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June 11, 2008

What To Do When Your Website Does Not Rank Well In Google

Online marketers frequently struggle with the question of how to compete when Google fails to look positively upon a particular website. In this article, I will focus on how to build rankings and drive traffic to your website, using Google and the other search engines.

What Motivates Google’s Algorithm

Over the years, many have tried to claim, even in court, that Google was unfairly keeping their website out of the top of Google’s search results. But, the truth is that Google is not beholden to the needs and desires of the webmasters who want to be on page one of Google’s natural search results.

Instead, Google is beholden to its stockholders and its need to earn profits. Google has determined that the best way to keep profits high is to keep Internet users flocking to its websites. Google accomplishes that by giving its users the kind of information they are looking to find, and Google weights its search algorithm towards what Google believes its search audience wants to see in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

It is important for online marketers to understand that it is not always in Google’s best interest for our websites to rank well in Google.

How Important Is Google In Search?

Worldwide, Google is currently providing 78% of all searches (

But in 2007, Google only provided 52% of my website’s total search traffic. Yahoo, Windows Live, Ask, and MSN provided the next 42%. The remaining 6% of my website’s search traffic came from another 55 smaller search engines.

On my website, only 48.8% of my 2007 traffic actually came from search engines. The remaining 51.2% of my website’s quarter million visitors came directly from article placements on other websites, recommendations from other people, forum posts, and from people who have bookmarks for my website.

Tips For Ranking Well For Specific Keywords

It has been my experience that it is easier to rank in 1) MSN / Windows Live, 2) Yahoo, and then 3) Google, in that order. Quite frankly, I have always ignored the role of Ask in the search market. While MSN is the easiest search engine to rank in, it only delivered 4.6% of my total search traffic in 2007.

I read a question in a forum, where the poster was asking how he could get his website to rank well in Google for the search term, “software”.

The truth is that it is nearly impossible in nearly every search engine to rank well in the natural results for such a singular keyword, such as “software”. In a nutshell, if you want to rank well in Google, you need to build inbound links (IBLs) to your website with your targeted keywords in the links.

But, you don’t want to put all of your links together with one keyword phrase. One of Google’s red flags is when they notice a link to a particular website appearing more than 60% of the time with one specific keyword phrase.

Utilizing a variety of long-tail keywords will actually serve you better in the search-engine ranking puzzle, in more ways than one. After all, when I do a search for software, I don’t type in the search word, “software”. I type in search phrases like: “accounting software”, “small business accounting software”, “windows software accounting small business”, “windows image editing software”, “windows software image editor”, “windows xp photo album manager”, etc.

People searching the keyword “software” have yet to figure out that they are looking for specific kinds of software. Once they do an initial search, they are going to type in more specific search terms to find what they actually want. So, once you start targeting a variety of long-tail keyword phrases, then you will start seeing more success in your search marketing efforts.

How To Start Your Search Engine Optimization Journey

If you are wanting to get into the natural search results of Google and the other search engines, you must know before you dive into the project that getting good rankings in the search engines for your chosen keywords can take a really long time, before you begin seeing results.

While inbound links to your website, targeted to your chosen keywords, will help your website climb in the search results of your favorite search engines, it may be a frustrating journey.

Your competitors want to rank well for the same search terms you do. And since only ten of you can be on page one of the search results, you may have to work really hard to topple those guys already on page one of the results, and you will have to fight to keep your ranking once you get it.

There are some keyword phrases that are nearly impossible to rank for, even if you have really deep pockets. For example, most every keyword phrase for the financial industry will be extremely difficult to rank for in Google. Competition in this industry is fierce, so achieving top search rankings will be tough to say the least.

This is the reason why so many SEO experts encourage marketers to target “low-hanging fruit”. It may be fairly easy to rank well for a four- or five-word search phrase, and extremely expensive to target a two- or three-word search phrase.

My personal approach has always been to rotate through a list of more than 100 target keyword phrases, over a longer period of time. In doing so, I capture a lot of low-hanging fruit quickly, and at the end of the loop, I am a bit closer to snagging the fruit in the upper branches of the tree. At the end of my list, I analyze my keywords again to see where I am strong and to see where I am still weak, and then I begin the process again. (According to, I have better than 950 keyword phrases in the top twenty results of Google.)

How To Get Links

The challenge most people face when they begin building links to a website is where to get those essential links.

