Why Don’t I Have Better Rankings?

Here’s a question I received in an email: “Can you explain a little about google ranking?  I guess I don’t understand why I’m not ranked higher…..I blog a lot and always use tags and type in all those words people may search for?”

This is someone who understands the idea of keywords. That’s wonderful. Frequently updated, high quality content using your keywords is probably the number one thing you can do for your rankings.

However, that’s not the whole answer. Here are some issues the questioner has at her website:

  • Obvious keyword stuffing. Anything that makes you look sneaky and as though you’re trying to game the system makes you less appealing to the search engines.
  • Poor code. It’s outdated and has things it shouldn’t have (like instructions for Netscape browsers and tables being used to place pictures) and is lacking things it should have (like a declaration of the version of html being used for the browser). This slows down the site and makes it perform badly.
  • A splash page. This is rarely a good idea, and this client isn’t one of those rare exceptions.
  • Confusing navigation. If it’s confusing to human visitors, it’s likely to be confusing to robots, too. What’s more Google specifically chooses well built sites over poorly built ones.

Fortunately,  she does have quality content — charming blog posts and beautiful photos. She can fix up her site and improve her rankings. As I told her, we begin any project by thoroughly analyzing the website and the company we’re working with. Each one has a different path to success, because SEO isn’t as simple as people are sometimes led to believe.


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