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Old 24th March 2006, 08:32 AM   #1
justforbabygift
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Default I don't know where to go from here... Problems with Google

First, let me introduce myself--I'm Carol from southeastern Virginia, and I established my small business over 2 years ago. I LOVE to sew and embroider--if I had my choice, I'd embroider all day long...unfortunately, with no visitors wanting to order anything, I'm just sitting on crate after crate of beautiful things that I've lovingly designed and made...

I built my site from scatch and was doing OK for about a year--then comes Jagger this past fall and down the drain I went. I still do fair in Yahoo and MSN, but I'm not even in the top 1000 for my company name in Google...

I've never done anything deliberately to fool the search engines, but (obviously) I've done something REALLY REALLY bad to Google...but I don't know what it was!!!

Advice I've had from others range from "just concentrate on your site and things will get better" (NOT!!!), "keep getting links and things will get better (again, NOT!!!)

I MUST fix whatever made my site look so bad to Google--only THEN will things get any better.

So--can anyone give me some clue as to what went wrong?

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Old 24th March 2006, 10:48 AM   #2
KevinW
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You have a PR of 4 on the homepage... How often is Google spidering your site? Do you have access to that information?

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Old 24th March 2006, 04:12 PM   #3
justforbabygift
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i'm not sure...i use sitemeter to track visitors...wouldn't i need to know the spider's ip? how would i find that out?

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Old 24th March 2006, 04:46 PM   #4
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You can setup google sitemaps to get some detailed info regarding googlebot activity. i wouldn't think that is a factor though.

regarding pr, i have first hand witnessed sites that display pr but don't rank. its not a direct indicator and something to go by imo.

my two cents, work on your current site and enjoy doing well in y/msn. in your spare time begin a completely unique/separate/new website presence (without any duplication/crossover/linking) and promote that in addition to your current site. With time you'll be farther ahead with two than before, and you may be waiting a long time before you see changes regarding your situation with google.

Another option/route some take, clean up everything - if you don't know what is wrong consider hiring a good seo to objectively review things. Upon cleaning up any problems, file a reinclusion request.

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Old 24th March 2006, 07:50 PM   #5
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The good news is, you are still in Google. I just did a search for "embroidered personalized baby gifts" with the quotes and your site shows up somewhere around 30.

You also rank first for a quoted search for "Handmade Monogrammed Custom Made Wedding."

So you're there... You aren't ranking for your company name because your company name is "Personalized Gifts." That's a very competitive phrase. Even in a quotes search, there are more than 14 million listings for "personalized gifts." Chances are good that even well optimized, a site of your site is not going to rank well for that phrase.

So, what you need to do is give some more thought to the phrases that you are targeting. I took a look at your home page and can see some room for improvement. A few things to consider...

1.) Your catagory names use keyword phrases. That's excellent! However, they use pretty generic phrases that are going to be very difficult to rank for. Phrases like "baby gifts" and "baptism gifts" and "wedding gifts" are VERY, VERY competitive. I'm also thinking that they probably aren't the most targeted for what it is that you have to sell.

2.) Once I get into catagory pages, you are still targeting very general, very competitive phrases. For example, on your personalized baby gifts page, your headers for each section are things like "baby blankets," "baby pillows," and "baptism gifts." Again, these are very competitive and you will have a very hard time ranking for them in Google.

One of the things that I suggest to small biz owners that are trying to get some rankings is to start with some more specific, but less competitive phrases. These phrases are usually easier to rank for, so even though they may not get as many searhces, you tend to get a decent amount of traffic because your rankings for the competitive phrases may not be high enough to generate traffic.

What if you tried some of these phrases...they are very targeted, likely to convert and not near as competitive as some of the ones you are targeting right now...

embroidered baby shower gifts
customized baby gifts
monogrammed baby blanket

Heck, the phrase "embroidered diaper bags" gets half a dozen searches a day and only 200 other sites even have that text on them. You should easily be able to rank for this and it's VERY targeted to your audience.

That's just from looking at one category page. By taking that theory and using it across your web site, I think you should be able to make some changes that will have you driving a nice amount of targeted traffic withou a ton of work.

Once you get those rankings in order, you can start to move up the chain and compete for more competitive phrases.

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Old 25th March 2006, 08:14 AM   #6
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Good, in fact spectacular, advice Jenn.

The reason I brought up PR Logan is that my higher PR pages (sites) see the most google bot activity, so I tend to be able to tweak those more to rank. Changing things on a page doesn't help if Google doesn't know about it

Sitemaps is a great idea to ensure you get spidered regularly...

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Old 26th March 2006, 12:05 AM   #7
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That is good advice from jen, but i personally don't think the issue is an optimization issue based on what I researched and what has been described. For example take one of jen's examples....

