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7 Reasons Why You’re Losing Rankings to Low Quality Websites

Unfortunately, this does happen in the world of internet marketing.  It’s often difficult to understand because internet marketing professionals analyze the quality of a domain based on a common set of factors such as the number and quality of back links, page rank, quality and quantity of content, and so on.  Google uses hundreds of factors to rank websites, and sometimes, their own spokesman, Matt Cutts, gives advice or information inconsistent with Google’s own best practices.

When you see a website that you outperform in the major areas, it’s easy to get frustrated and confused.  “But I outperform competing websites in almost every possible way, I’m still ranked lower.  Why is that?”

It’s not possible to say for sure what that is because we don’t know Google’s algorithm precisely, but these are some reasons why an apparently lower-quality domain could be outranking yours:

  1. Are you really connecting with your target market?  – You might think so, but other results may be above yours because their search listing’s title or Meta description hits on what they really want to know about your product or service.  Say you run a car dealership.  Your listing talks endlessly about selection, while the competitor’s listing describes cheaper pricing.  It could be the case your market prefers the latter.
  2. Is your branding something people truly love?  – This is a tough conversation to have because it involves questioning the identity of your business.  Perhaps you’ve been doing it the wrong way all along, and people don’t love your brand nearly as much as you think they do.  While it’s a tough question to consider, if you honestly appraise it and work on redefining your brand, you could notice an explosion in search rankings.
  3. Are those sites linking to you really that diverse? – A couple years ago, you could get most of your links from one source and remain very competitive in search.  For example, you could have all your links coming from blogs or article directories.  Now, that doesn’t work anymore.  You need links coming from all over the place to remain high in Google.
  4. What’s your link acceleration rate?  Sounds complicated, but it’s pretty simple.  If you have more links than the next guy, but they’re now acquiring links at a much faster rate than you are, that might be why they’re getting ahead of you in search.   Google wants to rank sites highly that are relevant right now.
  5. Is your content unique and useful?  Very often, if you search in Google, you’ll see what you’ve written about in your blog was discussed many other times by other blogs as well.  To outperform in search, your content has to take a new approach on the same topics.
  6. Remember Google prefers geographically local searches.  Unless you’re a national brand, Google’s going to give preference to your company to local searchers.  Remember, people want what is relevant.  And, what is relevant is what is local.  To appear high in the Las Vegas search rankings for an auto dealership, you need to have a physical location there (because Google checks the address on your website) or a national brand near there.
  7. Google also checks what people are searching for per key phrase.  A clarification on this:  if people typing in a key phrase are most commonly viewing a video, but you have written content, Google gives preference to the pages with video content.  Remember, Google is a corporation and they outperform the competition by giving the market what it wants more effectively than any other search engine.

Ask Tough Questions, And be Prepared for the Answers

As you can see, there are a number of reasons why your site could be apparently superior to a competitor’s in almost every way, but at the same time performing poorly in search.  The next time you find yourself in this position, make sure you make an honest self-assessment on these key aspects of search.

By: Casey Weisbach

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