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Fully optimized yet ranking poorly

Can anyone explain this?



10:04 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have a website and I cannot understand why is it ranking so poorly. I'm competing against sites that aren't competing with me.

Here's the situation. I am trying to rank well for keyword1 keyword2. My domain name is www.keyword1-keyword2.net. I have a keyword density for keyword1 keyword 2 of 6.23%. I am properly using h1 and h2 tags with my keywords inside them(my competition isn't using h1 or h2 tags at all)

I have over 30 websites that are linking to me with the anchor text reading keyword1 keyword2.If I do a search in google I am ranking number four for allinanchor:keyword1 keyword2

I have a pagerank 3 so I know I'm not banned or anything.

The website that is ranking number one for keyword1 keyword2 has only a pagerank 4 and isn't using h1 0r h2 and has a density of 4.14%.This website isn't using any spam techniques like cloaking or hiding keywords. Infact I don't believe any of my competition is.

I am ranking on the 8th page at number 79. Like I said earlier I am competing against websites that aren't competing with me. It's frustrating.

Let me explain even more.

I also validated my html and although it's not perfect html there aren't any major problems with it.

Also everything on the page I am trying to rank high for is 100% my own meaning it's not duplicate content found anywhere on the web.

Googlebot visits my website on a regular basis and updates the cached version on google.

Basically I've done everything webmasterworld forums has told me to do yet it's not working for me somehow. I'm not expecting to rank number one for keyword1 keyword2 but I would be extremely happy if I could be atleast within the first 4 pages.

Infact I have a political blog ranking above me for keyword1 keyword2! Not only that but this blog only has keyword1 keyword2 on the page once and keyword1 and keyword2 aren't close to each other on his page. Politics has nothing to do with my keyword1 keyword2 phrase I am trying to rank High for.

If anyone can explain this I'd appreciate it.


11:12 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

coketruck, this seems like I wrote this.

I have exactly the same problem.

  • my page is pretty optimized
  • I have PR3
  • I know of at least 11 websites linking to mine
  • I have proper H1 tags
  • Density is ~ 7-8%
  • Google visits regulary.
  • I have 167 pages in Google (many of them rich with content)

My secondary keywords rank pretty well. One is 1st place. Another one is 6th place. But the main page was ranking at 600+, then it went up to 400 and was floating at 400-450 for a week. Now it dropped to 700+ and keeps falling.

What could be the reason?


11:25 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hmm, try gettign a high PR link at least for a month (borrow it from a buddy) and see if it changes something.

I launched a new site, and all pages went straight to page 1, except for the super competitive one word terms.

But I bootstrapped it of another large (20000+ pages) site with PR6 home page.

The 15 main pages of the new site went straight to PR5 (well there was other linking too).

I'm not normally a PR evangelist, but PR3 might be to low for pageoneresults.



11:28 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Honestly, I do not care about PR either. I just want to rank high enough. Though, my inner pages also have PR3, and they rank high.

I am thinking I am doing something wrong...


11:34 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Ok, I'll just start shooting out some suggestions.
Firstly, I'll asume you want to rank high with your homepage.

So, first thing I notice, is no text content. Links aren't text content. Heck, you're not even saying what the site is about, neither to me nor to google.

Plonk a paragraph of descriptive text in there for goodness sakes. I don't really see anything hre that ought to rank high for anything.

Secondly, don't try for the homepage, try for the keyword optimised subpages.

For my recent site, I loathe even to have to have a homepage, as it doesn'T really serve any purpose, Google is my home page.

But short extracts from good new articles in there, whatch the keywords.

I'll wait for your sticky with the keywords, then I'll analyse closer.



12:25 am on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You need more links. Off page factors must be beating you. Examine your competitors backlinks.


12:46 am on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It's just a crap shoot at this point in time.
Everybody is just guessing how the SERPs are structured.
Google doesn't even know.
It's like riding a rollercoaster.
Heck with it - I'm going away for a month.
Good luck to all.


