Focus keywords in AIOSEO and Yoast


HD Moderator
Staff member
What I've noticed quite often in the AIOSEO score for blog articles is that leaving the Focus Keyword empty and instead inputting that focus keyword in Additional Keywords increased the score, sometimes as much as ten points. Makes no sense to me. I'm curious what the reasoning is behind this, and if this affects how Google views the article?


HD Community Advisor
Staff member
Not sure why it would increase, but I can tell you 100% that the focus keyword has no effect on Google.

The focus keyword is strictly there as a guide for users to help them optimize the page as best as they can. There are times when you would get a low number, but everything is optimized as it should be, and that's perfectly fine. The fact that the Title has more than 55 characters, or that you don't have any outbound links, that's not a make-or-break situation.

Focus Keywords, in any of the SEO platforms, are to be used strictly as a guide, and not to be treated as a rule.