There are two definitions of keywords:
Ideally, a website owner has taken the time to research popular keywords and profitable keywords relevant for his/her business.
The primary goal for finding the best keywords is to generate traffic to the website (i.e. website visitors). The secondary goal for choosing keywords is to convert the website visitor to a paying customer.
If your goal is to attract visitors to your website BUT your website is new (e.g. less than 6 months old) then you should avoid keywords or phrases that are highly competitive.
For example, if your website is related to the financial services industry, you might have a difficult time attracting search traffic with the popular keyword phrase "free credit report" (673,000 monthly searches - Google Keyword Tool Dec 12 2012). The first few pages of Google and Bing search results for this keyword are dominated by well established websites that are owned by Government agencies and large corporations.
You should also avoid keywords that are non-sensical. That is, keywords or phrases that cannot be formed into a grammatically correct sentence. The search engines have software that scans each web page and then determines what the page is all about (keywords) based on the content.
If your keyword is "keyweird" it will be difficult for human readers to make sense of your content. Humans "vote" on website quality by clicking and sticking around on your site. Bad quality websites translate into "bounces" or hasty exits.
For example, if you are an accountant, you may find a great keyword related to your business is "benefits tax no children" as many people search for help in this cryptic and short hand manner.
But, you would be hard-pressed to weave this phrase into a meaningful sentence. Never mind the fact that for search engines to "agree" that your web page is about this keyword, you need to inject this keyword into a web page with some measure of "density". So repeat your keyword / phrase once per hundred and fifty words. This is a process called website search engine optimization.
"Stickiness" and "Bounces" are tracked by the search engines. So find keywords and write natural content to keep your human visitor happy and engaged. Returning visitors are the best vote of confidence that your website has quality content.
In summary, what are keywords to avoid?
Keywords are important for website owners, webmasters and web designers to discover for each web page on the website. Keywords give each page a focus for content. Keyword focused content pages are naturally "optimised" for both human readers (so visitors to your website are more likely to enjoy reading the content) and for search engines.
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