homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.242.231.109
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

    
Why Do Some Homepages Get Buried?
seoskunk




msg:4410352
 6:30 pm on Jan 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I was wondering if anyone had experienced their homepage no longer ranking for a term and a subpage of the site ranking instead, usually lower. Why does this happen to some sites and not others?

 

Planet13




msg:4410403
 8:16 pm on Jan 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I was wondering if anyone had experienced their homepage no longer ranking for a term and a subpage of the site ranking instead, usually lower. Why does this happen to some sites and not others?


first, check for technical errors. Check, then double check, then triple check.

for example, I accidentally noindexed my home page for over a month. Doh! It took someone else to point this out to me.

check that you don't have a canonical link tag on your home page pointing toward a different page. Also check that you don't have both the www. version as well as the non www version returning 200 responses. One should be 301 redirected to the other.

with the symptoms you describe, I think it is one of the above situations. Otherwise, it might be bad coding, such as two head tags, or something like that.

goodroi




msg:4410413
 8:28 pm on Jan 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

By any chance does your subpage generate more usage signals than your homepage?

Hoople




msg:4410492
 12:26 am on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Are there more quality back links to the subpage in comparison to the home page?

seoskunk




msg:4410699
 3:01 pm on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

The subpage does generate more usage signals and there are backlinks to the subpage. However I am still not clear why the homepage doesn't rank well

Marketing Guy




msg:4410710
 3:31 pm on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

If the ranking change coincides with any of the Panda updates that could explain it. I'm seeing a similar thing on a Panda hit site - new internal pages beginning to achieve rankings that the homepage once held.

tedster




msg:4410751
 5:20 pm on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Over several years, it seems like there has been quite a struggle to generate an algorithmic result that does a good job choosing between a home page and a key internal page. I've struggled with both situations - the home page ranks when it's not the best landing page for the query, or the home page isn't returned when it WOULD be be best landing page.

This gets complicated by the fact that sometimes a home page seems to disappear for no clear reason or obvious penalty situation. We see this even in the site: operator results, and I sometimes suspect a bug in Google when domain roots get imported into the "full" index from a dedicated "domain root only" list.

Several years ago we had a discussion here that watched that kind of thing happen during various updates. In recent times, I've seen less of it but I think it's still a problem, even if there is no true penalty going on for the home page. And then - there can be a true, keyword-specific penalty against just home page. That would be what people call an "over-optimization" penalty, or the kind of thing that used to create a "minus 950" ranking.

HuskyPup




msg:4410789
 7:10 pm on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

and I sometimes suspect a bug in Google


Yep, that has been my conclusion especially when BingHoo, DDG and Yandex get it absolutely right, either me or Wikipedia #1, whereas G had me at about #500 the last time I looked...my example.mobi ranks higher!

Certainly my internal pages are more important than the index page however that is where I would expect to find my "example" rather than keyword1keyword2 etc.

CainIV




msg:4410947
 6:18 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

By any chance does your subpage generate more usage signals than your homepage?


Be careful when internally targeting pages to the same theme as the index page theme set and especially so when building links. Some call it keywrod cannibalization.

I see Google switching off internal pages with homepages in this same fashion from time to time, often replacing the exact position of the homepage listing with the internal page - almost as if some type of internal usability test is being done to select the better of the two pages.

Robert Charlton




msg:4410962
 7:07 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

almost as if some type of internal usability test is being done to select the better of the two pages.

CainIV - I think you're on to something here. I've observed for most of last year, if not even before, that Google was using multiple results for a query as a test to winnow down pages returned.

I've also been noticing that those indented clustered results (of two results for a query) that we used to see are much rarer now than they used to be (or perhaps they've vanished entirely), and I've assumed that Google's simply being tighter about its serp real estate.

It makes perfect sense that when Google is down to two pages, swapping them would be the logical way to do an A-B test and select only one.


(PS: I just checked some old screen captures and see that Google was returning results with 4 "sub"-links for a query back in Oct 2009. I didn't guess they were using those for testing then, though, but I'm now almost certain that they were).

piatkow




msg:4411014
 10:29 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)


I've also been noticing that those indented clustered results (of two results for a query) that we used to see are much rarer now than they used to be (or perhaps they've vanished entirely), and I've assumed that Google's simply being tighter about its serp real estate.

