Causes of Poor Search Engine Rankings
Just submitting your website to a search engine will rarely result in the optimum number of visitors and frequently in a very disappointing number. Here are the top 12 reasons:
- inadequate quality page content so that the search engines have little or nothing to index and other sites have little reason to link to yours
- the content of your home page and your most important pages do not adequately reflect the terms (known as keyphrases and keywords) that most people would use to query search engines to find sites offering products or services like yours
- the website and/or web pages do not comply with the listing guidelines or rules of the search engine or directory to which they were submitted
- inadequate number of quality inbound links
- site structural problems such as poor or inadequate site navigation
- inadequate submission to appropriate directories such as ODP, Looksmart, JoeAnt and Yahoo
- many search engines do not undertake deep crawls so that pages that are more than three levels deep (i.e. are more than three links from the domain i.e. from "yourdomain.com/") do not get indexed
- inadequate meta tag information
- the web pages and/or the website structure may contain features or elements which make it difficult for robots to correctly index them e.g. the use of Flash based pages or frames.
- dynamic pages - e.g. where ASP, Cold Fusion or JSP are used to serve page elements and the page file name incorporates characters such as ?, %, and #. The search engines have significantly improved their ability to spider dynamic pages over the past few years but see #7, above
- each search engine has different rules, or algorithms for ranking pages (i.e. a page which may rank at say #15 on one may rank at say #143 on another)
- the search engines continuously change their ranking rules or algorithms, so that a page which say ranked at #15 for the past 4 weeks, may now rank at say #143 (and may continue to do so unless you, or your search engine optimisation consultants, do something about it)
For the main search search engines, submission of your pages is unnecessary. Examples include Google and Yahoo. Resubmitting your pages is a complete waste of time as the spiders will pick up any changes within days.