Why Don’t I Rank?

Why don’t I Rank? …..The most common reason for not ranking for your main search terms is because of over optimization.

There are two types of over optimization, on-page and off-page.

Why Don’t I Rank? – On-Page Over Optimization

If you use an exact match search term too many times within your content you will drop in the rankings for that term.

The easiest way to fix this is the check the keyword density of your page content using SEO Quake (this is a browser plug in for Firefox and Chrome).

Open the page in question and choose ‘keyword density’ on the seoquake dropdown in your toolbar. Each keyword will be shown along with its density within the page.

why don't i rank in Google?

Google uses latent semantic indexing (LSI) to relate keywords, so you can use all the related terms connected with your main keyword rather than repeating the exact phrase each time in your content.

Dilute your main term density so they are around 2% maximum. They also don’t need to be the most used phrases on the page, they just need to be included once or twice, and for the content to be on topic to rank for the term.

Many sites and webmasters are actually sacrificing some keywords in order to rank for less used related terms that they want to rank for. For example, if your primary phrase is ‘iPhone 5s’ you might use ‘Apple Smartphone’ as the highest density phrase on your page, along with ‘App Store’ and ‘Smart Phones’ and use ‘iPhone 5s’ less often.

Google is currently (Spring/Summer 2014) using the most frequently used keywords as a signal of what not to rank you for. In the same way, if you use the keyword metatag, you are just indicating which keywords you want to rank for and these are the terms you will then be less likely to rank well for.

Why Don’t I Rank? – Off-Page Over Optimization

If you have too many links that use the exact match text that you want to rank for then you will drop in the rankings for that term or phrase, and your site will also rank lower for most if not all your search terms.

Most of your back-links (80%+) need to be either URL links, Brand links, image or ‘junk’ links. To target specific terms you then need many different variations of the phrase you want to rank for, so in the example above, you would have the following;

‘Black iPhone 5s’

‘White Apple 5s’

’64GB iPhone 5s’

‘iPhone 5s 16GB for sale’

’32GB 5s cheap contract’

These varied terms need to be’long-tail’ terms and phrases, that include different variations of your main terms.

Google will analyse all your back-link text and if you have densities that fall within their limits of tolerance then you will rank for those terms.

The main reasons for not ranking are because exact match anchor text is over used, or because the words do not appear on the page at all.

Further Reading:

On Page SEO

Off Page SEO

Google SEO Ranking Strategy

What is SEO?