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Getting No. 1 on a Search Page

 12:42 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I manage a website for a US state agency that serves the homeless. When you search for "homelessness and [STATE]," the agency comes up 3rd and 4th on page one in Google. That to my mind is a great location -- but not to the executive director. He wants the agency to come first on the page.

Now, holding that first (and second) spot on the Google search page is an agency whose domain name is "[STATE]homeless.com." I checked the keywords used by this agency ... and they are using none. So, it isn't keywords (which I'm using) that puts them above my agency. Is it just their name (my agency doesn't have "homeless" in its name)? Or could it be that on their home page they use the word "homelessness" 4 times and "homeless" 17 times?




 12:57 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

In my opinion its most likely because they have the keywords in their domain and in general I have seen many sites that outrank other sites because of this.


 1:09 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

It could be that they have more and better inbound links than you.


 1:17 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes, BeeDee, I was wondering about inbound links and should have mentioned them. Is there any way I can determine what inbound links the other site has? How about my site -- any way of knowing that?


 1:38 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

When you search for "homelessness and [STATE]"

Is that the most common query that USERS use?

Sometimes a search ranking that's good for a director's ego is not necessarily the ranking that will be most productive for reaching real users.

Do some digging with a couple of good keyword research tools to figure out which searches and variations real users users are most likely to be looking for. Those will be the most productive to aim for. If the director's "ego trip search" is one of them, you're in luck.

If not, you might have a teaching job on your hands to explain why it would be more productive to rank well for (for example) something like "homelessness in [STATE]" or "[STATE] homelessness". Massage his/her ego as needed along the way!

{Edited to fix typo}

[edited by: buckworks at 1:58 pm (utc) on Oct. 18, 2007]


 1:41 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

You can use the "link:" operator to check inbound links ... [google.com...]

Note that Google does not accurately report inbound links. You would probably be better using the same operator in Yahoo.

[edited by: BeeDeeDubbleU at 1:42 pm (utc) on Oct. 18, 2007]


 8:37 pm on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yahoo's Site Explorer [siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com ] is a nice tool for finding out what sites are linking to a website.

Even better: combine that with the FireFox SeoQuake add-on, which will display the pagerank as well as other stats for all of the pages in the Yahoo Site Explorer listings.

[edited by: mona at 6:49 pm (utc) on Nov. 13, 2007]
[edit reason] no urls - thx! [/edit]

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