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Different pages served for the same query

     
4:07 pm on Mar 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Afternoon chaps, I have an observation that I'm hoping one of you knowledgeable folk can shed some light on.

I run an ecommerce site here in the UK, dealing with one type of widget. We were hit with a manual penalty over 12 months ago, which I managed to get revoked in September. Then, in October, we were hit by Penguin and swapped our page 1 position for a page 4.

Here's the weird thing ... the page from our site that Google serves for our main keyword varies throughout the day. Traditionally, it has always been our homepage (rightly so). Then, after Penguin, it varies between individual product pages and product search result pages.

Anyone experience this or know how to 'reset' the preference back to the homepage?
8:05 pm on Mar 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

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You need to deoptimize the home page, including the inbound link text pointing to it.
8:54 am on Mar 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Thanks JD.I've already taken that step, and the majority of links pointing to it have been removed or disavowed (during the manual penalty removal process).

I'm at a bit of a loss to explain it.
9:00 am on Mar 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

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What about the internal links -- Do they link to the home page with "home" or do they use keyword text? If the link is a graphic, does it use keyword rich alt text?

If it's not one of those, then I'd look on-page and think about the relative level of "the phrase" combined with co-occurring phrases compared to the whole of the text on the page to try and figure out if it's "within the norms" or possibly too high [most likely imo] or too low.
12:27 pm on Mar 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I think the thing that confuses matters is that our company name is the same as our main keyword, which is also our domain name.

I don't know if Google are seeing this as a massive negative. It wasn't pre-manual penalty, but who knows now?
5:33 pm on Mar 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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When G returns and you're on page 4, who is showing above you? Have you looked to see what they are doing different than you?