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I've recently been battling with a troublesome problem. Our site has a large homepage, with about five or six informative sub-pages strongly focussed for each of our main keyphrases.
As an example:
Homepage: Fruits of the World (www.myfruitydomain.com)
Sub Page: Oranges (www.myfruitydomain.com/oranges/)
Sub Page: Bananas (www.myfruitydomain.com/bananas/)
Sub Page: Apples (www.myfruitydomain.com/apples/)
Sub Page: Cherries (www.myfruitydomain.com/cherries/)
The problem we have is that owing to the sheer size of the homepage (and the rate at which the other fruit keywords naturally appear within it) our attempts to attract keyword-specific traffic to the sub-pages are constantly thwarted by the homepage, which either beats the sub-page in the SERPs or gets all supplemental on us.
So far, our attempts to 'thin down' the homepage or move its content to another (robots'd) page have been commercially unviable.
(Wild) ideas we've had so far:
1. Robots-blocking the homepage totally!
2. Converting the homepage content to an image or multiple images
3. Rewriting the whole homepage to drastically reduce the keyword density of the other phrases (which admittedly is quite high ATM)
4. Using ASCII char sequences to replace the rogue keywords (hoping the Googlebot will ignore the ASCII)
5. Replacing just the keywords with images
Unfortunately, these ideas offend our sense of SEO ethics (firmly white-hat) or general standards of accessibilty etc.
How can we (legitimately) stop this monster page from scrambling our results?
Can you monitor the traffic from SE referral to ultimate landing or exit page? In other words, if it's not a problem for users (they're getting to where they need to be on their own), then is it a problem at all?
If it is a problem for human users, then you have a navigation issue, which is perhaps more fundamental and may require a complete overhaul of design.
I must admit, the idea conforms more to how I feel a website delivers content effectively.
I have assumed that a searcher of 'cherries' should ideally land at the 'cherries' page. There is an overwhelming feeling that if my targeted visitor lands on a page describing a range of fruits (with perhaps only a small section on cherries), they'll feel somewhat mis-led.
Previous experience has strongly suggested that even one click to more focussed content is too laborious for our visitors, resulting in a very high bounce rate from the homepage.
I'll take a look at visitor stats, but I'd still like to help Google refer my visitors to appropriate pages.