Most of the time when a client starts a new web site the just assume google, yahoo, MSN and the other search Engines (SE’s) will index their web site and show it their search results. This is just not the case. Why?
Well there are several reasons:
- Search Engines make more money when they don’t relative content in their results. After all no one would buy those ads if the search engines worked the way they should.
- IT’s hard for a robot to tell what your site is about. The SE’s don’t have humans reading the sites, they use “bots” to do it. That’s where the Basic SEO I give to all web site design customers comes in. This valuable service lets the SE’s know what your web site is a about and tells them “Here’s a quality web site you should include.”
- Competition. For most search terms there are literally at least hundreds of thousands of competitors. They haven’t decided “I want to compete against you” (most of them anyway), but their web site content is similar to yours (at least the SE’s bots think so).
When new web site is completed and even clients with existing web sites ask me these three questions:
- Why doesn’t my site show up for a specific keyword or keyphrase?
- How can I improve my site’s ranking?
- Why is my page’s location in the search results lower than before?
I will answer these questions and provide Google’s answers to these questions.
Why doesn’t my site show up for a specific keyword?
“The best way to ensure that your site returns for your preferred keywords is to include them on your pages. Our crawler analyzes the content of WebPages in our index to determine the search queries for which they’re most relevant. If you create an information-rich site that clearly and accurately describes your topic, it’ll likely return for your desired keywords.”
Like many of the things search engines tell you about how they index your site, it’s a mis-truth. Sure it helps a little, but the real main factor is the text of the links in the sites that link to you.
For example if you have a web site telling a story about a Blue dog. The phrase “Blue Dog” isn’t going to come up very often. It’ll be in the title, but most of the time the dog will be referred to by pronouns like “He”. As a matter of fact if you use the phrase “Blue Dog” too often (a high keyword density we call it in the SEO business), your site will sometimes be considered “spam” by SE’s. Why they use that term for crappy web site I don’t know, but they do.
The Truth: The text of the links to your site from other sites determines what the search engines think your web site is about, especially google. For instance: If 5 sites use the text “Blue Dog” to link to your web site, and 1000 sites use the text “A story by Texx Smith” No matter how many times you use the phrase Blue Dog, your sites not going show in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for Blue Dog (unless of course no one else has a site about a Blue Dog, then you might have a chance). When a user searches for “A Story by Texx Smith” however, with a 1000 inbound links from quality sites, you stand a great chance on getting to first page of the SERP for this little competed for phrase.
How can I improve my site’s ranking?
“In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages. For more information about improving your site’s visibility in the Google search results, we recommend reviewing our webmaster guidelines. They outline core concepts for maintaining a Google-friendly website.”
They didn’t used to admit that, and lately in public speaking engagements they’re trying to say it’s not true any more, but still this is fatal flaw in Google system. After all just because someone can afford to buy more text links than you from site’s with a higher PR doesn’t mean there site is any better than yours or even that it has anything to do with the subject in all those links text.
Why are they trying to distance themselves from this? Because their SERPs are becoming less and less relevant as crappy web site owner hocking Viagra and such figure out all they have to do to get in the first page of the SERPs is spend more money than the others on that page. They are also becoming less and less popular (although they still perform more searches than anyone, yahoo and MSN are fast closing the gap). Their solution, trying to talk web site owners out of linking campaigns.
Why is my page’s location in the search results lower than before?
“As you may know, our search results change regularly as we update our index. When we add new sites and incorporate updates to the content of existing pages, pages in our search results shift. Some will be ranked higher than before for a particular keyword and others lower.”
Gee that’s what political analysts call a “Non-Answer” They basiclly saying we change things and we’re not telling you why. Well I will!
The why is because you’ve lost some of the links to your site, the sites that were linking to your site lost some of their links, and/or your competitors have gained more links from higher PR sites than you.