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Poor Ranking for 1 Keyword Phrase

 8:37 pm on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

My client is having a problem ranking for one specific phrase. Currently fluctuates b/t the 95-99 ranking.

The rest of the site ranks well for other terms
Inbound links are higher then most of the top 10 who rank for this phrase.
The site was over optimized for this term but has long since been fixed.
Others in the industry rank high and have obvious keyword stuffing

I assumed they were penalized on this one term for over-optimization but the rankings are not improving.

This is only on google, the rankins on Yahoo and MSN are decent 7-15 range for the same phrase.

Does anyone have any suggestions?
Edit/Delete Message



 8:52 pm on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

If indeed the attempts to manipulate Google are all fixed, then recovery is possible. But such recovery is slow, step by step and not all at once. Take all the same steps you would to build strong "signals of quality" for any web business -- and that may do the job eventually. But it will be an effort because you are working against a history.


 8:55 pm on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

thats basically the approach I've been taking.

deoptimized for this one term
slowly reoptimizing for it
URL rewrite
fixed duplicate content (due to URLs)

but still no forward momentum for this one phrase (and any permutations of it)

I just can't figure out why.


 9:14 pm on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

The key will be in how you understand "reoptimize". I would focus on off-site factors, reviews, traditional PR efforts, building natural traffic and interest. A few unlinked mentions of the domain might be as helpful as a traditional link building campaign.


 9:31 pm on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

the site/company is extremely succesful both online and offline (been in Ny Times etc) the traffic is fairly strong.

I am mainly trying to help them conquer these few key phrases so they can stop subsidizing them with PPC, or at least slow it down.

It is not like they there are hunderds of competitors, there are maybe 20. There are also about 3 other sites that specifically mention my client and link to them that are ranked above them.

I've never seen where one term will not rank.

Would additional link building efforts really help when they have 500+ links coming in?

It's almost like google is not updating the SERPs for these phrases and the sites that are using obvious spam still rank.


 9:56 pm on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've never seen where one term will not rank.

I think there is such a filter. It figures into what is commonly called the sandbox, but it can also come into play on old established sites as well -- especially when link text manipulation is being used with a heavy hand. At least that's how it looks to me.


 10:10 pm on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've never seen or heard of such a filter, but i assume it is tru, i can't think of any other logical reason why the would consistently rank low for a certain term/phrase like this.

what would you do in this case? sit and wait to see what happens?

[edited by: Evroccck at 10:17 pm (utc) on April 9, 2006]


 10:17 pm on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yep, just do your time in the penalty box, and then accept the terms and limitations of parole. It's all I've ever been able to do, at any rate, short of a back-to-zero full redevelopment. And that rarely seems practical.

Also helpful at times is to back away from a literal and conventional focus on just "the keyword phrase" and look for all the related language that you can use. At the very least use Google's tilde operator and pick up some extra vocabulary that way.


 12:03 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have the same issue on one site for a number of keywords that it should rank great on, so im guessing ive got the same over optimization issue?.

Meanwhile, what bugs me on one key phrase where the site has a lot of content applicable is that its beat in the serps by sites that are less relevent.

For example three sites listed above it are directory sites and for the "Blue Widgets" key words only contain a link to blue widgets and a description which is for my site with a diverted link to my site!.

I wonder if i got the three directory sites to remove my details then they would have no on page content for that link and i would rise above them? Any one any thoughts on this?


 1:37 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Make sure you are using H1 headers with keyword content close to the top of the page code.

Also, when you get inbound links, try to change every link you get sematically from hereon in, for exampl:

Blue Widgets could be anchored as:

Blue Widgets,
Blue Widgets
Widgets in Blue
Blue Colored Widgets

I believe this is very important for optimimzation in Google.

Hope this helps


 2:55 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Also help your client understand the value of the "long tail". People who don't really understand SEO get fixed on a few key words or phrases and don't realize that most people come in on more specific search phrases.

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