1:06 am on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have a website and I cannot understand why is it ranking so poorly. I'm competing against sites that aren't competing with me.

Even if the sites are competing directly with you, how competative is the search topic in general.
Topics about "spider webs" have to compete with sites about the internet and search engines.


1:25 am on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Two word keywords can be pretty impossible if you have the government of Canada, Harvard University or the DOJ accidentally stepping on those keywords and blocking you out.

You say you are being trumped by non-competitors, so I suspect that the keyword phrase may be somewhat general or can have several meanings and applications.

The average search is 2.5 words.

PR 3 isn't all that much in terms of firepower.


3:14 am on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I rank #2 for my main category keyword in 4.3 million results, by primarily applying what I have learnt here. Maybe there is something you are missing. Sticky me your url and your target keyword(s) and maybe I can give you some suggestions.


6:12 am on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Many are have similar experiences with the new '6 SETS OF ROLLING ALGORITHMS'. I had first page results on Tuesday for a page with textbook SEO - gone today. The site will likely be back to page1 on the next indexing. I will sit back and listen to the classics by SEO SpeedWagon - 'Ridin' The Storm Out'and 'Roll With the Changes'


9:56 am on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You mught be triggering googles 'over optimization' algorithm.

i.e. if your URL, file names, Title, H tags, Links, content, ALT tags, etc all are optimised for the same two keywords then google may decide this is too suspicious and dowgrade your position in the SERPs.

You'll find plenty of information on this throughout this forum so you might want to do a little background reading.



4:49 pm on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If you have a PR3 you COULD still have a penalty. I know some sites that deserve a PR6-7 considering their links. They were penalized but then released out of jail and end up with PR2-3. Once you're penalized you never get back your full potential, Google always holds a grudge :)


5:02 pm on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I don't think it makes sense for Google to penalize for "over optimization" It could happen non-intentially. I had one client whose pages would be classified as over optimized he didn't know the first thing about search engine optimization. He designed the site to be easy to read and navigate for the user. I always felt that Google should encourage good SEO because really a good SEo makes the web an easier place to find what you are looking for.


5:09 pm on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

allanp73 I feel the same way. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be true. It seems that google would prefer to loose couple of "good" and "quality" sites and at the same time would kill many other "spam" sites with their algo.


5:26 pm on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I noticed that there are more sites in the top 10 that are not using H1 tags. Instead they are using large text. Anyone else notice this?


6:17 pm on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've experienced a similar phenomenon in that I know my sites are well optimized and that they are relevant to the search terms I optimized for. Because there is so much mystery as to the 'new google' method of deciding who gets top spots, I decided to add content - as insurance. I added lots of pages, optimized for different words and combinations of words, and using different kinds of optimization - varying keyword densities, use of H tags, anchor text, etc. This worked. With the rolling algorithm, I have generally been able to stay on page one with either one of my old pages, or one of my new pages. The site I am referring to is a PR5, (but this changes from gray to PR5 on a regular basis) and some days it is outranked by sites with far less PR and far less backlinks than mine. Adding content has been very helpful for this competitive term in this time of uncertainty.


8:03 pm on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have been experiencing the same problem with my site. I feel like it is well otimized. For a while after optimizing my site, it ranked no. 3 out of 502,000 for a very competitive keyword phrase. Then about mid August my site dropped to position 67. I felt like I had done something wrong. Today. I found it back at position no 3!


11:42 pm on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Same here. I used to do very well for my keywords but have dropped from the top three to the second page or worse. I have un-optimized a couple of my important pages and have moved up some. Seems that reversing my keyword phrase makes me move up. Exact match does worse. All combinations of phrases are on the pages to help the snippet.


5:18 am on Sep 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Don't target one keyword phrase, don't target two, and don't go after three; go after as many as possible.

If you're doing awful on your front page, focus on your subpages targetting them on alternate keywords. Instead of going after 2 word keywords try going after 3 words.

Also, a PR 3 is extremely low and not likely to power over anyone. Try aiming for at least a PR 4, which isn't too hard to get.


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