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Page nowhere to be found for main keyword... Penalty?

 9:14 am on Mar 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've had this penalty for probably around 6 months and I can't seem to figure out how to fix it.

Basically, it's a section page which use to get quite a bit of traffic.

Let's say the page is titled Small Widgets and it links to all the types of small widgets: small red widgets, small blue widgets, small green widgets, etc.

Here's the problem: Small Widgets doesn't show up anywhere in the SERPs. Instead, when searching for [small widgets] the small green widgets page shows up on page 4 of the SERPs.

On the other hand, when searching for [little thingies] the Small Widgets page appears on page 2 of the SERPs.

I thought this was some sort of optimization penalty before, but I have made quite a few changes over these months and it didn't help anything.

As for the links to the small green widgets, small red widgets, small blue widgets, is it OK to simply have the link labeled as "red", "green", "blue" or should the have the full title in the links? Does it matter? Could that be the problem?




 4:10 pm on Mar 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

is it OK to simply have the link labeled as "red", "green", "blue" or should the have the full title in the links?

In some cases, it IS better to omit the word widgets - because using it very frequently can over optimize for the full phrase. However, that's not a hard and fast rule. The Google algorithm is quite complex these days, and even chaotic (possibly in the mathematical sense as well as a practical sense.)

Some ieas:
  • How about the query [site:example.com small widgets]. Does the missing URL appear then?
  • Does your robots.txt accidentally disallow the page's URL pattern?
  • Did you accidentally use a noindex meta tag in the URL's <head> section?
  • garyr_h

     12:31 am on Mar 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

    1. It shows up at first result with [site:example.com small widgets]

    2. It's not disallowed.

    3. There's no noindex meta tag.


     1:08 am on Mar 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

    This may sound weird, but are you sure that your HOME PAGE is technically sound?

    I accidentally noindexed my HOME PAGE and one of my internal pages had the same results as you describe.


     2:25 am on Mar 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

    Yeah, it's not noindexed. Around 50% of the pages use the same include header file and only pass variables for the title and description. So everything is the same within those pages as far as indexing goes. I've also tested the robots.txt file and everything is fine there.

    The home page is also indexed fine and shows up for the site name within Google searches.


     4:49 am on Mar 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

    exact same problem here. I seem to have figured that it is because of large number of inbound links with anchor text "small widgets" including from demoted article directories. But can do sweet nothing about it; impossible to get those links removed :( ... any suggestions?


     1:00 am on Mar 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

    I didn't think I had any article directory submissions with that anchor text, but I found about four that did and made some changes.

    There are a large number of inbound links to this page with the anchor text, but it is mostly natural links. It's simply a common name for this category. As in, it fits perfectly.

    Hopefully removing that anchor text helps, but I highly doubt it will. Such a small number...

    As a side note, these were quality articles. Why should Google have any say in what we put in our bylines? That in itself is ridiculous, in my opinion. We shouldn't be punished for writing quality content for someone else--even if it is an article directory--and writing a byline.

    FWIW, a couple of these articles were written four+ years ago.

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