The most likely reasons are that you have a keyphrase penalty OR simply that 30 other pages are beating you in Google for your preferred phrase.
If it's a keyphrase penalty can tweaking at the site/page - lowering kw density etc - get the penalty lifted or is it harder than that to recover?
What would be the first few most important things to check a site/page for in this situation?
>The most likely reasons are that you have a keyphrase penalty
You state this as a fact. How do you know there is a keyphrase penalty?
I am seeing similar problems. When I do a search for a five word phrase that is part of the title of one of my pages I come up number 257. The phrase is web based KW3 KW4 information.
Now with a page on my site that offers this exact match in its title and additional relevant information on the page surely it should rank higher? As far as I can see NONE of the sites that are above mine have the exact phrase. I think that this is a sure sign that Google is applying some kind of KW penalty, even though my site is essentially non-commercial. (I am a consultant.)
I thought that search engines should serve up relevant results. When we input five, six, seven words or more in search phrases it must surely be wrong to derank pages that have an exact match.
The title is only one of many things involved with optimizing for keyphrase. Do you have relavent inbound links for the words in your title? Do those words exist in the body of the document? etc...
Sounds to me like your just getting beat out by others who have optimized all or several of your 7 keywords better.
Also, I don't believe in the "keyphrase penalties". No one has shown me a single positive proof example of them. What I do believe in is themeing and hilltop and I think people get penalties and algo changes confused.
I think it is caused by one of the two reasons.
1. New Site Sandboxed
2. No backlinks Transfer after major update
The site in question is 4 months old. So, it is possible that the site has been sandboxed as a new site. (You will have to wait for the next update and see what happens.)
There are other threads that talk about "No backlinks transfer" penalty. If a site has this penalty, the site will not rank well on Google and its outgoing links will not show up on other sites as backlinks.
If you have an outgoing link from the site, check the Link: of the target site for incoming link if it has the correct backlinks.
|I think people get penalties and algo changes confused. |
hehe, i'd love to have seen Calum's face when he read this ;)
Yes, that's one of my pet peeves in this forum also.
"I've been laid off, and on top of that my employer has been penalizing me $5,000 a month ever since!"
"How can they do that? Surely it's not legal!"
"I dunno. But my bank account used to go up by $5,000 at the beginning of the month, and it stopped doing it <conspiratorial tone>THE SAME MONTH I GOT LAID OFF!</tone>"
"I've been talking to some of his competitors, do you think that might be the reason?"
I've seen something even more freaky. A website that we're contemplating purchasing ranked #1 for KW1 KW2 phrase as of yesterday (site is www.kw1kw2.com). Today I wanted to check sites linking to it and google came back saying no information is available for the URL: www.kw1kw2.com. This site has been around for years and all of a sudden when we're in due diligence it gets penalized? Is this a Google blip portending something big about to happen or is it something else?
|The title is only one of many things involved with optimizing for keyphrase. Do you have relavent inbound links for the words in your title? Do those words exist in the body of the document? etc... |
Can you please read my post properly? I am not talking about optimisation here. I am talking about the ability of a search engine to find four, five, six, seven or more words in a row - in sequence -together - as requested!
Yes! I have relevant inbound links. Yes! The words exist in the body of my document. Yes! My website contains valid, free information about the search terms.
Call me stupid if you will but if I search for a long string of words and a website includes this string on its pages then it is probably relevant.
Yes or no?
If a search engine does not recognise this then there is something wrong with the search engine, unless of course it has been set up up to ignore long strings that include commercial terms within.
|I am talking about the ability of a search engine to find four, five, six, seven or more words in a row - in sequence -together - as requested! |
I have the same problem with my site. The title is 7 words and unique (two of the words being the company name make it unique). It was launched in late January, the title and relevant keywords did come up in the SERP's for about 1 - 2 weeks in February. Then it was gone, not in the top 200 at least. Today it is finally in position 59. It has good incoming links (page rank started as 4, then moved to 5, then 6). It has relevant content.
