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Wrong page ranking over the desired page?



7:02 am on Jul 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Hello All,

I am going through this for sometimes now and would much appreciate your kind help in this regard. In my website, some other pages are ranking higher than the desired pages. The desired pages have content while the pages which are ranking higher has no content but some video resources, and other text resources. I just want to demote these type of pages so that the product overview pages can take over? Any ideas?

1. Will you go with 'no-index' which just removes the wrong page from the search?

2. Will you go with a 'canonical' tag that says product overview page is the main content? But here in my case, it's not about duplicate content. So using 'canonical' is advisable?

3. Will you just remove the title, meta and other page elements that favoring this wrong page to rank higher for the keyword and optimize the right page with more favoring title, meta and other page elements?

4. Will giving internal links from the wrong page to the right page (one way) can solve this problem?

Thanks for any and all your help!


1:40 pm on Jul 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Since the unwanted pages are currently ranking for your term, there is a reason for them to rank high (linkjuice?).

From the visitor's perspective, is there a lot of value in showing them the unwanted pages? If not, you can move the videos to the desired pages and 301 the unwanted pages to the desired pages.

I was recently cleaning up an overoptimised site where the previous SEO company had created a lot of landing pages for the variations of the same keyword.

The funny thing was that the most important landing page was ranking on page3 while some of the junk variation pages were on page1.

I 301-ed the variation pages into the main landing page consolidating all the power and giving it to the page that makes money. At first the search engines get confused but in a month or two they sort it out.


2:30 pm on Jul 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I would tend to agree with adder's suggestion about possible over-optimization.

However, do double check for all possible technical problems first.

But I experienced something like that on my site. Verious pages started to outrank my blue-widgets.html page for the term blue widgets.

After about two months, NONE of my pages would rank for blue widgets.

I would be more inclined to consolidate the pages instead of noindexing the "wrong" pages from the SERPs


2:45 pm on Jul 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Thanks! But in my case I cannot 301 them as they are knowledge base URLs out ranking the main product overview pages. I wouldn't care if these pages are out ranking the product overview page for a supporting keyword but it is not. They are out ranking for the main keyword. Also, they knowledge base URLs are never optimized for that keyword, or have very low level of links pointing to it comparing with the product overview page.

Thanks! I agree with you about consolidating the pages instead of noindexing the wrong pages from the SERPs. That's why I am here looking for various other ways that this can be sorted out easily?!

Thanks for all your input guys!


2:47 pm on Jul 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

Instead of asking why the desired pages aren't ranking, you should be taking a very long, very hard look at why the other pages *are* ranking.

And, keep in mind that if you make changes to the other pages, it might just be that you wind up with *no* pages ranking. There might be issues with your product pages and Google just doesn't like them.

Always -- always -- try to identify what the problem is before making changes.


4:14 pm on Jul 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@jimbeetle is making a good point.

@shaunm, have you checked internal and external links pointing to the unwanted pages?

Check the urls with MajesticSEO (or OSE) to see if there are some super good links pointing to them (if there are, and you know the person linking to you, ask them to link to the desired page instead)

Crawl your site with Xenu Link Sleuth. Then on the crawler window (not the report window) you can right-click the unwanted page urls, check the properties and see which internal pages link to them. It may well be that you're telling the search engines to rank those pages by linking to them extensively.


7:42 pm on Jul 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I think you are going to have to look at both phenomena; why is the target page not ranking, and why are the other pages ranking in lieu of the target page.

Funny story: One time on one of my sites, one of the internal pages was NOT ranking for the desired keyword. An alternate page was ranking in its place.

Had someone look at the site and they pointed out that I had accidentally noindexed THE HOME PAGE.

No, I hadn't noindexed the internal targeted page. I had noindexed the HOME PAGE.

So for some strange reason when I did this, one internal page replaced another for the targeted keyword.

Google just be that way I guess.


3:41 am on Jul 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I think I might "not fix that which is not broken" in this situation.
You have a page ranking for a query you want to rank for...

A JavaScript added link to the page with the info a searcher is more likely looking for or you want them to see as a dynamically filled <h2> might be the best option here. (Unless it's something like the home page not ranking where it should, then I would dig deeper and try to find a solution, but that doesn't sound like what it is.)

<h1>Your Standard Page Heading for Video Pages</h1>
<!-- Add --> <h2 id="info"></h2>

The JavaScript:

document.getElementById("info").innerHTML='<a href="/the-product-info/path/page.ext">Product Info</a>';

That's the "basic code" and it likely could be generated dynamically for the ranking page / product info link rather than "hard coded" relatively easily if necessary for a large site.

* If you happen to be running jQuery, the code to add a prominent link could definitely be better by not adding the <h2> on the page and simply adding it via jQuery .after() the <h1> $('h1').after('<h2><a href="/the-product-info/path/page.ext">Product Info</a></h2>');

** I'm sure there's a way to do the same with plain JS but I'm out of practice with it over jQuery and I don't feel like researching tonight for some reason lol

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