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Can't Get Home Page to Rank in Serp for Keyphase

Need some suggestion for remeding the problem



3:02 pm on Apr 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have a highly relevant two word keyphrase (our sites theme) that I can't seem to get google to rank our homepage for in the serps(at least not in the first 1000) and It doesn't seem to matter what I do or have done over the last 8 months, I can not get it to show up in the first 1000).

The home page will rank for other keyphrases, some quite well in fact. I have managed to get some other pages to rank for this particular keyphrase, unfortunately tho, not very well (in the 50's). The particular keyphrase only has 463K results in Google

Here are some of the thing I have played with:

Title, Meta-Description and Meta-Keywords (understanding that meta-keywords mean little to Google)
H1, Bold, Italic, Underline - Using keyphrase all ways.
Keyword Density - Increase, Decrease, no effect
Alt Text - Used once
Inbound Link Text - Keyphrase in inbound link text
Link Quality - No Bad Neighborhoods or Link Farms
Backlinks - We have 2x the amount of the site at #3
Outbound Links - Relevant to theme, but keep to a minimum
Page Layout - Have Keyprase High up in the Body

Our home page has a PR5. Under the keyphrase we are struggling with, the #1 site and all site below it are PR5 or less. We have 2x the backlinks of the sites showing in the #3 to #10 slots.

We do use the keyphrase in an adwords campaign. (been told there is no connection between the regular serps and adwords)

Anybody have an ideas for what the problem could be or what we should look at?


5:54 am on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Have you tried comparing the design of your page with that of sites ranking well for your keyphrase? Is kw density very different for example?

Do you have any control over the anchor text linking to your site? Try stirring the mix a little. Try kp at beginning of anchor text / at end / in middle etc..

& good luck :)


7:07 am on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

KWD sub 3% then leave it for a few months,
providing no other violations it should come back (though it may not)
Google knows you are optimising and will treat you differently to some other sites.


12:24 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Celenoid, Phantom - I have played with density a bit, I have made mine match that of the #1 ranked site (about 16%) and then tried matching that of the #5 ranked site (about 9%), I have also taken it to sub 3%(1.6% actually). Each time I left it that way for over two months.....Nothing Nada, Didn't do a thing for it.

I have also tried the old once in title, once in meta-description, once in bold, once in itaic, once underlined, once at beginning, in the middle and at the end theory.....yet still mothing.

I don't have great control of the inbound link text, although I do have three links that use the keyphrase in the link text to our site.

Since the index page ranks fairly well for other keyphrases, I can't imagine google is penalizing it only for that specific keyphrase......am I wrong in that thinking?


12:53 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Do a search on Google for allinanchor:www.yoursite.com and find what position your site is listed in.

Then do the same search for the top ten sites returned in the regular Google results for your keywords.

If your keyword/phrase is very competitive, you will see that anchor text is a VERY IMPORTANT factor.


1:04 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

What does allinanchor do?


1:18 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Allinanchor:www.yourdomain.com is a search on Google that rates sites based on the anchor text of links (specifically anchor text that contain the keywords) pointing to sites.

Anchor text is the text you click on to go to another page.

Having your keywords in the anchor text makes a link MUCH MORE powerful than just having www.domain.com


1:23 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Use keywords in anchor text for link building.


1:49 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

how many of such links with kw in anchor text would be considered optimum?


1:58 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Caryl - Might need some clarification.

If I do an check of the regular serp results for my two word phrase, my site has two pages listed in the 31 & 32 position. They are not the home page though, they are other internal pages. Home page is no where in the top 1000.

If I do an allinanchor:keyphrase, the same pages above show in the 4&5 positions, but again, they are not the home page.

None of the sites in the top ten have links being reported that contain the keyphrase other than internal site pages. i.e. somedomain.com does not show up with a keyphrase link to the #1 site.


2:10 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

over the last 8 months

Pretty much how long Google has been having problems indexing properly. Lets hope its not another 8 months before they fix it.

