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I've been running a commercial website for the past 4 years, selling audio/video products. I have paid Google THOUSANDS of adwords dollar$ so that my site shows up on speciafic keywords, but it has never been showing up in the (unpaid) search results. We've NEVER used any unfair tactics or anything that could get us banned by Google, so that's not an issue. I have submitted sitemap.xml a long time ago, and i have my Google API key to check on my site regularly, but i have never made the top 1000 for those keywords. There aren't enough competitor websites to justify not making the top 1000, the keywords i use are not that broad. The site uses mostly HTML / XHTML and there is only one flash banner. I traded links with some pretty big websites that are being visited regularly by spiders, but i'm still "invisible".
So what's my problem? I read all that i could on google webmaster tools and made all the changes to my site that could help me get noticed, but still nothing. What else can i do?
There can be quite a difference between "not indexed" and "not making the top 1000", depending on the type of site and the keyphrases you'd like to be found for.
If the site has had links for any reasonable amount of time, then normally one would expect to be crawled. If you have good links for most of the four years, then it would seem odd not to come top1000 for any of your phrases. There can be many of reasons for this, such as Google not liking your links or your content.
If the site is large, is in Google but never comes up for good key phrases, then the first question I would have, do you have genuinely unique content or does similar content appear on other sites?
If your site is not in Google at all, then it may be worth looking at your server logs to see if Googlebot is fetching your pages.
There was a period where some people had a lot of sites on .tv domains, that were not to search engines' liking, but if you have a good original site I don't think the .tv domain will do you any harm.
What about the actual pages on your site? Do they all have unique TITLE tags?
Even if you have had a site for four years, the important thing in Google is how long you've had links.
Even in that case, four years is quite a long time and there is usually a natural occurrence of inbound links and I do emphasize usually. Are you in the top ten for a company name search?
In this instance, one of the first things I'd be looking as is the technical side. Server setup, what headers are being returned, whether or not you have a robots.txt file, etc. Any number of things could be misconfigured and cause a site to be a poor performer.
I will agree, the inbound links are going to have a direct impact on how your site fairs in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). But, after four years, you should be getting a little bit of love from Google and the others?