"Handmade Monogrammed Custom Made Wedding"

The site does rank #1 for a search with quotes, but that phrase only occurs 3 times in all of google's index. It is on the site in question, and then also 2 pages on another site. That's a noncompetitive phrase, as suggested. So if you take less competitive phrases, and try to rank for those ... i just don't think you are going to get far since it appears to me your site is supressed within the results.

Certainly, this site with over 1000 backlinks and PageRank as described should out rank other sites without a unique phrase ... if the site is not being supressed. I think it is being supressed within Google results ... and thus suggested considering other options available as optimization of a supressed site doesn't change the situation.

Note, rankings in msn/yahoo seem to be okay. For the above example search, your site is #1 for both 'without quotes' used. I don't agree with changing a site that is doing well in Y/MSN because of Google supressing your site.

That said, sure the optimization can be improved. I just don't think that is going to improve the situation with google based on this sites scenario.

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Old 26th March 2006, 08:29 AM   #8
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Logan - when you say this site is "suppressed" by Google, what exactly do you mean? I realize that Google may "choose" to ignore a site based on certain variables, but suppress? Hmmm ... I just put my skeptic hat on.

Please explain!
Thanks,
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Old 26th March 2006, 08:40 AM   #9
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Hi Carol

You're definetely being spidered by Google. For instance with the keyword phrase of:

Monogrammed Toddler Pillows - you come up number 1 across the board - Google, Yahoo, MSN, Altavista and Lycos

http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=e...e+Search&meta=

What I have noticed as a definite discrepancy across your index page as opposed to other sub pages, is that the keyword meta tag in your index page has a space in between the first " and the initial keyword - <meta name="Keywords" content=" personalized baby gifts, embroidered - to a spider this would look like no keywords at all (I can give you a reference to a URL that will check your page like a spider does and displays the result like a spider see's it if you like)

To a spider your index page looks like this:

URL: http://www.justforbabygifts.com/
Title: Embroidered Personalized Baby Gifts; Handmade Monogrammed Custom Wedding Baby Baptism Golf Housewarming Sports Gifts
Description: Personalized Baby Gifts: Handmade embroidered baby gifts, wedding gifts, handmade handbags, golf and sports gifts, monogrammed housewarming gifts by Just For Baby Gifts.
Keywords:
Size: 19285
Text: Embroidered Personalized Baby Gifts Handmade Monogrammed Custom Wedding Baby Baptism Golf Housewarming Sports Gifts Embroidered Personalized Baby Gifts Handmade Monogrammed Custom Made Wedding, Baptism, Golf, Housewarming, amp Spo

As you can see from the above example, it looks to a spider like no keywords exist.

Try removing this space from the front of your first keyword in the index meta tag, resubmitting and this could help your situation some.

Just for your info here are some other ranking results for you:

Keyword Check - 'personalized baby gifts' - Ranking #10 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'personalized baby gifts' - Ranking #40 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'embroidered baby gifts' - Ranking #6 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'embroidered baby gifts' - Ranking #9 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'embroidered baby gifts' - Ranking #3 on Lycos
Keyword Check - 'personalized pillows' - Ranking #15 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'personalized pillows' - Ranking #28 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'personalized blankets' - Ranking #10 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'personalized blankets' - Ranking #41 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'monogrammed' - Ranking #9 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'monogrammed' - Ranking #29 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'monogrammed' - Ranking #8 on Lycos
Keyword Check - 'personalized' - Ranking #46 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'personalized baby blankets' - Ranking #25 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'monogrammed baby blankets' - Ranking #19 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'monogrammed baby blankets' - Ranking #26 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'monogrammed baby blankets' - Ranking #10 on Lycos
Keyword Check - 'toddler pillows' - Ranking #12 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'toddler pillows' - Ranking #9 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'toddler pillows' - Ranking #48 on Altavista
Keyword Check - 'toddler pillows' - Ranking #6 on Lycos
Keyword Check - 'monogrammed toddler pillows' - Ranking #1 on Google
Keyword Check - 'monogrammed toddler pillows' - Ranking #1 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'monogrammed toddler pillows' - Ranking #2 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'monogrammed toddler pillows' - Ranking #1 on Altavista
Keyword Check - 'monogrammed toddler pillows' - Ranking #1 on Lycos
Keyword Check - 'personalized toddler pillows' - Ranking #2 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'personalized toddler pillows' - Ranking #4 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'personalized toddler pillows' - Ranking #5 on Altavista
Keyword Check - 'personalized toddler pillows' - Ranking #1 on Lycos
Keyword Check - 'tooth fairy pillows' - Ranking #47 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'baptism gifts' - Ranking #22 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'baptism gifts' - Ranking #65 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'baptism gifts' - Ranking #10 on Lycos
Keyword Check - 'throw blankets' - Ranking #12 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'throw blankets' - Ranking #27 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'sports gifts' - Ranking #26 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'just for baby gifts' - Ranking #1 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'just for baby gifts' - Ranking #1 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'just for baby gifts' - Ranking #1 on Altavista
Keyword Check - 'just for baby gifts' - Ranking #2 on Lycos
Keyword Check - 'Personalized Wedding Gifts' - Ranking #14 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'Custom Throw Blankets' - Ranking #6 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'Custom Throw Blankets' - Ranking #1 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'Custom Throw Blankets' - Ranking #8 on Altavista
Keyword Check - 'Totes, Purses & Handbags' - Ranking #38 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'Totes, Purses & Handbags' - Ranking #6 on Lycos
Keyword Check - 'baby gifts' - Ranking #46 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'baby gifts' - Ranking #82 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'personalized baby' - Ranking #16 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'personalized baby' - Ranking #47 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'sports gifts' - Ranking #26 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'fleece milled' - Ranking #2 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'fleece milled' - Ranking #2 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'fleece milled' - Ranking #5 on Altavista
Keyword Check - 'fleece milled' - Ranking #4 on Lycos
Keyword Check - 'gifts monogrammed' - Ranking #2 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'gifts monogrammed' - Ranking #9 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'gifts monogrammed' - Ranking #29 on Altavista
Keyword Check - 'baptism golf' - Ranking #2 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'baptism golf' - Ranking #1 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'baptism golf' - Ranking #7 on Altavista
Keyword Check - 'baptism golf' - Ranking #1 on Lycos
Keyword Check - 'handmade monogrammed' - Ranking #1 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'handmade monogrammed' - Ranking #1 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'handmade monogrammed' - Ranking #6 on Altavista
Keyword Check - 'handmade monogrammed' - Ranking #1 on Lycos
Keyword Check - 'golf housewarming' - Ranking #4 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'golf housewarming' - Ranking #1 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'golf housewarming' - Ranking #20 on Altavista
Keyword Check - 'golf housewarming' - Ranking #2 on Lycos
Keyword Check - 'embroidered personalized' - Ranking #3 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'embroidered personalized' - Ranking #6 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'embroidered personalized' - Ranking #5 on Lycos
Keyword Check - 'baby gifts' - Ranking #82 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'personalized baby gifts' - Ranking #10 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'personalized baby gifts' - Ranking #40 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'handmade monogrammed custom' - Ranking #1 on Google
Keyword Check - 'handmade monogrammed custom' - Ranking #1 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'handmade monogrammed custom' - Ranking #1 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'handmade monogrammed custom' - Ranking #1 on Altavista
Keyword Check - 'handmade monogrammed custom' - Ranking #1 on Lycos
Keyword Check - 'baptism golf housewarming' - Ranking #15 on Google
Keyword Check - 'baptism golf housewarming' - Ranking #1 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'baptism golf housewarming' - Ranking #1 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'baptism golf housewarming' - Ranking #1 on Altavista
Keyword Check - 'baptism golf housewarming' - Ranking #1 on Lycos
Keyword Check - 'gifts handmade monogrammed' - Ranking #1 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'gifts handmade monogrammed' - Ranking #2 on MSN
Keyword Check - 'gifts handmade monogrammed' - Ranking #2 on Altavista
Keyword Check - 'gifts handmade monogrammed' - Ranking #1 on Lycos
Keyword Check - 'embroidered personalized baby' - Ranking #3 on Yahoo
Keyword Check - 'embroidered personalized baby' - Ranking #5 on MSN

Hope this info helps

Regards

Gav


Last edited by Gav; 26th March 2006 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 26th March 2006, 12:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
when you say this site is "suppressed" by Google, what exactly do you mean? I realize that Google may "choose" to ignore a site based on certain variables, but suppress? Hmmm ... I just put my skeptic hat on.
Ignoring the site may be a better way to describe it. For example, the scenarios others experience with the sandbox are similar.

In this case I am referring to a unique phrase on her site. This exact phrase is only in google's index 3 times. The site in question is ignored/supressed and does not rank for a noncompetitive term which I believe based on linking/pr and the unique use of the phrase ... the site should. It is being ignored/supressed in the results.

I can understand being a skeptic, but my comments are based on my own experience with sites in similar situations. Optimize away, just as with those in the sandbox, and you are not going to see improvements. I am positive the issue is not spacing within the keyword meta tag and a matter of submitting the site. Take a look at the above rankings, and how there are extremely limited results with google versus the other engines. Its being supressed/ignored. Optimization isn't going to improve the rankings in google based on my experiences with sites in similar situations.

I'm a skeptic that many have direct experiences with sites in similar situation and understand the realitities. Look at the visitors first post and the advice she has followed. Focus on your site, build more linking. This all ended up with her saying that is "Not!" the solution.

Regarding onpage optimization, the biggest thing that has made me cringe ... is the use of an H6 tag at the start of every page with a list of a few keywords. That's not a good thing, imo - but not the solution.

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