PFI is starting to look attractive.


2:27 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


It is important to remember that when you do a search on Google for link:www.domain.com, they are ONLY reporting links from pages with ~PR4 and above.

So a backlink check on a top page amy indeed result in zero, yet there may be 100s of PR0 to PR3 pages with links to that page, that Google is NOT reporting.

I have found another search that is handy, (but not really accurate)is @www.domain.com. This will return results that Google finds www.domain.com on the text of pages in Google. It kind of gives you a "feel" of just how many "possible" links there are to that page.

It is highly recomended that you optimize your internal pages for their keyword target. If you have a page for a blue widget, go out and get links with blue wiget in the anchor text pointing to THAT PAGE not to your main page. I have seen hard evidence that to target one page for two or more different keywords only dilutes the anchor text value and the strength of that page.

Once I really started looking at things this way I did really start to notice that many of the results are NOT the sites main index page!

I had been struggling to get my sites main page back from the abyss since Florida. I realized that, since my main page had all kinds of anchor text pointing to it, it would take a huge amount of keyword laden achor text to increase the percentage so that the highest percentage of anchor text was for my keyword and not for my site name.

I finally had the idea that I might have better luck starting a brand new page and having 100% of the anchor text contain my keywords in it.

Results? My main page I could NOT get any lower in the results than position 220 and 33 in allinanchor(I did work it down to that level from 365 though)

My new page? It is now sitting at position 25 and allinanchor 7. (for that same keyword phrase)

I always figured that I should "lead" with my main page because it had the highest PR...

In today's Google, Backlinks are the foundation of your position in the serps! Make sure they are good solid links (not link farms). Links with good anchor text are the most powerful links to you get.

If you are a small site, you must have these powerful links to compete on a competitive playing field. With enough of them you CAN compete even with the "BIG BOYS".


2:30 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hmm. I didnt know about the allinanchor function. I just used it and found that for the main three keyphrases in our industry we rank top 2-6 using it. Without it we are nowhere to be seen and I long gave up on getting ranked for those phrases as they are so commercial. For the main keyphrase my homepage is ranked #2 in allinanchor. #1 for that is #1 in the main serps, but I'm nowhere.

Why would this be? I dont use any spam techniques (e.g. high kw density, etc..). I only mention the phrase once in a title, and the individual words about half a dozen times. Would my site be penalised purely for being a commercial site? In the serps, there's sites whose only reference to the keyphrase is mentioning my site who rank in the first few pages.


2:42 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Without knowing anything about your site, I would say that probably it is small relative to the competition and maybe low in backlinks, relative to the competion for your phrase.

I have a site that is like that now. The good news for me is, that I am going in the right direction, I just have to find a way to bulk up it's size, if I can and keep on plugging with the backlinks.

P.S. the site I am refering to above has 60 pages and most of the top ten have greater than 300 pages! Every page I can add will help. I feel like I am a featherweight preparing to fight a heavyweight. I will find another way to beat them, since I will never be their size!

DO NOT be afraid to beef up your keyword density! The new page I just moved to position 25 (in ten days) has 15.35% keyword density for my phrase.


4:04 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've just been checking and my site has #1 position in allinanchor searches for just about every product in my industry. Yet this is not reflected in the serps. Very confusing.

My site has 750 pages indexed in google, PR5 and 104 backlinks. I'd love to know what I'm doing wrong as surely with those allinanchor results my site has the potential to rank really high.


4:05 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

what are the numbers for your competition?


4:29 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bigdave is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member


I think you are giving allinanchor powers that it does not have. Google does not claim any raning is involved or how they would choose to rank them. Allinanchor is a restriction, not a request for ranking information.

For all we know, and how I suspect that it actually works, Google will just give you the first 1000 occurances in their index that match your query.

The most common references to allin queries here on WW seem to be related to "why do I show up at the top of all these allin queries, but I am doing lousy in the SERPs?". The answer is that all those queries mean is that you meet the requirements to be included in that list. Anything else is just speculation.


