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Why is our site high on Yahoo but very low in Google?



1:34 am on Aug 8, 2012 (gmt 0)


Very glad to have found this forum. I have built a site, and its working fine, everybody likes it, except Google, and I can't figure out why. So Im here to see if anyone can help me understand it.

It is the website for a local action group, created to present opposition to the building of a new airport for Sydney, which would blot out our town.

So, the goal is to get our message out, by ranking as highly as possible on the Australian .au versions of the main SE's, particularly google.com.au of course.

But it doesn't! on the main search phrase it is not in the top 100, and probably not the top 200. many sites with little content do better. And yet it is where it should be at 15/16 on yahoo/Bing.

Put in a more specific search for our group name, its no 1 on yahoo but still nowhere on google. Only with a search on the URL itself does it appear in Google, 1st.

I have google analytics running, use webmaster tools, have redirected non-www to www URL, set the region to Australia, validated the code, checked site on a wide variety of browsers and devices.

A few thoughts I have:

We have a few inward links, and we know we need more, but quite a few outward links, referencing other sites and news articles. Am i losing too much juice?

we have alot of inard links created by friends posting the URL in their forum signatures - on unrelated forums. does that hurt our SEO?

We have a drop down menu system on most pages, so the site hierachy is quite flat. So the home page has similar internal links to the others. Recently Ive added some extra footer links to the home page.

Probably enough for now...very grateful for any comments. Its a puzzle, but it's hurting our group.!

cheers and thanks

[edited by: tedster at 2:27 am (utc) on Aug 8, 2012]


2:28 am on Aug 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Hello Johndh, and welcome to the forum.

My first guess is that your site may not be aged enough for Google to rank it well. How long ago did you launch it?


3:29 am on Aug 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thks for the quick reply. It was started on june18 this year. Once it was indexed, it listed on page 7 or 8, with less content. But since then, something has made it sink greatly.


3:56 am on Aug 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

It really does take time to rank well on Google - much longer than on Yahoo (and their search results are supplied by Bing these days.)

You need to establish some trust and some authority for Google to rank you well these days. And yes - having natural inbound links show up around the web is a big part of that.

Also note, being on page 7 or page 8 is not a good position. and in fact you might find that position swinging wildly from day to day or even hour to hour as Google tests out how it performs as a search result.

I would pay a lot of attention to the traffic you do get. Make sure they have lots to do, content to read, email lists to sign up for, pdf white papers to download, social media to follow you on - anything you can come up with to treat these people really well. That should build some word of mouth that can help you naturally grow your user base, and Google will usually like that.


4:51 am on Aug 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ok thanks - we'll keep developing it. i was just worried if there is something about what we are doing which is hurting the ranking unnecessarily where we could do something a different way.




12:28 pm on Aug 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

It seems unlikely that you have a technical obstacle for Google - otherwise Yahoo would probably have trouble, too. Just don't try to create links of any kind only to rank. Google is a lot more strict about that these days.


3:42 am on Aug 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well, im sure Google is having no trouble reading and indexing the site - I can follow that on WMT. But I also think it has taken a strong dislike to something and I need to find out what.

On very specific searches targeted at the name of the group, it still does not appear (unless the actual URL is entered), even when other sites, with no relevant content, of similar age do so. Eg, there is a blog, with that same name which comes up, even though it has no posts or content at all. Also, I have another site, for a small horse business in the same town, on which I put a link. That is the only relevant content it has and yet it appears before this site.

From the post above, i am suspecting the inward signature forum links - theres an unbalanced large amount of them (over 1000 from one forum, compared to about 40-50 total other links). Should I get them deleted (I can do that - they were made by friends trying to help us)

[edited by: tedster at 5:32 am (utc) on Aug 9, 2012]
[edit reason] no specifics - please! [/edit]


7:30 am on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)


Sorry to all above- first post, however so so many years of SEO experience that I had to jump in.

