Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Message Too Old, No Replies

Page not found in for 3 keyword search, but is when I add a 4th term



6:46 pm on Jan 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have a new page (~3 weeks old) that has a 3 Keyword title which I will refer to as "keyword1 keyword2 keyword3"

The page does not show up when I search for the 3 keyword phrase with and without qoutes (went through all 700 search results returned by Google).

When I add a fourth keyword it shows up very high in the search results. For example when I add my TLD as the fourth keyword it comes up first. When I add various 4th keywords (keyword1 keyword3 keyword3 4th-keyword) where the 4th keyword is included in the article it will usually come up in the top 10 or 15 search results.

Any idea why the page doesn't show up for the 3 keyword search?

I did target a higher search term for this page than I usually do on my site. I usually stick with search terms < 10,000 per month (broad match) from Googles Adword keyword tool, but I am now trying a 3 keyword term that is closer to 200,000 searches per month.

For most of my pages I can at least land within the top 5-10 pages for a new article and then slowly move that up over time. I have been successful on getting to the first page for several 3-5 keyword phrases < 20,000 local monthly searches.

Am I simply out of my league going to a 3 keyword term that is too competive?


3:00 am on Jan 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Am I simply out of my league going to a 3 keyword term that is too competive?

That is one possibility - however, Google indexing sometimes does show strange anomalies with extra words or omitted words, too.

In their December Search Highlights article [insidesearch.blogspot.com], Google mentioned working in this area of their algorithm:

Sometimes we fetch results for queries that are related to the original query but have fewer words. We made several changes to our algorithms to make them more conservative and less likely to introduce results without query words.

Although that description doesn't match your exact situation, it does make me wonder what exactly they were tinkering with and if it might have implications that do affect your results.

Then again, I've often seen weird search results for relatively new pages that seem to stabilize after a bit more time. Have you tried the intitle: search operator?


4:44 am on Jan 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I did try intitle: search and still no results. Maybe after more time I will see the page in the search results for the 3 keyword term. I was just hoping someone had been through something similar and could provide some answers.

Robert Charlton

5:52 am on Jan 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Lots of 3-word phrases can be very competitive. Particularly if one of the words is a core keyword in a vertical that your site isn't in, and your linking comes from outside that niche, that could be the reason.

Eg, Big Red Widgets, where widgets is a competitive market in itself, [big red widgets] is highly targeted, and you're thinking of these just as an extra offering that your customers might also want... then you'll have a difficult time, but a 4th word can do magic.

Am I simply out of my league going to a 3 keyword term that is too competitive?

I've seen companies put up sites just to target a single competitive 3-keyword phrase. In any event, 3 weeks isn't giving it much time.

What are the competing pages like? Are they inner pages, home pages, branded, on a focused site in the niche, or on a general site, etc?


7:56 am on Jan 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This could also be a Panda effect. Has your site been affected? For lots of queries, I cannot rank for the search phrase without a gender qualifier now, whereas previously I could. That's quite smart of Google, because we do only sell these products for women and not men!

[Descriptive word][segment generic] = nowhere
[Descriptive word][segment generic] for women/her/ladies/etc = page #1!


3:14 pm on Jan 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Robert Charlton,

The current competition is big box stores which basically take up the first page search results. My site is not an ecommerce site. However, I have been able to get above these brand names stores with older pages (some of these pages are 5 to 6 years old). In fact I am first and second for some very good 2 and 3 keyword phrases.


No I do not believe I was hit by Panda. My site stats did not take a hit this year. In fact my total visits and hits have steadily grown throughout the year (as I have been adding content).


3:27 pm on Jan 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I would say that if you page is ranking when you add a fourth keyword it shows that Google understand that this is relevant to those three keywords however that the page is not quite strong enough yet to rank for the pure three keyword phrase. As Rober Charlton says, three week is not a great deal of time, especially as you mention that your other pages which rank for similar keywords are 5-6 years old. I would recommend undertaking some link building activity around this page, both with and without that three word keyword and in 2-3 months see how you are performing I would predict that this page could potentially begin to show for the three word keyword by this point.

Featured Threads

Hot Threads This Week

Hot Threads This Month