My site is < example.com > (fictitious) with index.htm, dogFood.htm, dogWalking.htm, etc. "Dog food" and "dog walking" etc are the terms I'd like to rank for and the site ranks well for most terms but for most of the pages, Google returns the index.htm and not the innner pages for the search term!
Most inbound links are to index.htm but each sub-page has a few inbounds and each sub-page has at least one outbound link to an authority on food or walking.
Is Google's preference for the index page because of an imbalence between inbound links? Do I need to solicit more inbounds for the inner pages? Am I being too simplistic? Is there some other reason the inner pages aren't being (usually) shown?
[edited by: tedster at 3:47 pm (utc) on April 26, 2007] [edit reason] switch to example.com - it will never be owned [/edit]
You need plenty and consistent inbound links. Might be a good idea to have a sitemap too. Also if you try to over-optimise your home page for everything, then you end up with rankings only for your homepage.
I ran into the same issue a year or so back. You have to be very intentional about making a page rank for certain keyword. This is what I did:
1. Optimize the home page for the hardest keyword. 2. Link from the home page to any sub page with the keywords you want those sub-pages to rank for. 3. Use h1 on the sub-page using the keyword that you just used in your anchor text on the main page. 4. Make the H2....Hn tags on that sub-page relate back to the main keyword for that sub-page. 5.Set up a spreadsheet with columns like this: "On Site Factors OK""Key Word""URL""Page Rank" "SERP#""Notes" Write down your top 20 or so keyword you want to rank for. Next to the keyword write the URL you want that keyword to rank on. In your fourth column note the PR of that page. In the fifth column write the SERP#. In the last column write down notes like, “Google is not pointing to the page I want it to yet.” The most important thing you can do is to take meticulous notes in your “On site factors column”. Note all changes made to each page. Write down any backlinks you have created, and make sure you use the proper Keywords. I can’t stress how important the notes are. If after a few months you start dropping in the SERPs you will need to go back to your notes to find out what you might have done wrong.
6.every week or two copy all of the cells from the previous month delete all the notes and onsite factors cells then check your serps and start making new notes. After a month or two of methodical work you will notice improvements.