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How can I figure out what is wrong with a website?

     
9:15 am on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I am helping out a friend who owns a website. His site keywords dont come up organically and I am trying to figure out why is that. The site is old and it used to do well before. Are there any tools that can help determine what is the problem. I checked the Moz ranking of the site and it is better compared to other competitor sites who come up organically on first and second page of Google.
1:48 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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You need to do a site audit, and if you can't or don't want to pay a professional for it, there are plenty of how-to articles out there if you Google it that may help you diagnose issues.

#1 - I'd make sure it was in Google Webmaster Tools, and then take a good hard look at what Google says about it.
3:00 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your reply. Is it a good idea to analyses the links one by one or is there a tool that can do that?

What if there is links that are not relevant (for example his site is for a product but the links come from a tech forum) and GWT has not provided any bad link notice. should I Disavow these links or not?
3:07 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I don't believe in disavowing links unless you have *clear* indication that the links are the problem. You need to do the audit first.
3:17 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Ok, what is the best way of doing link audit? Checking links one by one?
3:57 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Do a SITE audit first.

Does the siet rank if you copy a phrase made of seven words and put in Google?
4:06 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Yes it does rank when i copy part of the content. But if I search for the main keyword it does not come up.
4:21 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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martinibuster - what if I place a complete 7 word title on google and the site dont show, what could be the problem.
5:21 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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But if I search for the main keyword it does not come up.

The site does not come up at all in SERPs for your main keyword, even when you paginate search results as far as you can?

How competitive is the niche? What happens if you search for the main keyword + some other keywords (e.g. instead of "blue widget" try "blue widgets small size in location" or something like this).

We have two threads on SEO tools, but I am not sure how much they will help if you do not know what to look for, i.e. if you do not have your site analysis steps planned.

2013 Favorite SEO Tools
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4616594.htm [webmasterworld.com]

Favorite SEO Tools
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4367011.htm [webmasterworld.com]

There is also a free tools section on WebmasterWorld:

Internet Marketing Tools at WebmasterWorld
http://freetools.webmasterworld.com/ [freetools.webmasterworld.com]
9:01 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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what if I place a complete 7 word title on google and the site dont show, what could be the problem

The question is about unique text that will only occur on your site. Not necessarily a title, just any connected phrase. If an exact-text search doesn't bring up your page it means the page hasn't been indexed. You would then need to figure out if you've inadvertently (a) prevented search engines from crawling or (b) put "noindex" on all pages or (c) done something so evil, your site is excluded outright from search results.

But you've said this does not happen, so you need not worry about it.

You next need to consider what your main keyword is. If it's "cats"* or "money"** or "keyword"*** or "bzzt"**** you are out of luck. In fact you'd be hard pressed to come up with any one English word that gets less than 1000 hits total. It isn't enough to be good; you have to be better than everyone else.


* "About 101,000,000 results."
** "About 617,000,000 results."
*** "About 194,000,000 results", with WebmasterWorld not in the top 30 for me :(
**** Keyword I would like to rank for but don't: "About 2,390,000 results."
9:44 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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What I mean is when I copy past the title of a internal page, not in quotes, then I can not find that page and that for all pages on that site, but if I use quotes it gets on page one.
11:06 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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What I mean is when I copy past the title of a internal page, not in quotes...


How many words?

Just my opinion/observation, for the pages I looked at that couldn't rank for longtail phrases that are exact-match specified in title tag (could be different situation from yours) is that there could be on-page text, anchor text, and links whose topic differs from what is in the title tag.
12:13 am on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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If the keyword in question is a keyword that is competitive and the site has ranked for it for a long time then I would say you probably have a backlink anchor text problem.

Previous SEO's probably built a lot of backlinks to the site with this important keyword phrase as anchor text. Classic Penguin problem.

You can use <a commercial backlinks tool> to investigate the anchor text distribution of the backlinks. If you find a high percentage of backlinks with this particular anchor text then that is probably the problem.

I would also take netmeg's advice and checkout the site's Google Webmaster Tools account to see what Google says. There just might be a message indicating a penalty.
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:01 am (utc) on Nov 25, 2013]
[edit reason] removed specific tool name, per forum Charter [/edit]