You have ticked all the checkboxes.
Your posts are optimized with keywords, crafted with impeccable meta texts, and ensured that it loads blazing fast. Still, your post doesn’t rank for the target keywords. Instead, another web page from your website ranks for those keywords.
Why is Google ranking the wrong page?
The explanation is not as simple as you might want it to be and requires an in-depth analysis of the issue. In this post, we’ll explore what can cause the Google page ranking issues and how you can fix the issues.
Why is wrong Google page ranking an issue?
Much investment goes into optimizing websites for ranking in Google. You cannot afford to let valuable queries send traffic to the wrong URLs. It is a serious SEO mistake that can have devastating effects on your website’s overall performance.
When web page ranking for a keyword is not relevant, it leads to:
- Lower click-through rate and traffic. As the wrong page does not match the searcher’s intent will have a high bounce rate as an unsuitable title or description.
- When users encounter pages that do answer their query or provide the service they are looking for, it results in a poor user experience. It convinces Google that your website lacks quality.
- If the web page is ranking for the wrong keyword, it undermines your SEO effort. The invested resources are not fully utilized. Also, if the wrong page ranks for a keyword on the first page in Google, you can further boost the ranking by changing the page with the relevant one.
It is evident at this point that a website’s messed-up Google raking page structure can have a long-lasting negative impact on overall SEO.
What causes wrong web page rankings in Google?
Google ranks a page after matching its intent with the keyword. If a page ranks for incorrect keywords, the search engine giant thinks it is a better match for a particular search query. There can be several reasons why Google thinks the wrong page is more relevant. Keyword cannibalization and intent mismatch are often seen as a reason for wrong pages ranking in the search results.
Simply put, keyword cannibalization results from multiple pages and posts ranking for the same search query. If you optimize several pages for the same keywords or they contain the same topics, Google will get confused. As the articles compete against each other, Google will not know which one to rank higher in the search results. This sort of web page ranking might not seem challenging as the pages are from your site; keyword cannibalization can lead to poor rankings for both pages. This is why you must use a page ranking checker to keep an eye on ranking pages and avoid keyword cannibalization.
A mismatch in search intent
Google’s page ranking algorithm has come a long way from just being a keyword-centric algorithm. Today, Google uses much more sophisticated algorithms to evaluate content relevancy and match it with the searcher’s intent. The search intent is an important concept, and if there is a mismatch between the content and the search intent, it can lead to web page ranking issues. For instance, you might have written a comprehensive and informative article on the product you are selling, and you also have a product page for the same. While this makes perfect sense as both the pages have different intents. One provides in-depth information about the product, while the other is to sell the product. However, if Google cannot recognize the intended search, it will rank the wrong page in search results.
What can be done to fix the wrong web page ranking in Google?
The wrong web page ranking issue can be fixed once you identify the keywords for which a particular webpage is ranking.
How do you track page ranking for particular keywords?
You use Ranklogs Rank Tracker for the job. We have created a highly robust page ranking checker that can easily find out whether your webpages are ranking for your focus keywords or not. You can easily add keywords in the Rank Tracker to determine which website pages are ranking. The tool also helps you to discover the keywords that you might not be aware are driving traffic to your website. Once you have the list of keywords and the associated ranking pages, you can download the report in CSV or PDF. This will help you implement the following fixes.
Recognize and fix keyword cannibalization
The issue of keyword cannibalization can have severe ramifications for the SEO of your website as a whole. However, it’s pretty easy to recognize whether your website suffers due to keyword cannibalization or not.
Simply input the “site:example.com keyword” in Google to get a list of all the posts and pages that the search engine associates with the keyword on your website. If multiple pages are competing for the same keyword, then Google will probably rank the wrong page for the given keyword without proper signals for important page. It will require serious efforts to fix the issue of keyword cannibalization, but it will be worth the effort as you will have highly targeted traffic. Also, it will boost the ranking of the particular page. All you have to do is to let Google know which page to rank for the given keyword.
You can start by redirecting the highly competitive pages to the web page you want to rank in Google. If two pages have much similar content, you can try merging them. Try to avoid deleting pages as it might affect your website’s SEO, rather redirect them to other pages.
Create an internal linking structure
While fixing keyword cannibalization solves the issue of the wrong page ranking in Google search results to an extent; it does not offer a complete solution. To ensure that the wrong web page ranking never occurs, utilize the power of internal linking. The Google crawler bots follow links to understand the structure of your website. The way to webpages on your website are interlinked with each other provides important clues to Google about the pages that are important and that aren’t. The more the number of internal links to a page, the more the number of visits it will get from Google bots. Similarly, pages with less or no internal links will get crawled by Google much less.
Google page ranking is significantly affected by the number of internal links pointing towards a particular page. To tell Google that this particular page is significant on your website, build a good number of internal links to that specific page.
That being said, a great internal linking structure must be in context. The page you want to rank must get internal links from the pages that are topically related. Don’t expect that providing random internal links will help Google recognize that a webpage is important. Google is brilliant at identifying poor practices. This is why you must focus on creating internal links from relevant pages. It will also help improve the user experience on your website.
Future-proofing your website to avoid wrong page ranking
Now that you understand why fixing web page ranking issues is essential, what causes wrong page ranking in Google, and how you can fix it, it’s time to create a roadmap to future proof your website against such issues.
- Build a keyword map
Keyword mapping is the process of deciding which pages will be optimized for which keywords. It is an excellent practice to avoid keyword cannibalization and ensure that the right keywords are used for specific pages. It also makes it a lot easier to keep track of issues that can result in a ranking drop. When you’re confident that there is no keyword cannibalization on your website, you can focus on other aspects of SEO that might cause ranking fluctuations.
- Monitor web page ranking
There is no easier way to ensure that the correct pages rank for a search query in Google than to track the results yourself. Even with keyword mapping, things might go wrong, so you need to keep monitoring important keywords and web pages. Ranklogs Rank Tracker can easily help you detect if the wrong pages rank in Google. You can easily set up the Rank Tracker to notify you whenever rankings change for a particular set of keywords.
Web page ranking is important, but you must ensure that the site pages rank for relevant keywords. It helps create a great user experience, and Google rewards such websites with even higher rankings in SERPs. In most cases, the issue of wrong page ranking in Google can be easily fixed by taking care of keyword cannibalization and setting up an excellent internal linking structure.
We hope this comprehensive guide will help you improve your Google page ranking for the right keywords.