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Struggling to diagnose reason for not ranking

     
10:11 am on Jan 21, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I have just started working with a new client and I am really struggling with working out the reason that they are not ranking for their core business terms.

The client started out as a news/publishing business in a specific industry. They are an authoritative source in the industry they operate in.

A year or so ago they branched out to offer a recruitment/job board service for the industry the operate in. They have placed their job board on a sub domain, jobs.clientsite.com. The sub-domain ranks practically no where in Google for their main keywords e.g. *industry* jobs. Their root domain ranks better for these terms.

The subdomain is performing a bit better in Yahoo and Bing - but still nothing to dance about.

They did have a massive drop in impressions in October - shortly after Penguin rolled out so I had a look through their link profile and there is hardly any links pointing to the sub domain, and of the ones that do point there, none seem too bad.

A lot of their followed links are coming from their root domain (they have a job feed in their side bar) or one of their other 2 sub domains, a blog and a site for recruiters in that industry. Could those links be a problem?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
3:43 pm on Jan 21, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It happens because of following - As each subdomain has the main domain in it's URL, it ties all subdomain sites back to the main domain, which would have more corporate information and promotion of each subdomain.

Your Main Domain is having more authority than the sub-domain you mentioned above. And if you are getting rankings for main keywords over main domain then till the time your sub-domain becomes too strong and gets maximum authority and followed links then you might see that coming up too with main keywords.

I will also suggest you to review the links to your site. As you mentioned massive drop seen in October so better be cautious.
3:56 pm on Jan 21, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I think the sub domain needs a few quality links to increase its authority
6:23 pm on Jan 21, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm in the employment niche. Ranking for phrases like *industry jobs* is no easy task, unless you are one of the massive job boards. You need press, you need (good) links, you need people searching for you by name.

And unless you're one of the household names, you need to add a lot of value because you aren't going to rank by listing the same jobs that everyone else has.

Putting the jobs on a subdomain is a smart move because they are a Panda risk (all the aggregators end up with them on their sites), but that also means you need to promote the subdomain like it is its own site.
 

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