Google's done some serious work on it's ranking algorithms over the past 12 months and to be honest with you, it's made for some serious work for webmasters that live right on the blackhat/ whitehat boundary. The links you've posted on that single forum (nearly 1000) are one of your problems and should be "pruned" but not totally deleted. The other issue is that (assuming I'm right here), you're using the URL- without any anchor text? You need anchor text that reflects the keywords you're trying to rank for. However, you need to avoid using that same anchor text more than 10% of the time, otherwise, you'll start dropping in ranking for that particular term (anti spam measure). As an example, I currently oversee 10 websites here in the UK. 3 Sites are over 6 years old and rank top 3 on google for some 2000 keyword searches (ie ones with more than 200 searches pcm). However, the other sites have dropped off the face of the planet becauase the backlinks are so narrowly focussed upon a very small number of keyword combinations. I'm currently pruning back, getting rid of all "sitewide" links and adding in new, more diverse keyword combinations.

Interestingly, my sites that have dropped on Google are still ranking #1 on Yahoo and #1-5 on Bing. Those Search Engines don't get hung up on having too many links for one specific keyword combination or too many links from one site (or even unique Class C IP for that matter).

Do hope that helps. So many sites have been hammered by the big G since April.


8:54 pm on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks richardtj

I have got rid of the forum links. They were created by adding to a signature, by a user who has thousands of posts - hence creating thousands of links in one go. They still show up in WMT however, so Im hoping they will dissappear once the forum gets crawled again.

But now i have another similar problem. A week or two ago, I used what seemed like a good online SEO checking service to help me optimise my site. And It did seem helpful - sorted out some tags and descriptions etc, all quite good. But now I suddenly have over 1000 links apparently from their domain. Seems theres a page with details of each site they checked, each with links to other recent sites. But checking into these links, there is no mention of my site.

OK, so this is a confusing game and I am a newbie.

On the question of using links with anchor text rather than just the URL: OK, easy enough for me if I am adding a link to a site or a forum. But most of our links are on facebook, twitter or Wordpress blogs, by non technical suporters. How should I best advise them to create such links, beyond just writing out the URL?

Thanks again Ted and Richard for the helpful responses.



9:16 pm on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

In my opinion, you should not try to direct those links. Let them be whatever your audience wants them to be. A large proportion of a natural link profile will not use anchor text.


12:49 am on Aug 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Still having trouble here, and Im thinking we have for some reason, actively removed from Google results.

The only search that finds our site on google is a search on the full URL. I just tried another test, which normally will bring up a site every time, if it is there to be found, no matter how low it is ranked:

Type in a search term (try a random word). Go way down the list, 15 or 20 pages and click on a site. Grab a couple of sentences of text from that site and use it as a search term, within quote marks. That site will always be at the top, and maybe the only result from that very specific search.

But our site does not appear at all. Could be have been deindexed and how to check?



2:06 am on Aug 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

I have built a site, and its working fine, everybody likes it, except Google, and I can't figure out why.

Working as intended. that being said Google has recently turned up the volume on authority requirements, does your site exude authority on it's subject? If not, do you have a gameplan to fix that? If you do, great, and hopefully you continue to build traffic from sources other than Google, Panda protection.

I'm looking into buying a new toy hauler - the first 38 results are just 3 sites! so the problem may not be your site, Google is having a brain fart at the moment imo.


6:40 am on Aug 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sgt K - With regard to authority - in real terms, I reckon our site is now one of the best sources for comprehensive information on our subject, which is about a big local and regional issue of building something that we oppose. We have considerable original content, maps, photos, links to relevant organisations, documents and media articles. We are adding more each week.

Im pleased to see that yahoo recognizes this, ranking us, for example, currently No 14 on one if the most general search terms relevant to us, and we are still developing - so why not G?

In-bound links are now up to about 150 good ones, but still about 2000 unwanted ones that are just hanging around in WMT even though I dont think they really exist right now.



12:27 am on Aug 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sorry to keep banging on about this but I need to get to the bottom of it. There is definitely something weird happening and I need to figure it out because my group is relying on me and on this site.

If i search on site:URL (URL being the www. sddress of our site), google finds all the pages, up to the last crawl which was a few days ago all fine.

I can go into each page and grab any words or groups of words, or whole sentences, and use them between marks in a search, together with site:URL, and google finds them.

Therefore google has crawled the whole site, indexed it and knows all about it

Now take the searches on those sentences, and search without the site:URL, and google returns no results at all from our site. It knows those words and sentences are there, but it is suppressing them totally!

Ive try this on many random sites, and all work fine, only my site is suppressed in this way!


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