I can’t say I know much about SEO yet, but something that affects my job as a web writer is keyword density.
According to some guides I’ve been reading (Google and SEOmoz), the idea that a high keyword density can help hike up your rank is totally false. In fact, keyword stuffing (the technique of putting a lot of the same keywords in web content) actually hurts rankings, because Google notices it and considers it spam.
I’m currently writing for a client who wants 3% keyword density in 500-word articles. In absolute numbers, it means I need to put the keywords 3 times every 100 words, or around 15 times for the entire article. Keyword density not only affects your ranking, but it affects the quality of the content. I find myself having to cut on useful, informative content in order to stuff in the keywords. That makes for bad, if keyword-dense, articles.
The bottom line though, especially if you’re ghost writing, is that you need to satisfy your client. They are ultimately responsible for their own SEO strategy. If they want 3% keyword density, that’s what they’ll get; but they certainly won’t get the best content possible.
Hopefully we web writers can expose this myth by educating our readers and our clients about the real effects of keyword stuffing. It promotes bad content and ultimately hurts rankings.