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Webpage showing up under queries it's not supposed to, and not under ones it is

     
5:54 pm on Aug 21, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I recently inherited control of a website that has some strange SEO properties that I'm not sure how to handle. The site is broken up into three sections, all of which are more or less aimed at certain search queries. It's a photography site, with pages dedicated to commercial, wedding and portrait types. Obviously those pages are optimized to come up under searches for those branches of photography. They all do that quite well, except for the wedding page. The reason being that under a search for photography and the location, the wedding page is one of the first organic results. This is fine, except for the fact that a search for wedding photography reveals the page no where to be found. Usually it is lingering at the bottom of the second page.

I can't seem to figure out why this is, as the page has wedding written all over it. Literally and figuratively. Also, the commercial site works exactly as it should, as a search for "commercial photography" will yield it as the second organic result. And it does not place in a search for location and photography like the wedding site does (as it shouldn't). I considered the fact that wedding photography would be one of, if not the most competitive search queries, but surely not much more than a search for just location and the word photography/photographer where it places just fine. Also there are almost no difference between pages design wise.

Anyone have any ideas as to why google could be favoring a page for searches it's not meant for? and not for ones it is?
7:11 pm on Aug 21, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hello Quivex and welcome to WebmasterWorld!

as the page has wedding written all over it.

Have you consodered that the page may perhaps be over-optimised for wedding queries ?
9:02 pm on Aug 21, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Have you consodered that the page may perhaps be over-optimised for wedding queries ?


+1

Also, what happens if you search for "city name wedding photography" (where city name is the name of the city where the services are?

Also, since you said it is on the bottom of the second page, then what are the listings above it like? Are they other wedding photography pages? Or something else?
9:06 am on Aug 22, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'd look at what aakk9999 said first, because from not looking at the page it's the most likely imo, but another thing to look at if that doesn't seem to be the issue is what's missing from the page that is covered on the ones above it in the rankings -- It's in the top 20, so it might only be a word or two off either direction. I'd definitely not make huge changes for what's a relatively small move in positions, meaning out of even only 10,000 results, the difference in scoring between #1 and #20 is 0.002 or 0.2% -- Not much change can go what looks like a long way sometimes.
2:53 pm on Aug 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the responses guys, I realy appreciate it.

Also, what happens if you search for "city name wedding photography" (where city name is the name of the city where the services are?

Sorry if I was unclear, this is the search I meant when I said photography and location. All of the queries in the post are formatted city name and then photographer/wedding photographer/commercial photographer etc.

Have you consodered that the page may perhaps be over-optimised for wedding queries ?

Yes this is definitely something I've taken into account, I may have been exaggerating with my wording. I don't think It is any more over optimized than any of the results above it. However I agree it's definitely something I need to watch for and I'll be sure this isn't the case.

Also, since you said it is on the bottom of the second page, then what are the listings above it like? Are they other wedding photography pages? Or something else?

Yes, all the results above are wedding photography pages. Google recognizes the search we're looking for, it just does't like having that page high up under that query.

's in the top 20, so it might only be a word or two off either direction. I'd definitely not make huge changes for what's a relatively small move in positions, meaning out of even only 10,000 results, the difference in scoring between #1 and #20 is 0.002 or 0.2% -- Not much change can go what looks like a long way sometimes.

This is something I hadn't really considered before, I will look into other pages above it further to see what it's missing if anything, and continue with the small changes.
3:55 pm on Aug 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Aaahh, just found something else that's quite interesting. We're located in Canada, where YPG is by far the largest data aggregator for google, and I just found that the business listing on yellow pages is listed as "Industrial and commercial" photography only. Does anyone think that Google could be knocking it down on the wedding searches because YPG is telling it it isn't relevant? Just a thought.
4:02 pm on Aug 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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have you considered that wedding photography is just a much more competitive term.
4:34 pm on Aug 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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have you considered that wedding photography is just a much more competitive term.


Sure have, it's in my original post actually. But how much more competitive could it be over city name photography?
7:23 pm on Aug 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Look at the competing local pages that rank for cityname wedding photography. I wouldn't be surprised if you're competing against entire dedicated sites. It sounds like you may be depending too much on just a formulaic keyword structure and not enough on how useful and comprehensive your content is.

My thought is that to rank for this particular specialty, you might need various support and advice pages just on this one niche... aimed toward couples and their families. Also, you might be depending too much on album pages alone... I don't know. All of your pages need informative and useful text.

Regarding the Yellow Pages listing, that single listing might not by iteself be hurting you, but I would look into getting it expanded. A lack of wedding photographer citations from other authoritative sources, though, if that is the situation, could be a problem.
1:09 pm on Aug 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the advice Robert. I may have understated the content that's present, it's pretty good/comprehensive. We have the support and advice pages, but you're right that we're competing against dedicated sites (not all, but some). It's still definitely something to look into though. As for other authoritative sources, I've been looking into them and it seems it could be a real problem. Whether fixing them all will fix the issue or not, it's good to look into anyways.

Thanks for the help guys.