Continued from page 1
The only thing in data so far to set No.4 apart from others is a higher keyword count in body content. But that's not likely to help since it has a much higher body word count.
Keyword density in body content
The table this section refers to is at: Table 2
*The SEO Analyzer did not return results, so word count was calculated from keyword density SEO did return & knowing body content keyword count.
In Body word count, none of these pages comply with analyzer recommended figure of 436 to 629.
Now although keyword density in body content of No.10 is slightly higher than 19 it's also higher than No.1, but it doesn't get ranked No.1 because of it.
No.4 has a lower body keyword density than all except No.30, yet it still gets ranked No.4 !
Another factor to consider is keyword prominence or how close keywords are to beginning of either title, link text or in main page content. The analyzer reported a minor keyword prominence problem with No 19 in link text and body content and more of a problem with prominence of No.30 in link text.
But to keep these prominence reports in perspective for No 19 & 30 we must not forget that No.4 and 10 have zero keyword prominence in link text because they don't have any link text !
Online Analyzer Keyword Density
One of most detailed online keyword density analyzer's is that from www.ranks.nl
The table this section refers to is at: Table 3
The above results show keyword density & prominence for words "keyword" & "density" as separate words and also as a two word phrase "keyword density".
It seems a higher keyword density coupled with a higher prominence goes some way to explain ranking order. The exception to this No.4 whose ranking is not due to keyword density or prominence since on both counts it's only slightly different to No.30.
Two other things are striking about results from all analyzer's, firstly very wide variation in word count and secondly variation in keyword count.
The word count by analyzer's varies by as much as 81.3% (No.10), 44% for No.19 & 41.9% for No.30.
In worst extreme (No.10) keyword density calculated by analyzer's varies by 154.4%
The keyword counts for No.10 & 30 show most variation. The keyword density software counts 3 occurrences of word "keyword" and 3 of "density". The online analyzer counts 8 and 5 respectively.
For position 30 software counts 13 for "keyword" and 9 for "density" whilst online tool counts 8 and 6 respectively. In worst case this is a keyword count variation of 62.5%.
The software was set to look for keywords in Title,Link text, Links, Header tags (h1-h6), Meta Keywords & Description tags, Body text & Alt tags. In fact only place it was not set to look are comment tags, but then neither was online analyzer.
Both software and Ranks online analyzer can exclude words shorter than a defined setting. In all keyword density analyzer's where option was available it was set to ignore words of 2 letters or less.
To another online analyzer position No.4 had only 10 keywords and a body word count of 969 both of which differ from figures already seen.
Can we use any tool to compare one page with another ? None give consistently high word & keyword counts or consistent low ones, a relative analysis of pages is also questionable.
Keyword Density Analyzer Conclusions
Three software tools and two online tools have been shown to all produce widely differing word counts (variation 81.3%), keyword count (variation 62.5%) and as a result wide variations in keyword density (variation 154.4%). This whilst analyzing 5 different pages with Google rankings from No.1 position to No.30.
It seems likely with 5 different tools all producing different results that Google itself also arrives at yet other figures for word count, keyword count, prominence & keyword density.
Based on tests, these tools don't produce absolute results or consistent relative comparisons between pages. The differences in word count and keyword count between these analyzer's could not be explained by a word exclusion filter.
The rankings of test pages can not be explained just on basis of keyword density, prominence, word count, keywords in meta tags, headers, links or Alt tags.
This should come as no surprise, since we know other factors like on & off site links and link popularity all play a role.
What may come as a surprise is that analyzer tools we rely upon give such widely differing results. Does this mean we should stop using them, no I don't think so, at least not until something better comes along.
Andy Theekson the Search Engine Optimizer provides free information on SEO for small web businesses and conducts independent research on software tools and services. Andy has been involved in small business start-ups both offline and online since 1988.