRL + F to see how many times you find it. On #4 we have https://www.wired.com/2016/04/review-dji-phantom-4/ - they don't even have the keyword anywhere - not in this particular order of words, anyway. There H1 heading says "Review: DJI Phantom 4" and that's in their permalink also. Google knows what this page is about even if you don't have the exact words arranged the way All-in-one SEO and Yoast would tell you to do so. And I bet if you went and re-optimized everything doing what these plugins recommend, it wouldn't change shit. The Business Insider page on #9 - same thing. You won't find the exact keyword even once. So, what DOES actually matter? Headings Mr @Ste Fishkin's husband would probably disagree with me on this, but hear me out. Headings do fucking matter. Why wouldn't you want your keyword in your title? I've had low competition keywords rank on the first couple pages with almost no content JUST by having the proper title/heading/permalink structure. Rand can fuck off (not really, I think he's great). This is especially important with lower competition keywords. Get your headings right and tell Google what your site is about and you might actually rank better. I personally like to target the main keyword in an H1 and a bunch of secondary/long tail ones in H2 headings. @validseo made a great thread on this https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/kicking-your-ass-with-data.918419/ - he basically says that H2 headings do matter, and it's based on data. Permalinks This one is rather stupid, but it is what it is. Same as headings, your URL does tell Google what a certain page is about. It isn't that hard to do right - so do it. Meta The meta title is usually the H1 heading (as in the drone sites examples above). However, having "DJI Phantom 4 Review" in the meta description may or may not look natural. Google already knows what your site is about if you have it in a heading, title and permalink. You don't have to keep repeating it. Relevancy This is a huge one. Having a robotic article with no relevant content and supporting keywords won't cut in anymore. You need RELEVANT, engaging content. Mention as many features and do as many comparisons as you can. Having other relevant keywords will tell Google that your article might actually help someone. You will also rank for a bunch of long tail keywords you never intended to rank for. Exact match keywords in the domain name don't matter neither. Niche relevant keywords do - a partial match domain will often do better than an exact match. You see the same thing happening with content. Authority Last but not least. Like it or not, this is where all SEO is going. Consumer Reports will rank for everything and anything while barely mentioning the keyword itself and you shitty new little site won't. Accept this now and start building up authority in a niche you want to dominate tomorrow or you will cry with every next algo update. Wrapping up It hurts me to see plugins like Yoast SEO (which is actually great, by the way) still take keyword density into consideration. It's not a thing anymore bro, get over it. Before anyone starts bitching - yes, there are going to be cases when you will have the absolute perfect 1.5% keyword density and the site will be ranking well. Doesn't mean it's ranking well because of keyword density and correlation doesn't equal causation. Just because you see all the page 1 sites ranking for "best toilets" have the perfect onpage keyword density for that keyword, it doesn't mean that their "good" keyword density has anything to do with it, nor does it mean that a higher density isn't actually hurting their ranks. Keyword density isn't a thing anymore. Stop wasting your time on it.