4:53 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Big Dave,

I respectfully disagree.

If you would like to see for yourself, the strong correlation between placement in the serps and placement in allinanchor: (again, this correlation is most apparent on highly competitve keywords)

Open two browser windows side by side and do a regular search in one and an allinanchor search in the other.

I think you will find that, time and again, you will see that there is too high a correlation between the two lists, especially for the top ranking sites, to think that allinanchor is just a random generated list.


5:03 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My competitors have anything from 600-14600 pages indexed and from 50-551 links.

If google ranked purely on anchor text, by the seems of it I'd be a rich man by now!


5:10 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


What you can't match in size, you have to make up by beating them (big time) in backlinks and/or anchortext.


5:17 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am just sharing information that has finally helped me come back from being devistated by Florida.

I have not offered any bizaar theory that can not be backed up by Googles own numbers.

Some will choose to consider this information and other will discount it and go on their merry way.

I have nothing to gain and nothing to lose by what you choose to do with the information I have shared.

I have offered all of the information anyone needs to investigate this for themselves.

Happy SEOing!


5:24 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well it seems I am beating them in anchor text, although I dont know why as I dont very often ask for links and when people do link to us they use the name of the store to do so.

Backlinks I pretty much equal most of the sites I'm up against. One site has 550 backlinks but 548 of those are from themselves - which I cant understand personally. Perhaps adding more pages might be the way to go. I've noticed a lot of the sites above me have the same page indexed several times under different urls. So whereas they only have say 500 pages, they repeat them enough to get 2000 pages indexed on google. Again, I dont see why this should make their site more useful or important than mine.


5:25 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for the input caryl. Very interesting.

I agree that there does seem to be a strong correlation between allinanchor and the serps. For the main keyphrase in my industry there are only two top ten results from all in anchor (including my site) that are not in the the same or similar positions in the serps.


6:57 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bigdave is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I think you will find that, time and again, you will see that there is too high a correlation between the two lists, especially for the top ranking sites, to think that allinanchor is just a random generated list.

I think you misread what I said. I never said that it was a random list, it certainly is not.

What I suggested was that it had to do with the order it found it in the index, which is a huge difference.

Going back to the old style crawl once a month, because it will be easier to examine, Think about the order that things are crawled in. You seed the crawler with 2 URLs, dmoz and yahoo.

It reads those 2 pages, processes them and generates the information to put into the index, and adds all the links to the list of pages to crawl next.

Not surprizingly, some of the most important pages out there are read soonest because they are the closest to the seed sites. If one of those early pages has a link with "Webmaster World" in the text, then that would go into the index soonest.

With the new constant updating, it is hard to say how things would be ordered in the current index, but you can still be sure that the "most important" pages would still be in the beginning of that index.

Now, I am not saying that this as absolutely how it happens. In fact, I doubt it. But I doubt even more that it is what you seem to think it is.

Allinanchor is a restriction, pure and simple. How it orders the restricted set is another matter.

Another guess is that it is a search on the allin words, restricted by those words being in the anchor text.

For example, "allinanchor:pantanal glaciers" will rank according to a normal search "pantanal glaciers" would return a search for web pages that have those two words, but restricted to only those sites that have each of those words in some anchor text pointing to them.

In that case it would almost exactly match the results that you are seeing with your experiment, but it still would not tell you anything of great value. The only difference would be the removal of those sites that do not have all those words in anchor text somewhere.

(Wow, I picked my example thinking that there was absolutely no way that there would be any results. Someone actually has panatanl and glacier in anchor text pointing to their site!)


7:44 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm sorry Dave, I couldn't find the part as to why there is such a high correlation to the allinanchor results and the regular serps. On highly competitive keywords?

I have simply stated that I found these results to be quite helpful in gaining position in the serps.

The KISS method has worked for me.

I have been FINALLY able to do in 10 days that which I have NOT been able to accomplish in 6 months.

If it helps anybody else - great!


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