I think it's related to the "sandbox" theory for new sites, somehow the algorithm prevents them from ranking well. I am hopeful that from the movement today, that my site is finally starting to move out of the sandbox.
Is this a new serp for you BeeDee? If so, I think something is happening at the Big G. In most cases I've seen you should show up for a string of keywords that are unique to your site. Doesn't sound like a penalty since you can still find your site but I can't explain it.
I've noticed from looking at the referrer logs that searchers are using more and more long and complicated strings of keywords at the moment. It looks like desperate attempts to find something that's actually relevant to their search. Obviously from the look of some of the searches our sites are getting served up for, they're still not having any luck!
From my (unscientific) observations it appears that Google has been giving progressively less weight to TITLE and Hx tags.
This is, IMO, a serious mistake that reduces the value of Google to the searcher.
|Is this a new serp for you BeeDee? If so, I think something is happening at the Big G. In most cases I've seen you should show up for a string of keywords that are unique to your site. Doesn't sound like a penalty since you can still find your site but I can't explain it. |
Wolfgang this is a site that is two and a half years old and that disappeared in January. It is only since it started to come back that I have seen this problem because I lost all my original ranking. It is currently PR5 but the internal pages only got their PR4 back in the last couple of days.
If I put quotes round the words I do come up first but I always thought that even when quotes were not used Google would place exact matches for the words at the top of the list. I just don't understand why it is not doing so for my search?
Incidentally none of the five words that I used are amongst the "and, if, from, by" words that Google excludes in its searches. They could each be considered to be keywords in themselves, which makes this even stranger.
I don't know if this is significant but I did some testing using strings of text from Google's own pages. For example, on their webmaster's page there is some linking text that includes Find answers and discuss Google services. I did a search for this and, as expected for a PR10 page, it came up in the top position of the SERPs. I then did a search for just Find answers and discuss and the Google page drops to position 15.
The Google page, which is PR10, contains the exact phrase while the PR5 site at the top does not?
Does this mean that Google is now ignoring exact search text unless it is included within quotes?
BTW I also did the "Find answers and discuss" search (in quotes) and once again a PR5 site holds the top two places with a PR6 in third and Google in fourth. Is this the end of Page Rank as we know it?
> How do you know there is a keyphrase penalty?
I can make it happen.
jchance, I agree people often confuse penalties and algo changes. That doesn't mean that they don't both exist.
> Is this the end of Page Rank as we know it?
I think that PageRank is pretty much the same; it isn't used in the same ways as it was in the past.
Not heard this before :
"the site has been sandboxed as a new site"
Itisgene, or anyone else - what does that mean? That a new site needs to go through one "real" update before it can compete?
|I think that PageRank is pretty much the same; it isn't used in the same ways as it was in the past. |
I would contend that if it isn't used in the same way then it is definitely not pretty much the same. I would also suggest that any decent search engine being used to find a 5, 6, 7 words or more phrase should place exact matches for this phrase at the top of the results.
We are not talking about over optimisation filtering here. As you know it is not easy to optimise a site for a seven word phrase. This makes it highly likely that a site containing this exact phrase is relevant and should be placed above those who do not contain it. Even more so when the site that contains it has a much higher PR.
Is this thread real? Google has been "penalizing" sites like this ever since Florida.
Listen - any website, big or small, new or old, clean or spammy, content-rich or autogenerated junk can be dumped by Google. Dumped, penalised, filtered ... doesn't matter what you call it - it happens all the time.
No rhyme or reason to it. Your site might be OK next month, or it might be even worse.
|Can you please read my post properly? I am not talking about optimisation here. |
|If I put quotes round the words I do come up first |
|this is a site that is two and a half years old and that disappeared in January |
So sorry, me too stupid, don't read too good... Oh wait, yes I do. Just re-read it and the rest of your follow-ups and its even MORE obvious to me that its an optimization issue.
