homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.225.24.227
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

    
Google.com Has An Issue With My American Spelling
HuskyPup




msg:4442555
 4:30 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've been biding my time over this past 10 months as I've watched Google.com make a mess with a keyword1 keyword2 phrase.

For several years until May 2011 I was usually ranked #1 but never went lower than #3 however starting last May Google.com started downgrading this particular section of my site, week by week, month by month, to the point whereby in the past few weeks it is not even listed in the top 100.

The problem is with Google.com and keyword2 which is the American English spelling, there is one letter difference between the US and UK spelling.

If I check several Google.tlds for the US spelling I am in the top 10 varying from #1 to #10. There are in excess of 10,000+ examples of this widget on my site, no other site comes within 9,000 of it!

Using the UK spelling I am invariably #1 on Google.tlds and even #2 on Google.com

Has anyone any idea what I could do or is this simply another example of an almost completely broken Google.com?

Is anyone else seeing such a blatant foul-up?

 

Andy Langton




msg:4442602
 6:21 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

A couple of things here. I haven't checked in on it recently, but spelling variations can yield some interesting results. I've found misspellings to sometimes remove layers of filtering from SERPs, which can reveal sites that have specific problems at the ranking stage, although they may appear to have got everything right. Competitive keywords get different treatment, of course!

And I think therein lies the rub - there's something preventing you from ranking on your ideal phrase.

If I check several Google.tlds for the US spelling I am in the top 10 varying from #1 to #10. There are in excess of 10,000+ examples of this widget on my site, no other site comes within 9,000 of it!

Using the UK spelling I am invariably #1 on Google.tlds and even #2 on Google.com

Has anyone any idea what I could do or is this simply another example of an almost completely broken Google.com?

Is anyone else seeing such a blatant foul-up?


I can appreciate that you may look at your site, compare it to competitors and come to the conclusion that it should be the top ranked result. But when it comes down to it, Google has their model of the most relevant page, and if you aren't the top ranked result, you aren't meeting their model.

That isn't about a judgement of your site in particular, but if you're aiming to optimise your ranking, then fundamentally it is about matching Google's relevance model - whether that matches your own view or otherwise.

backdraft7




msg:4442605
 6:34 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google has their model of the most relevant page, and if you aren't the top ranked result, you aren't meeting their model.


The important thing to remember is that the model is continually changing.

Staffa




msg:4442613
 6:54 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

fundamentally it is about matching Google's relevance model

then where does that leave Google's statement of making your site for your visitors and not the SEs ?

Andy Langton




msg:4442620
 7:13 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

then where does that leave Google's statement of making your site for your visitors and not the SEs ?


That's an excellent question. Google, by necessity, has an idealistic view of things - they're based fundamentally on the concept that they are writing an algorithm that will determine the best sites for users, which will work regardless of whether people knew Google existed or not. But that only works with a perfect algorithm in a perfect world. As it stands, Google does not routinely find the best sites for users, although they are pretty good at always returning relevant results.

But would you make an XML sitemap and tell Google where it was if you only cared about users once they land on your site? Would you use schema or microformats? Or even a meta description? Those three brief examples are admissions by a search engine that they need assistance in order to correctly spider, interpret and display web pages in their search results.

And those examples are about doing things that make your site more visible in search - and things that you wouldn't do with a site you made only considering what happens when users arrive at it.

Robert Charlton




msg:4442626
 7:39 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Regarding the observed rankings, several thoughts, all conjecture, come to mind...

The algo is most often keyword specific. If your backlinks for the US spelling were discounted for whatever reasons, that could explain the US spelling rankings drop. Since you were trying to rank for the US spelling, it's possible that your backlinks are now possibly seen as manipulative... with the US-spelled links too coordinated historically, eg, or too many exact matches.

On Google.com, the American spelling is likely to be more competitive than the UK spelling is. A combination of onpage synonym matching (ie, between the US and the UK spellings) along with natural backlinks to the UK spelling might be enough to rank you highly for the UK spelling.

Google foreign tlds are also often less competitive than google.com, but perhaps less so for the US spelling than for the UK spelling. On the foreign tlds, where your US spelling is doing better, geo-location of inbound link sources, etc, might also come into play.

I also doubt that there's a consistent ordering that you can make of how algo factors are weighted for a specific site/query combination from one google.tld to another, particularly since so many other variables are in play. You'd have to do a systematic examination of trade-offs for each tld to even make a reasonable guesstimate of what's going on.

Andy Langton




msg:4442636
 7:57 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Robert Charlton is exactly right - look at the ranking factors affecting the two different queries.

I'm in the UK myself, and so I've found that US-spellings in the UK market are not treated in the same way as the local spelling. Similarly, searching in English at regional Google's will return results handled very differently from the competitive keywords at those engines - i.e. the keyword written the way the local market would use it.

If backlinks have played a part in your historic rankings, that's a good place to start digging.

HuskyPup




msg:4442988
 1:48 pm on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your views however I am now considering this a manual filtering after finding myself a #368 ... I think a competitor has no less than a friend a Google!

When I search for:

keyword1 keyword2 keyword3, I'm there at #4
keyword1 keyword3 at #1
"keyword1 keyword2" at #56

and using Verbatim for:

keyword1 keyword2 at #58

I'll leave it at that, enough said.

Robert Charlton




msg:4443264
 5:59 am on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

however I am now considering this a manual filtering

HuskyPup - My answer essentially assumed a link filtering of some kind. Note that I'd said...

If your backlinks for the US spelling were discounted for whatever reasons, that could explain the US spelling rankings drop.

What I was addressing was your assertion that because some queries were affected differently than others (in the way that you had described), Google was screwed up.

I don't know the history of your link-building, but I think the results suggest backlink problems... perhaps too many exact anchor text matches on the American spelling (keyword2), which is what your efforts were probably targeting. Obviously, it's hard for me to say without knowing many more specifics.

keyword1 keyword2 keyword3, I'm there at #4

Again, this seems to make total sense. It appears that keyword2 is dragging you down... perhaps because of anchor text penalization or the discounting of the backlinks with exact matches... but the presence of keyword3 (apparently not filtered because it hadn't been pushed too hard in link-building and thus hadn't gotten penalized) is helping you. Just a guess.

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