Is there any rhyme or reason to Google's rankings?

Last Update: December 05, 2016

This may be a bit of a vent. My website is 20 months old and some of my articles with a decent search volume and low competition (under 30) are nowhere to be found on google.

Out of curiosity I just did an incognito search for a particular article. The keyword gets 130 monthly searches and the QSR is 27 (the article was published about 6 months ago and has comments). I gave up looking for my article after page 3.

What is more shocking than not finding my article (it is 2550 words by the way) on the first 3 pages of google are the articles I did find. The first result was for amazon, but the next 2 were for beyond crappy articles. One was from an authority site (result #2) but they pretty much just had a slide show of pictures. The 3rd result was from a very spammy looking site. Plastered in adds. The article had a total of 218 words and 2 links to amazon.

The articles after that were a bit better, but did not contain anywhere close to the information mine does.

This is so frustrating because I put hours and hours of work into every article I write. And I am getting outranked by pieces of garbage.

My keyword is in all the right places (Title, first paragraph, last paragraph, sometimes 1-2 times throughout the article and in the alt image tags).

This is just an example for one article, but there are many others. This particular article is a page, not a post. Not sure if that could be the problem.

I am sure I am not the only one going through this as I have seen a few other members rant about this as well.

But does anyone have any tips on what is going on?

Join the Discussion
Write something…
Recent messages
SZev Premium
Are you sure your posts are getting indexed? Because at this point, something should be happening. Here's a post to check out: http://www.razorsocial.com/blog-post-indexing
Reply
TanjaRita Premium
I do a fetch as google and bingbot after every article I post. But I will check out your article as well.

Update:
I read your article. So much information. Great work Stephan! I didn't actually take the time to do all of these steps because I wanted to read what your solutions for non-indexed articles is.

But I am able to check both of your suggestions off.

Many of my non-ranking articles are 2000+ words, some don't even have affiliate links (but apparently that doesn't matter anymore - https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/domw/blog/what-google-thinks-about-affiliate-links-you-ll-be-surprised)

And the other thing you mentioned is to link other articles to the non-indexed article. But I have done that as well.

Do you have any other suggestions for getting them indexed (assuming they are not)? If there are things I could do that I haven't done yet, then I will actually sit down and find out which articles aren't ranking.
Reply
paulgoodwin Premium
Have to tried to check with SERP???
Reply
TanjaRita Premium
Thanks Paul. I haven't. I prefer not to use any tools as most aren't always accurate. So I use incognito searches.
Reply
paulgoodwin Premium
OK give me the url of what you want to check and I will do it for you
Reply
paulgoodwin Premium
Easy - You are position 29
Reply
TanjaRita Premium
Thanks Paul (and for your comment on my site). So does 29 mean spot 9 on page 3? But then it says Top Ten beneath that.

I was positive I searched to the end of the 3rd page and didn't see my site.
Reply
paulgoodwin Premium
You are 29 from the top which would be page three at the top or page two at the bottom - depending how many pages are shown at a time
Reply
Helen123 Premium Plus
I will be very interested in the comments here. This is very much my finding on my website too... It is very frustrating and sometimes I wonder why I put all the effort into my research before I write my content to read some of the crappy content, that frequently is wrong in my niche.
Reply
TanjaRita Premium
Exactly Helen. I have years of education in my niche but the ones outranking me sometimes don't seem to know what they are talking about. And it's pretty obvious some of the content was just thrown together.
Reply
drjec Premium
I have experienced the same thing. Some of my pages have been ranked well and others have not. I am not sure why. I just keep working on it.
Reply
TanjaRita Premium
That is exactly what I am doing. But I wonder if I should continue putting so much effort into the length of my articles.
Reply
drjec Premium
I know what is recommended, but I am not convinced, based on my work experience, that people are prepared to read 1000 word online. The long articles are for ranking. If ranking is not happening, I think that concentration on keywords might be more appropriate than article length.
Reply
TanjaRita Premium
Thanks for your input, that makes a lot of sense. I think I am just going to write and aim for 750 words. If more than that naturally come out, then so be it. But I won't keep spending hours just to increase it by 500-1000 words.

My time might be better spent writing more 750-1000 word articles so I can publish more often than writing one big 2500-3500 word article and publishing infrequently (right now its once a week).

Some of the "gurus" like Neil patel and Brian Dean say to focus on writing an amazing article with up to 5000 words (that's pretty much a small e-book) and then spend the next month promoting it.

In a way that is the approach I do often take (although I don't promote nearly as much as them) but I also focus on keywords so I can aim for good google rankings.

I guess I will just keep experimenting. I also think that what works in one niche might not work in another.

My target audience is parents of young kids. Myself as a parent prefers to actually read short and to the point articles. So perhaps that is what others would prefer to.

So much to think about.
Reply
IMc Premium
Backlinks. You don't have any. They do.

But the importance of those isn't taught on WA.
Reply
TanjaRita Premium
So why does Kyle say not to worry about backlinks and that they aren't needed? I haven't been focusing on trying to get backlinks at all.

So you are saying, even a spammy site will get ranked if it has backlinks?

How do you go about getting backlinks?
Reply
Tezsie Premium
Just did a quick google search (what is a backlink) and some posts recommend it for higher ranking whereas others say the practice is outdated.
Reply
TanjaRita Premium
Here is what Kyle says on the subject
Reply
Tezsie Premium
Thanks! Though after reading it, I am none the wiser. Especially since the latest comment underneath the article. So I´ll just wait and see.
Reply
TanjaRita Premium
Curious to know what you think after reading Kyle's post.
Reply
Tezsie Premium
I added it to my previous reply. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Reply
TanjaRita Premium
Thanks for pointing out that comment. I left a reply.
Reply
sbelore Premium
Im starting to beleive that backlinks matter as well. Some of the garabage you find at the top of the SERPs has no other explantion until you run MOZ and see the number of backlinks.
Reply
TanjaRita Premium
It so hard to know what to do. And also very frustrating when I see the kinds of garbage outranking me. You can't even call some of them "articles"
Reply
sbelore Premium
Have to PMed Kyle to attempt to get his opinion?
Reply
TanjaRita Premium
Kyle has made it very clear that he believes backlinks do not play a role in ranking so no real point PM'g him about that.
Reply
Top