I had noticed that too but I am still seeing the same pages in the same positions, just one after the other without indentation.

stever




msg:4411021
 11:22 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think you are correct, Robert Charlton and CainIV, but it isn't the actual pages, it is the type of page presented for particular types of query.

(For example, a home page, by its nature, will usually tend to be more generalist. Or, vice versa, an interior page might be too specific for a generalist search. Or take the difference between transactional searches and informational searches.)

1script




msg:4411294
 10:15 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

often replacing the exact position of the homepage listing with the internal page - almost as if some type of internal usability test is being done to select the better of the two pages.
Sounds like a redundant test - it's almost a guarantee that an internal page would be #1 better targeted and #2 better from usability stand point (one-page sites being a special case).

I only get alarmed when the homepage does not return as serp #1 for the domain name - the only query where it should reasonably prevail because that's the most often used anchor in links to it. Any other query - there may be so many reasons why it's not #1 that it's probably not worth your time to investigate.

seoskunk




msg:4411574
 6:33 pm on Jan 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Many Thanks for all your replies I have made some changes to the homepage and site layout to make it more friendly to older versions of ie and firefox, so I'll see if that helps. The subpage ranking is more relevant as a landing page but does not rank as well as the homepage used too

alecs




msg:4411910
 5:09 pm on Jan 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

seoskunk I am experiencing the same thing with my site affected by Panda in February.

Let us know if you spot any improvements after your changes.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4411928
 6:36 pm on Jan 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Images on home page is sometimes a problem, but not like you might expect.

Sometimes your home page, if it has an image, is actually competing with itself for page one results. While the site may originally rank well for text based searches it happens that when an image from that same page ALSO gets top ranking that the textual results vanish.

I have witnessed countless number of pages "do the dance" between having a top ranked image and top ranked text result, it seems that having both at the same time is hard to accomplish.

Is that intentional on Google's part? Who knows.

Webwork




msg:4412064
 1:59 pm on Jan 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Perhaps there's a "brand subroutine" to the ranking algo triggered by brand signature queries? If your site doesn't have strong brand signals then there's less weight assigned to your homepage. If your company "is a brand" then weight is added to the ranking of the home page.

What, then, are the "signals of a brand"?

fathom




msg:4412160
 8:37 pm on Jan 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

There doesn't need to be anything wrong.

In retrospect, the only reason a homepage "ranks" (in most instances) is because that is the page that acquires the most links.

If for example your sub pages starts getting direct links and the link on the sub-page to the homepage says "HOME" short of your website being "HOME" related (like home furnishings, home repair, home business) the rankable page for most other phrases is less likely going to be the homepage.

johnnie




msg:4412178
 10:33 pm on Jan 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I still see a lot of people stuffing up their homepage by 301 / 302 ing it to a sub page (/default.aspx anyone?).

CynicalEngine




msg:4412273
 12:03 pm on Jan 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

What I've observed is that Google has been doing that for quite some time now (about 8-10 months), where its actually trying to rank an internal (more relevant) page for a term in spite of the fact that the homepage may have more authority for it (through on-page and off-page presence). However, since the inner page may not be as authoritative (link juice, number of links etc), it automatically falls down the SERPs for that given term.

CainIV




msg:4412561
 4:39 am on Jan 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi Robert, we see this too.

I agree the phenomenon has been going on for quite some time, probably almost 2 years.

We have noticed that rich content inner pages that mirror the same theme as the home on a well-linked website can show up in the same, worse or even better positions than that homepage, even when they have very few external inbound links.

This led me to wonder whether or not this was a case of Google selecting which of the two pages on that domain it thought was a better fit for that user query.

seoskunk




msg:4415606
 8:39 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

I just noticed something. The site I had a problem with this also got hit by Panda update, On using the site:mysite.com command in google the home page was not ranked first. Infact it was about three pages down. Is anyone else getting this on sites where homepage disappears?

PCInk




msg:4415669
 1:01 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

On using the site:mysite.com command in google the home page was not ranked first. Infact it was about three pages down.


That dates to pre-Panda days.

I've just tried a few big names and currently site:google.co.uk shows www.google.co.uk/AdWords as the top result.

Probably because google.co.uk doesn't have enough content compared to internal pages. I don't believe it is a penalty.

seoskunk




msg:4415671
 1:22 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks PCInk I thought that was maybe a indicator. Especially as after dumping 7500 pages of thin content the homepage is restored to no. 1. Now though not sure if a red herring.

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved