1. This website uses cookies to improve service and provide a tailored user experience. By using this site, you agree to this use. See our Cookie Policy.
    Dismiss Notice

Google tries to rank homepage instead of innerpage?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by Stackz, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. Stackz

    Stackz Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    2,631
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Posting GIFs
    Location:
    Lounge
    Hey guys and girls,

    I just dropped from SERPs quite heavily all of the sudden, and the reason is quite weird.

    Let's pretend I'm trying to rank for crispy potato chips, my site set up looks like this:
    foodblog.com/crispy-potato-chips

    Now, the inner page is optimized for "crispy potato chips", but on SERP my actual homepage is showing up for the keyword, instead of the inner page (this happened yesterday/2 days ago) and caused major rank drop.

    If add keywords before/after "crispy potato chips", the inner page will rank.
    Example: buy crispy potato chips, crispy potato chips for sale, crispy potato chips 2018, etc etc. They always rank with the inner page, and well at that. But the main "crispy potato chips" decided to go for the homepage instead, which isn't optimized for that keyword at all.

    Hope that makes sense.

    Now, why did this happen? What can I do about it? It's ruining my income.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Stackz

    Stackz Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    2,631
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Posting GIFs
    Location:
    Lounge
    Okay I think the issue is that my homepage has "potato chips" in the meta description, not the full keyword but apparently enough to try and rank that page instead. Should I remove this, or would this sort itself out? Hopefully this all makes sense.
     
  3. what_hat?

    what_hat? Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    219
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    CET
    Stupid Google... is there a link in the homepage with the anchor "crispy potato chips" pointing to the "crispy potato chips" page? Is the only content on the homepage about "crispy potato chips" that meta description (and the link you should have)? Do you have many external links with the anchor "crispy potato chips" pointing to the homepage instead of the "crispy potato chips" page?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  4. Stackz

    Stackz Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    2,631
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Posting GIFs
    Location:
    Lounge
    Thanks for the reply!

    Haha yeah, they sure are.

    Yep, there is an exact match anchor pointing to "crispy potato chips" in the first paragraph of my homepage, plus another time later on in the text but not exact match, something like "potato chips that are crispy".

    The keyword is mentioned once or twice on the actual homepage, but not in the titles etc like the inner page. More like "check out our crispy potato chips" > link to inner page. I do have many backlinks with that keyword pointing to homepage though, but also a few to the inner page.

    I am removing "potato chips" from homepage meta now, let's see what happens. How long should it take for changes after indexing you think?
     
  5. Stackz

    Stackz Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    2,631
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Posting GIFs
    Location:
    Lounge
    I removed the "potato chips" in the homepage meta, indexed, and now I jumped up 18 spots, some of my keywords are on #1 and #2... but still for the homepage.

    [​IMG]

    So I make my homepage less optimized for the inner page keyword, and it ranks BETTER for the inner page keyword? In less than an hour? ALL my rankings jumped to first page from second after that index. What.. the..

    Anyone?
     
  6. what_hat?

    what_hat? Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    219
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    CET
    No idea how long will it take for the google spider to recrawl your website. Take a look at your Search Console.

    If all the content there is in the homepage about "crispy potato chips" are those links, and the meta tag, I think it's safe to assume the problem are the external links pointing to the homepage with "crispy potato chips" as anchor text. They should point to your "crispy potato chips" page instead. Can you change those links? Or at least a bunch of them to see if that moves the needle again. I don't think changing the meta tag is going to do anything, to be honest.

    EDIT: hahaha, ok, so it's been confirmed. Forget about the meta tag, that wasn't the problem. Either change your external links, or if you can make your homepage your new "crispy potato chips" page
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. Stackz

    Stackz Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    2,631
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Posting GIFs
    Location:
    Lounge
    Check my reply above. It for sure changed something, I don't know what's going on.

    Yes, you're probably right about external links. I am going to check if I can change some links to my inner page instead. Also purchased new links for inner page as well.
     
  8. what_hat?

    what_hat? Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    219
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    CET
    Are you buying those links here in the marketplace? Can you share the seller? They sure seem to be effective...
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  9. Stackz

    Stackz Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    2,631
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Posting GIFs
    Location:
    Lounge
    I will change the external links, thanks for your help buddy! :)

    Yes, I did buy most of it from here, but to be honest: The niche is easy breezy. The #1 is a website with like.. 50 words in total and 2 pages, absolute garbage. So it's not the most difficult keywords to rank for, I indexed the site straight into page #2 when I started. But if you still want me to share, shoot me a PM.

    Thanks again, I appreciate it!
     
  10. b1step-ahead

    b1step-ahead Supreme Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,440
    Likes Received:
    702
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  11. Stackz

    Stackz Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    2,631
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Posting GIFs
    Location:
    Lounge
    Hmm that might be, but the rankings were stuck on 20+ for all keywords for at least 48h, and 10 min after my new index they skyrocketed. Maybe a coincidence, but I don't know...
     
  12. b1step-ahead

    b1step-ahead Supreme Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,440
    Likes Received:
    702
    I could say coincidence just to keep yourself from going crazy. Sometimes content updates can trigger something, but that drastic of a jump is typically of a big update rolling thru
     
  13. Stackz

    Stackz Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    2,631
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Posting GIFs
    Location:
    Lounge
    Yeah, who knows. The rankings stuck in top positions since then, and seemed to get even better. My traffic spiked so much that my host crashed. Going through hell changing hosts right now.
     
  14. b1step-ahead

    b1step-ahead Supreme Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,440
    Likes Received:
    702
    if you want something solid go with wp engine if you have wordpress, a little pricey but rock solid. Depends how much time you have on your hands to manage shit, i literally have no time to do shit anymore so going with a managed host is our best solution.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  15. Stackz

    Stackz Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    2,631
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Posting GIFs
    Location:
    Lounge
    Apparently, my site is getting DDoS attacks. :rolleyes: I've already migrated to a Dedicated haha. Maybe a slight overkill, but oh well.

    The problem is still there, this is how it looks like:

    Keyword: crispy potato chips 2018
    Position: 2
    URL: foodblog.com/crispy-potato-chips

    Keyword: crispy potato chips for sale
    Position: 1
    URL: foodblog.com/crispy-potato-chips

    Keyword: buy crispy potato chips
    Position: 3
    URL: foodblog.com/crispy-potato-chips

    Keyword: crispy potato chips

    Position: 8
    URL: foodblog.com/
    (I would be 1-3 if the damn inner page could rank here instead.. Strange)
     
  16. ReliableSEOGuy

    ReliableSEOGuy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2015
    Messages:
    625
    Likes Received:
    286
    Did you fix it? If yes, how?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  17. don chino

    don chino Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Messages:
    890
    Likes Received:
    288
    Occupation:
    PBN creator / seller
    Location:
    Europe
    Home Page:
    I don't think it's about meta, Google said years ago it wasn't using it anymore, and even if it did, this small thing couldn't make that much impact. It's probably some algorithmic change / bug going on.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  18. Lightproxies

    Lightproxies Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2017
    Messages:
    718
    Likes Received:
    121
    Gender:
    Male
    This could be due to keyword cannibalization issue - if you have the same content on 2 pages, Big G just can't determine whether Page 1 or Page 2 would be eligible or most eligible to be ranked for that keyword, as they simply rely on the algorithm to do the job.
    And if both Page1 & 2 has similar authority, that just makes it hard and difficult for their algorithm to determine which one should be ranked.
    You can either use a canonical link to point Page 1 (you don't want this listed) to Page 2, and that will address the issue in most circumstances.
    But since this is your blog home page versus and inner page, thus the canonical will not be appropriate.
    If you, you can make both pages dissimilar from one another - make sure that the keywords being targeted do not appear on the home page. But this will depend on Big G's judgement at the end of the day.
    Another solid way would be to build links to your inner page, and ensure the anchor text used is right for your inner page and this would be a much more effective technique instead.
    Otherwise, if all else fail, then you can just add some plugin on your home page, and convert the sales from the home page instead.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  19. Scritty

    Scritty Elite Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Messages:
    3,019
    Likes Received:
    4,689
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Affiliate Marketer
    Location:
    UK
    This might be GREAT NEWS!

    It happens all the time and is really annoying. However - generally it is the precursor to getting Google to give you a URL block rather than a single URL. We used to call them "prominence blocks" (not to be confused with domain stuffing) It will only be for specific terms and not for every user, but every time they have done this with one of my sites, a few weeks later I've had a page one block.
    That's the main URL followed underneath in the same listing as 4-6 inner pages with categories.

    This is a sort of dance if you like that Google seems to do when working out what pages to stick in the prominence block. At least that's been my experience.
    I would be tempted to leave it for a few weeks - messing with it might confuse Google and get them to either delay or reject the idea of giving you a prominence block.

    Good luck :)
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  20. Stackz

    Stackz Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    2,631
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Posting GIFs
    Location:
    Lounge
    UPDATE: I now rank #1 with homepage for main kw and #1 with my inner page for all other variations of the keyword. Weird, but it works. I'm just going to leave it as it is, #1 is #1.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1