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Possible reasons for ranking high in Bing/DDG and nowhere for Google?

     
10:31 am on Sep 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi everyone. My personal blog is ranked in the top 3 on Bing, DuckDuckGo and Yahoo for both US and UK for my name (Bing/Yahoo verified with external rank tracking tools) - and yet ranks nowhere on Google. Other keywords seem to be ok, but my name (kinda the most important one) - nothing.

Is this big a discrepancy normal? If not, any ideas what reasons typically could cause this? (I'm new here so not posting a link to the blog). There's no manual actions or anything I can spot abnormal in Google Webmaster tools, and I ran a site audit using the Moz tools and nothing big highlighted there either.

Many thanks

James
11:40 am on Sept 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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James we have the opposite effect, we rank fine in G but are nowhere in Bing DDG or Yahoo and get hardly any traffic from them.

It seems what does well in G does not in B and vice versa.
7:52 pm on Sept 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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and yet ranks nowhere on Google. Other keywords seem to be ok, but my name (kinda the most important one) - nothing.

That's consistent with a keyword-specific algorithmic penalty, the best-known of which is called the "Google Penguin penalty".

Google applies algorithmic penalties to a lot more sites than Bing/Yahoo do. This is probably the main reason that many sites have better rankings in Bing/Yahoo.
8:13 pm on Sept 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@aristotle @Mark_A. Thanks. I can't see anything weird in our "Top Linking sites" on Webmaster Tools, and I've never done any link building on the blog of any kind. Though I can see my old domain is second on the list with 500 pages, even though it's 301-ing to the new URL, and has been for 18+ months. Is that normal?
8:35 pm on Sept 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Did you transfer to a new domain name that contains that keyword?

If the algorithm detects that you're making a special effort to target a particular keyword, then it might penalize for that keyword
9:02 pm on Sept 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Mods note: For the rest of the thread, I'm anonymizing names of user and domains, which, per the forum charter and terms of service, shouldn't have been made public. The syntax essentially is that FirstnameLastname.co.uk got shifted to FirstnameLastname.net, and I'll carry through the same anonymizations through the thread. I will use the poster's actual first name, as annoymizing the last name should suffice.

---

I transferred from JamesLastname.co.uk to JamesLastname.net ... ? It's my personal blog and that's my name, so... :grin:


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 11:59 am (utc) on Sep 17, 2019]
[edit reason] Anonymized domain names and last name, which are the keywords [/edit]

9:28 pm on Sept 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Well I'm confused. I just pasted jameslastname.net into Google search and pages from that domain totally dominated the results

Then I pasted in jameslastname.co.uk, which came up number 1, so is apparently still in google's search index as an independent site, although when I clicked it I was redirected to jameslastname.net

When I typed in "james lastname", I found that there are numerous people who have that name, including a well-known actor, a well-known author, and a famous Irish revolutionary leader.

So I don't know what to tell you


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 12:02 pm (utc) on Sep 17, 2019]
[edit reason] anonymized last name [/edit]

9:59 pm on Sept 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@aristotle - aye, I'm certainly not expecting to be #1 as there are many people with my name - that said, I'm the only one I can see posting actual blog posts rather than just a static profile page - so I'd think I would rank *somewhere*.

But yes, the jameslastname.co.uk behaviour seems strange? I registered the transfer through webmaster tools ages ago, and it seems to 'know' it's moved (the cached pages for the site are the .net-domain caches), and yet it still thinks there's lots of links coming from it, and still lists the site in the results when you search directly for it.

I've re-posted a specific question about that last point, just to understand the 'normal' behaviour the you switch domains, but if you have any thoughts I'd very much appreciate it!


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 12:05 pm (utc) on Sep 17, 2019]
[edit reason] anonymized last name, which anonymizes domains [/edit]

10:25 pm on Sept 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I don't understand why it would matter where you rank for your personal name. Shouldn't most of your traffic derive from the content of the individual blog posts?
12:14 am on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I am going to make two comments/observations:

Your blog could be considered as "politically motivated".

I am not making a judgement call however I do know that some sites/blogs have been experiencing "problems/issues" in Google recently, whether yours is or not I have absolutely no idea.

Insofar as your actual name is concerned there are a lot of people with the same name.

Do you expect to rank for your personal name or your cause? Surely your cause/message/project is more important than your name?

To make your blog more prominent, believable and trustworthy you need to "brand" it to gain more traction otherwise you will simply remain on the periphery.
1:28 am on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The biggest problem is your similarity to an actor. G panders to the entertainment sector more than others. As noted above, your content might also have an impact.

That said, you CAN differentiate yourself from the actor by using all of your name (if it is more than james lastname).

I am personally afflicted with a last name that is "common" to only 1800 people in the entire US ... thus show up in serps as #1 for that name. I also include my first and middle as well to make sure I am dang unique!

You might consider using your full name in the blog contents and, sometime in the future, secure your full name as a domain and go from there. Anything to make yourself unique. If there's a number or Jr/Sr etc commonly used, that makes it that much better.

[edited by: not2easy at 12:15 pm (utc) on Sep 17, 2019]
[edit reason] anonymized last name [/edit]

12:33 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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(I'm new here so not posting a link to the blog).

Mod's note: tenori, thanks for trying to observe our posting guidelines. Much appreciated. WebmasterWorld also keeps actual keywords and domains anonymous, though, as we have an audience of webmasters and SEOs. Essentially, while you didn't post a link to the blog, you eventually posted the domain names and your full name (which in this case are your keywords). I'm hoping that my editing your posts and various referring to your sites still preserves the sense of what you were asking.

Worth noting that publishing actual keywords and domains on public site reviews is potentially dangerous to you, and is also a very bad precedent for a forum that doesn't allow public site reviews. We also try to avoid public discussion of political positions on WebmasterWorld.

As I was anonymizing your last name, we in fact did get a poster asking for a ranking analysis of his site. So, I'm going to make some quick changes, and apologize that the discussion got this far and no one caught or reported that your real name had been used.

For now, this will be rushed. It's 5am on the west coast of the US, and I've got a construction crew coming to my apartment in 3 hours to fix a leak in the ceiling, so that's not much sleep.

We've got a fairly decent start of a discussion, with some further explanation I'll try to get to soon (having the benefit of hindsight in having seen the deleted information), I foresee some partial answers, at any rate.

1:01 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Robert thanks for the note of caution and for fixing! I hope the leak gets fixed okay and would love to hear your further thoughts when you get a chance.

Do you expect to rank for your personal name or your cause? Surely your cause/message/project is more important than your name?


I am building another site specifically around my new area of focus, but either way want to build / maintain my own personal profile - and I personally regularly Google folks names in the industry to see what I can find out about them! Hence why I'd like to rank for my name. But maybe that's just me and my ego talking!
2:38 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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But maybe that's just me and my ego talking!


Possibly however that's the way all new businesses and projects usually start unless they happen to have unlimited capital resources, person to person, word of mouth recommendation, but they usually get to the point whereby the "personal" part needs to be forgotten and the "message" heard.

Off the top of my head I couldn't tell you of one person involved in Greenpeace yet all of us know of the organisation and its aims.
12:50 pm on Sept 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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These are my observations based on a mix of experience and the fact that Bing tends to be decidedly MUCH More transparent about their ranking algorithms than G is.:

Google (as of recent updates) is now placing much more weight on contextual relevance, and less on the DA of the domain linking to them (it's looking like a very relevant well-placed DA 30 something will move the needle more than a mediocre or irrelevant DA/PA 80-90)

Bing - Does not pay attention to relevance, directly cares about the DA/PA of the page linking to you and even a completely irrelevant link from a high authority site will be a positive boost in Bing (Yahoo and DDG both use Bing, so I'll just leave it as G vs Bing)

G and Bing BOTH places emphasis on Social Media, BUT FOCUS ON DIFFERENT THINGS when considering them...

