Sunday, April 16, 2017

4 Steps to Diagnose and Fix Wrong Page Ranking

Originally posted on LinkedIn

Many times I noticed that a website homepage ranks on a particular search term, even though there is another page which is more relevant for that keyword. Before few years, brands and search marketing specialists were not concerned about this, because they were mostly interested to appear in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) but now the scenario has changed. Google is updating their search algorithm frequently and prioritizing the site quality scores like CTR, bounce rate and visitor duration on a page in the search algorithm. So now if an irrelevant page appears in SERPs then it can decrease the CTR and increase the bounce rate, which will lower the site’s quality score and this will impact the keyword position in SERPs. So I thought to create a post on this topic to provide my opinion about why this happens and how we can overcome this issue.

Why This Happens?

This happens only when Google considers that the homepage is much better than the inner page. In other words the keywords and the page theme do not match the users search query which is the main purpose of Google's search algorithm. There are 4 reasons behind this and these reasons are listed below:

  1. It may be possible that the relevant page have indexing & crawling or content or link issues. Indexing & crawling means that the page has been blocked for robots. It may be possible that page content is not crawlable by Googlebot. May be all the content is served through JavaScript, or Ajax or by any technique not crawlable and parsable by Google.
  2. It may be possible that the website page do not have sufficient content or less amount of unique content or the content on the page not providing enough value to Google to consider the page for SERP ranking.
  3. It may be possible that the page do not have enough external and internal links pointing to that page to make it valuable for Google to rank in SERPs.
  4. It may be possible that all the above 3 factors are perfect, but the ranking ability is weighed down by the homepage of the website. In other words the website’s homepage talks about the search topic that you would expect to find on the inner page, but that Google is seeing on the homepage and the homepage is also getting a lot of links for it.

How We Can Overcome This Issue? 

Well we cannot instruct Google to rank a particular page for particular search term, but yes we can make some changes to resolve the above mentioned issues and provide a signal to Google to rank the correct page. 
  1. Make the inner page crawlable and parsable by Googlebot. Check robots.txt file and robots Meta tag on the page and fix if there is any issue.
  2. Check for canonical tag implementation and correct of there is any issue.
  3. Check the page content and make sure the copy is accessible to Google.
  4. Strengthen the relevant page’s potential ranking signals by following ways:
  • Content: Create enough and unique content that provides value to Google to consider the inner page more relevant for search query.
  • Internal linking: Check the website pages that are linking to this targeted page and to the other pages within the website. Point the correct links from the correct pages to this targeted page.
  • External linking: Check the external links to this targeted page and the other pages of the website. It may be the case that the external links have weighed down everything else. So in this case, you need to contact to the concerned webmasters and point the links to correct page.
  • Improve Page Authority: Improve inner pages Page Authority by creating inbound links from the authority websites.
Following the above steps you can solve the issues and get your correct page rank in Google SERPs. Let me know you opinion through comments.