Keyword Proximity

Keyword proximity describes the proximity or the distance of two or more keywords within a text. If there is no other expression between two terms, the word proximity is very high.


If you search for more than just one word in a search engine, then the displayed results will vary, depending on the order of the terms you entered. Websites that are placed at the top in the rankings for a particular combination of terms may be much lower with only one term. This aspect can be counteracted if you take keyword proximity into account because search engines look at keyword proximity


In keyword optimization, in addition to keyword focus, keyword density, and keyword prominence, attention needs to be paid to the proximity of the keywords to each other. Keyword proximity (also) supports long-tail optimization. Closer proximity of the terms is best achieved through the elimination of expletives such as “and,” “of course” or “also.” Reducing such stop words, reduces the distance between the keywords and these important terms are closer together. Regardless of the expletives, terms can be specifically placed in the text consecutively, instead of being spread over the whole paragraph. Keyword proximity can be deliberately heeded in the formulation of content.

Another aspect in this context is the sequence of keywords. Search engines will deliver different results for “one two” and “two one,” for example. The use of keyword proximity should be well thought through, any changes in word order has to make sense.

Relevance to SEO

With keyword proximity a website can be made to rank better with several keyword combinations. By reducing expletives, better keyword proximity can be achieved and may result in a better ranking of the page for different word combinations. However, excessive attention to keyword proximity poses the risk that the text is no longer pleasant to read. Stringing together of keywords degrades the text flow and thus the quality of the content and its user value. As with many SEO measures, the rule is not to overdo the use of one measure and to keep the visitors and potential customers in mind.


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