Keyword Proximity in SEO: Everything You Should Know

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Keyword proximity

Google is swift at improving its algorithms to find the relationship among the various terms in blog content. Thanks to the latent semantic indexing and topic modeling algorithms.

So what is keyword proximity?

Keyword proximity refers to the distance between words of a single search term. Distance is the number of words between them

If your target search keyword is, “coconut headphones”.

The distance between the words, “coconut” and “headphones” should be close to each other for higher proximity.

You can write a sentence in several ways, the below sentences are arranged in priority order.

  1. Coconut headphone is the most creative way to make use of the coconut (no distance between the words.)
  2. Making headphone with the help of coconuts is the most creative way to use coconuts (some distance)
  3. Using coconuts for making listening devices. It is the most creative way to make use of coconuts (included semantic keywords)

In the second one, the distance between the words “coconut” and “headphones” is more. Include one or two instances of this in the blog content.

In the third example, I have used the term “listening devices” instead of headphones. It is the perfect example for LSI keywords. Including this kind of sentences often in the blog post helps to boost rankings.

Many of the SEO geeks think that Keyword proximity refers to only main keywords. However, there is also a proximity stuff for semantic keywords. Using related keywords close to each other is known as semantic closeness. Google uses this as a ranking signal.

Google treats semantic keywords as a better alternative to main keywords.

Using semantic keywords in important places (title, URL…) of a web page is discouraged. Only use semantically related keywords within the body of the main content.

Keyword proximity and Google

Google, while understanding the meaning of the blog content, looks at the closeness of the main keywords. As long as the keywords appear in the paragraph, it concludes that the paragraph is about the keyword.

For example, consider the below paragraph.

To increase SEO of a blog post, you have to create high-quality content. You should concentrate on earning backlinks, rather than building or buying them. Regularly linking out to good sites also may help. By this, you can increase the SEO of a blog post.

Analyze the above paragraph. I have begun and ended the paragraph with “increase the SEO”.

Why is that so?

By reading the above paragraph, Google can understand the meaning of it. By looking at the ending of the above paragraph, Google determines that the paragraph is still about increasing SEO.

Look at this Google patent to know how Google looks at keyword proximity.

Best practices

  • If there is an inherent relationship between the two paragraphs of a content, include a commonly related keyword in both paragraphs.
    “The closer the keywords are placed, the greater the relation is between the two paragraphs according to Google.”
  • There should be little or no distance between the keywords in the blog post title or URL. Keyword proximity does not apply to the keyword prominent places on a web page. Include no stop words between the terms. Stop words dilute the relation between the keywords to some extent (only in keyword prominent places).


Hope this blog post has helped you. I hope you understood the concept of keyword proximity and its role in SEO.
It is one of the advanced SEO thing used today to rank higher. Always target to keep the proximity higher.

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Akshay HallurAbout me

Hi, I’m Akshay Hallur. The founder of this blog BloggingX and many other online ventures.

I’m a professional full-time blogger, a digital marketer, and a trainer. I’m here to help bloggers like you to create an outstanding blog and earn money from it.

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