You put the phrase in quotes, you come up first, but if you don't your lower. Probably means that some other sites are better optimized for several of the keywords in your title.
Heres the deal, a lot of sites dropped when they made the January algo changes. It doesn't mean that your penalized, or your banned, it just means that the stuff that you used to do to get ranked high no longer works the same so you lose positions.
You should spend your time trying to understand what has changed in the algo and adjust your optimization techniques to the new google algo.
There are tons of threads that discuss the Florida/Austin style updates...I would start there first.
>You should spend your time trying to understand what has changed in the algo and adjust your optimization techniques to the new google algo.
So in other words you don't have a clue.
Jchance sorry if I came over all angry. I had a couple of beers last night ;o)
That said, I still don't agree with you. How do you over optimise a seven word phrase? Is over optimisation the reason that Google is not doing so well in the example I provided in message 16?
|So in other words you don't have a clue. |
Ya, your right... thats why my sites rank top ten for thousands of optimized keywords and they have through Florida/Austin and every other algo change.
I'm dropping out of this thread, people don't want advice, they want to simply place blame on Google.
I think it is just part of the algo BeeDee. There are probably high volume keywords in your phrase that you don't rank high enough for, but there is a cumulative score assigned to the phrase that brings you up to your current position. Here's a test. Add a very unusual keyword to your copy. Do it at the end of a paragraph and then cloak it with font color. It won't affect what most people see but the G will pick it up. When you see that your current page is in Google cache, try the kw phrase search.
I'd bet if you concentrated on moving up on the hv keywords you'd see the phrase move up too.
"Here's a test. Add a very unusual keyword to your copy. Do it at the end of a paragraph and then cloak it with font color."
DON"T DO THAT.
You are playing with fire and could get done for spamming.
Yes, you're playing with fire IF you leave it up for an extended period of time, but if you think that they're going to catch it, one word, in one crawl you're wrong. I've tested this stuff over and over, but our high volume keywords are pretty vertical in nature; not general(not like 'sex' or 'travel'). If it makes you nervous, just add the word in a regular font. Your page will read oddly for a week or so, but at least you'll find out. Jchance was right BTW.
|Mozart, I don't think it's a keyphrase penalty; there are just a lot of pages with those words. |
CIML, I still say that this is either a fault in Google or some sort of penalty that is being applied to commercial sites.
Don't you agree that if I do a search for a long phrase then exact matches for that phrase should be presented to me first?
If they are not presented to me first then I must assume that either the search engine is faulty or a filter is being applied. It can surely be assumed that if someone searches for a long grammatically correct string then they already know that this string exists or is likely to exist somewhere. It follows that the pages that contain it should be at the top of the results.
BDW, sometimes a searcher wants an exact phrase match & sometimes he doesn't. You come up first for the exact phrase when you tell G that's what you want -- with quotes.
With 5 of the 7 words being stop words, they're really not going to help in a search that doesn't use quotes.
So, no, IMHO, this is not the final ultimate proof that Google is broken.
You are correct in saying that sometimes people want an exact match and sometimes not. But in long expressions, when quotes are not used, it should be assumed that an exact match will be a closer match.
I didn't mention "final ultimate proof ...". I did not even say that it was broken, I said that it was faulty and I am sorry but I must disagree with you. The five word search that I used for testing had NO stop words and Google lists it in position 257.
Google is not perfect and that can illustrated by reading the info on their [google.com...] page.
|Since Google only returns web pages that contain all the words in your query ... (their emphasis) |
|By default, Google only returns pages that include all of your search terms. There is no need to include "and" between terms. Keep in mind that the order in which the terms are typed will affect the search results. To restrict a search further, just include more terms. |
Both of these statements are misinformation because we all know for a fact that Google returns pages that in some cases contain none of the search terms used. Why do they mislead people by suggesting otherwise?
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