written by
David Hooper

Podcast Keyword Stuffing - An Easy (And Risky) Way to Try and Grow Your Audience

Podcast Marketing 3 min read

Podcast keyword stuffing is the practice of inserting a large number of keywords into podcast descriptions, titles, and other content in the attempt to artificially increase the ranking of your podcast in search results in podcast directories such as Apple Podcasts. It’s common to see keyword stuffing done within a podcast’s title, description, or author field.

For example, a podcast author will labeled not as "Jimmy Johnson," but as "Jimmy Johnson | Marketing Expert similar to Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, Eben Pagan, Frank Kern, and Marie Forleo." Or, "Jimmy Johnson | An comic alternative to Marc Maron, Aisha Tyler, Adam Carolla, Joe Rogan, and Grace Helbig."

In other words, it’s not uncommon to see somebody trying to boost his own credibility, notoriety, and search numbers by using keyword stuffing to attach himself to somebody with a lot more credibility, notoriety, and search numbers.

Keyword stuffing within titles of podcasts all the time as well. For example, "Jimmy Johnson Podcast: Internet Business | Entrepreneurship | Make Money Online." Or "Jimmy Johnson Podcast | Interviews With Celebrities Like Kim Kardashian."

Does keyword stuffing work to get more search traffic for podcasts? It can. It can also piss people off and make you look like an amateur.

Something Smells Fishy - Is It Your Podcast?

primo perfume
If you like Pat Flynn's Smart Passive Income, you'll love Dumb Passive Income!

Scent is our most powerful sense. It can bring back memories or warn us of danger.

The global perfume industry generates over $30,000,000,000 per year. That’s 30 billion. And it’s not slowing down anytime soon.

One of the ways companies are getting into this industry is by designing knockoff fragrances. For example, Designer Imposters' "Primo," a knockoff of Giorgio Beverly Hills. You can get a huge bottle of it at Wal-Mart for around $10. The body spray is only $3.

Every successful fragrance has been copied...

If you like Calvin Klein’s Obsession, you can get "Confess" instead.

For Vera Wang’s Princess, there is "Goddess."

Victoria Secret’s Love Spell is "Swept Away."

Most people can’t tell the difference between the imitation fragrances and the real thing. But the perfume industry didn’t get to the $30,000,000,000 level by selling $10 bottles at Wal-Mart. If price wasn't an issue, people would always pick the real thing, not a knockoff. And most people still do, even though the price differences between the authentic options and the knockoffs are substantial.

Podcast listeners want the real thing too. You may get some initial traffic by keyword stuffing, but people want what they’re searching for, not a knockoff. Because of this, they’re unlikely to stick around and spend substantial time listening to something else.

The way to build a real business around your podcast is to focus on creating something (or being somebody) people will search for specifically.

Update - Apple Podcasts Cracks Down On Keyword Stuffing

Here's an update on what Apple Podcasts is doing to minimize podcast keyword stuffing from Todd Cochrane of Blubrry:

Fair Warning: After a call yesterday with Apple, everyone needs to stay diligent on following these basic rules:

1. Your Show Title should be short and distinct. If you have a ":" a "-" in your title what is after it will be scrutinized!!!

2. Author is Author/Author's only AKA "Tom Jones & Amy Jones" or "Tom Jones" do not put anything else in there whatsoever!

This is New!

3. Episode Description: Again no Keyword stuffing. The episode title needs to be descriptive of the episode. Any attempt to keyword stuff will become suspect. Do not append keyword or anything suspecting to be keyword stuffing post your episode title.

All of this is subjective of the Apple reviewer and at the reviewer's discretion!!!!!! There are literally too many ways podcasters have been trying to manipulate Apple search. The ban hammer frequency has increased and expect it to continue.
YOU DON'T NEED ANOTHER NEWSLETTER! But since you're here, how about one to help you grow your podcast audience?
Sign up for our newsletter