I'm sure this has been one of those ongoing debates. But I was hoping to call upon your expertise on some specific examples.
I have been hired to help with a company that needs some major overhaul and have done extensive research. I was able to narrow it down to 2 options and am using their competitors as examples.
The first, is a very lean, functional site with a good code to content ratio and high keyword ratios. Overall this site is doing well and scores high on google, MSN, and yahoo.
If you type in the main keywords "airsoft gun", or "airsoft guns", it's usually in the top 3 if not the first page.
Thr second is a very loaded, heavy, less functional site loaded with keywords and bigger pages. This website is a little harder to maneuver through, but has recently, because of this design, improved in ranking across the board for all the SE's.
My dilemna is should I design a website for a client that is heavy is keywords and more likely to do better in the SE's or go with the functional less keyword, lean option.
I know the standard response is "a good moderation between the 2 is your best choice". But I'm looking for a little more than that. I would hate to have to come back and redesign the site if it was penalized with keyword loading for spam.
I guess what I'm also asking is, where is the line? And what is your opinion of both sites? As well as which option would you choose?
Thank you for your help. Long time reader and first time poster. Thank you for your help.