Article marketing is my chosen method for getting inbound links.

Because of Google’s news feed strategy, the initial placement of your article might appear immediately in the SERPs, but then it will disappear. During the news cycle phase of the Google algorithm, new materials are given an added boost in ranking. Once the news cycle is done, any new pages will sink back down to where they would be based on the general Google algorithm.

If you are honest with yourself, you know that every page on the Internet started life with a PageRank Zero, but given enough time, many pages will gain in PageRank, as they begin to be linked. For a more detailed look at the process of how reprint articles gain value for a website in Google’s search index, see my article about “Fishing for Links in Google”.

Utilizing article marketing as a link building method, I have put one website on the map in as little as eight weeks, with only three articles. This website has one #1, one #2, eight results on page one, and twelve results in the top twenty listings of Google. Most of those keywords also rank well in Yahoo and MSN.

On the other hand, on my main website, I started looking at the keyword phrase “article marketing” just eighteen months ago, when my website sat at #79. Today, my website sits at #12 in Google for that keyword phrase.

I believe that given enough time, investment and commitment, I can use article marketing to elevate any web page on the Internet to multiple page-one listings in Google. But, not everyone is willing to make the kind of investment and commitment one needs to get to the top of Google’s search results…

What To Do When You Need Results Now

If you simply cannot wait as long as it takes to build top rankings naturally, then you need to look seriously at Pay-Per-Click advertising models, such those offered through Google Adwords and Yahoo Search Marketing.

About The Author:

Bill Platt offers Article Distribution and Article Ghost Writing services through his website at: He has written an ebook that has been designed to help people create more effective articles. One customer said of his ebook, “I’ve read almost every ebook out there on article writing and article marketing and this one tops it all.” To learn more about Bill’s ebook or to get your own copy, please click this link.

7 Responses to “What To Do When Your Website Does Not Rank Well In Google

    This information is great. A good example of a well written and researched article. No doubt article marketing is one of the best techniques for getting back links to your website. Another excellent method is participation in niche forums and blogs within your industry. We have recently started participating actively in forums and blogs related to our area of business which is web design. I must admit the results have been amazing and it has been just over a month. I could see results in website statistics reports right from the second day onwards. In the last week itself our website has received close to 60 unique visits as a result of this participation. The quality of this traffic has also been good as bounce rates are lower that the site average and time spent on site plus number pf pages viewed are good.

    Great points. It may be easy to get links from directories and even blogs, but a good article submission carries content that Google apparently gives weight to. Articles may take time to right and edit, but no gain.

    avatar What To Do When Your Website Does Not Rank Well In search engines « Search Engine Optimization Company India|Expert SEO |Affordable SEO Services delhi India|SEO Services says:

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    avatar whats an algorithm says:

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    Some interesting points, in particular the ref flag if over 60% of inbound links have the same key-words.

    I am not sure if this is exactly true or as simple as you suggested. For instance, if my website title contained 2 of my most sought after keywords and these 2 keywords were used by my website visitors to link to me, this could with a popular website generate hundreds or thousands of link organically. If Google penalise my site for it doing what it is supposed to do then that would be a FAIL.

    Although I think you are on the right track, nothing is ever as black and white as just that and the problem with making posts saying so is that several hundred webmasters are now saying to themselves” Oh shit, I just gained 30 links for “blah blah” and now Google is casting it’s evil eye over me”

    I think it is OK to link build for specific keyphrases and yes of course you should vary them but by varying you may be casting the net a little further and the ranking results for your desired keyphrases will take longer to gain. For the really “low lieing fruit” small articles published on your own site should do fine so long as they are relevant to your site topic so really the concentration should be made on the ones you are really after. Varying though could consist of the following as an example.

    Internet Franchises
    Internet based Franchises
    Internet Franchises For Sale

    Funnily enough I did some campaigns for similar phrases as above and can now be found quite high up the rankings for “For Sale” a lovely keyphrase but completly useless to me 🙂

    avatar Apró says:

    I know that being popular for several keywords are very hard, but I do not really think that only one keyword will help out most of us. I have the feeling that the best way is to improve our site in general and than we will improve in all keywords we have.

    avatar Blue Haven complaints says:

    a very interesting article, giving me a lot of inspiration and ways to overcome my problem. with writing a straightforward, simple

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