G - Doesn't necessarily give much weight to the "firsthand" share of the a link (They're used to people spamming with SMM panels blasting 1M copies of the link to zombie audiences that will never see or interact with them) - they focus on the engagement that takes place after it's been shared (the shared link being liked, garnering comments, being re-shared/re-tweeted etc) CTR to the site and engagement from those visitors - and that's the criteria they use to determine whether to give those link clout or ignore them entirely...

Bing - takes ALL social sharing into account as a positive ranking signal (they openly admit that) - they do give MORE weight to the secondary engagements described above, they are much less discriminatory over what shares will and won't give ranking juice for

Finally, while both G and Bing openly acknowledge that they do factor in engagement metrics such as CTR in SERP results, bounce rate, Site Visit duration, pages views per visitor and conversion rates as factors in their algorithms, G more offhandedly refers to it as "one of the over 200 ancillary metrics in their algorithm" (implying that it's not as strong of a factor as most of their other ones) whereas Bing is quite transparent about the fact that they place a great deal of emphasis on that as a gauge for relevancy, content quality, and value to the end-user ....

Of course, I don't know any of the G- side aspects for certain (only like 3 people in the world do lol) I can only go by what I've seen and what they've openly admitted... Bing is more of a "Straight shooter" - much less BS secretiveness, lies, manipulations, etc, I'm growing increasingly fond of them...

Hope that sheds some light for ya
3:11 pm on Sept 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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(Yahoo and DDG both use Bing,

SocialSEO I wasn't aware DDG used Bing. Do you mean DDG doesn't have a search / bots etc of their own?
6:36 pm on Sept 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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If I ranked in Google the way I do on Bing, Ecosia, DDG, Yahoo and other search engines, I'd be feeling quite rich and much less stressed. I used to do pretty well on Google until June.
7:53 pm on Sept 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yahoo and DDG both use Bing

DDG not exclusively.

In fact, DuckDuckGo gets its results from over four hundred sources. These include hundreds of vertical sources delivering niche Instant Answers, DuckDuckBot (our crawler) and crowd-sourced sites (like Wikipedia, stored in our answer indexes). We also of course have more traditional links in the search results, which we also source from a variety of partners, including Oath (formerly Yahoo) and Bing.


Source: [help.duckduckgo.com...]

What DDG does do is show all users the same search results for a given search term.
4:25 pm on Sept 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hello-

At DDG, I have the impression that simple and short pages are favored, over long and bloated ones.

I constantly see pages, which are just listing the age or height of famous persons, outranking sites with biographies or news about these persons. (for searches which are not about the age or height).
12:38 am on Sept 25, 2019 (gmt 0)

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These search engines don't all operate on the exact same ranking factors so it's pretty common to see some significant variance.
12:50 am on Sept 25, 2019 (gmt 0)

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knowing how each of the major se's work is helpful in determining where and how you place effort. While g is the larger I usually get more bang for the buck with Bing.

YMMV

.
12:04 pm on Sept 25, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@tangor
While g is the larger I usually get more bang for the buck with Bing.
I would like to check that, but none of our pages seem to rank on Bing. I wondered if Bing might not like that we have GA code on our pages, do you run GA on pages that do well with Bing?
2:43 pm on Sept 25, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Mark_A ... I have been "g-free" for many years. Sorry I can't answer your question. However, several I know who do g have sites that do rather well with Bing ... depends on content/audience ... Bing users tend to be slightly older than g's
4:27 pm on Sept 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I wondered if Bing might not like that we have GA code on our pages, do you run GA on pages that do well with Bing?


I ran Adsense only, no other G products, for 16 years until removing it 6 months ago, it never affected my rankings on other SEs.