Is loading pages with irrelevant keywords a ranking factor?

Published: January 18, 2019

Yes, according to official statements from Google, adding a lot of irrelevant keywords to a page is a negative ranking factor. “Irrelevant keywords” is a polite term to describe “keyword stuffing”. There is a ranking benefit for rankings if you use the keywords in the main copy, but as Google’s Matt Cutts explained there’s a threshold that will lead to negative scoring:

“once you start to mention it [the keyword] a whole lot, it really doesn’t help that much more. There’s diminishing returns; it’s just an incremental benefit, but it’s really not that large, and then what you’ll find is if you continue to repeat stuff over and over again, then you’re in danger of getting into keyword stuffing, or, you know gibberish. […] we try to say, okay, rather than helping let’s make that [keyword stuffing] hurt a little bit” source

“Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking” source