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5. Why Pages Can Sometimes Appear to Rank Well for No Reason

You do a search for a keyword that applies to your site and a page pops up at the top, or very near the top for no logical reason. In many cases, the keyword searched cannot even be found on the page! Or at best, the keyword is only there once, where your page has it many times, yet still ranks lower. Stop banging your head against the wall, and learn the various reasons why this happens and how you can combat it to gain the advantage.

There are many reasons for why the above scenario can occur. We'll list and discuss each:

1. Out of date pages: A Webmaster can change the content of a page at anytime and re-post it to his site. Unfortunately, unless the page is resubmitted, the search engine may not know to update its database for quite some time. Even when the Webmaster resubmits, some engines take weeks before they get around to re-visiting the page.

What can be done in this scenario? Go to the engine's submit URL page and suggest they re-index that page. If this is the problem, the engine should drop it in rank as soon as it visits the page. On the slow indexing engines, you may have to wait awhile, but it should accelerate the process.

2. Spoofing or the "Switcheroo" technique: Some unsavory Internet marketers create a server side script that will watch for a list of known search engine Spiders. When they see one, they "serve up" a very ugly page that is highly optimized to rank well.

The page can rank better than most pages because they are not concerned about how it looks to the average user. When anyone besides a search engine visits the page, the site serves up a very "pretty" page, which may not even contain the keyword on it at all!

Obviously we strongly object to this technique since it can serve up pages to the searcher which don't even apply to the search, undermining the search engine's value. Optimizing your page to apply to a search based on its real content is one thing, but "spoofing" is simply bad business, and is against the rules.

The good news is some of the search engines are now using a technique that we won't disclose, that catches these guys and bans their entire site. However, we don't think they've come close to catching them all yet. If you run into a page where you think this may be happening, you can report it to the engine, and if you're lucky, they will investigate it.

3. New ranking algorithm: Search engines change their ranking algorithm from time to time. Some techniques that worked well before, may be penalized now. When this happens, sometimes the engine takes awhile before they bother to re-index their entire database under the new "rules." Until that happens, some older pages may continue to rank high, even though your submission emulating them in nearly every way refuses to score well.

In this case, the solution again, is to submit the page, which should apply the "new" rules to it, and score it under the current relevancy system.

4. Popularity factor: Some pages may have the keyword once or twice, but certainly aren't using all the tips and tricks to deserve such a high ranking. This can be very frustrating to those of us reaching for the "brass ring" and seeing it go to a seemly undeserving page.

An explanation can sometimes be attributed to the popularity factor. If the site has lots of links to it, then some engines will score the page higher because it would seem to be "popular," and theoretically, have better content. To determine if this is a possible reason why a page scores high, you'll need to do a "Links to URL" search. The Page Critic will display a link to do this search for you on engines that support them.

The popularity factor is yet another reason to spend part of your marketing time soliciting links, or link exchanges with other sites. We're not entirely certain whether you get any extra "bonus" for having lots of links to your domain, or whether it must be to the specific page. I suspect it is only for the number of links to the specific page, but if you have an opinion, let me know.

5. Search Engine Bugs: Yes, even the big commercial search engines have bugs. Since they are continually trying to fine tune their system to provide better results, or to get rid of abusers of the system, bugs can easily make their way into the database. Sometimes it may be fixed the next day, or in other cases it may score pages incorrectly or poorly for quite some time.

About all you can do in this situation is to complain to the engine that xyz pages rank high on xyz search, when they really don't apply to the search. The "smart" search engines will listen to your polite but firm complaint, and look into why the search results were so poor. If people don't find what they expect, they're going to go off to another engine to do their searches. Search engines don't want that because they make their money on advertising to those visitors, and need them to return to their engine, rather than to their competitor. Considering writing your letter from the perspective of the researcher doing a search and finding irrelevant results in their engine. Keep in mind the search engines strive to serve the average user, but they aren't in business to guarantee YOU any particular ranking.

6. The Page is simply Optimized: Often the reason a page ranks high is it simply fits the criteria that a search engine is looking for.

Their algorithms are fairly sophisticated so sometimes it takes a second look and some background information to understand why a page is positioned where it is. Luckily, this is what the Page Critic does for you.

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ALL THE ICE COULD BE GONE from the Arctic Ocean Soon

"Web Position has already increased my traffic from 5 hits a month to 500-1000 per day!! Sales have soared! Thank you a thousand time over!"
--Rich Patterson

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"I have just one word to describe this software program. AWESOME! WebPosition has helped me stay on top of the competition."
--Gary Grasshoff
"WebPosition Gold is a search engine submission software you really can't afford to live without if you want to keep increasing your site's traffic! ...So does WebPosition really work? In a word...hellyes!"
--David Fiedler

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Here are the reviewed software, companies and trademarks:
All in One Submission is a TradeMark of sharewarist.com.
SEO Suite & Dynamic SEM is a TradeMark of ApexPromotion.com
Web Position/ WebPosition Gold is a TradeMark of WebTrends Inc.
WebTrends Inc. acquired webposition product of FirstPlace Software Inc. in 2004.
The software IBP is TradeMark of Axandra GmbH
The website bradsoftware.com are independent of the above companies, and have no relationship, formal or informal.

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