a women shrugging shoulders with arms up

Why is My Website Not Ranking?

So you have built a website online and you are really pleased with it. It looks great it has plenty of great images and good content, so you are wondering… but why is my website not ranking? The reason is:

 You Don’t Have Enough Link Juice

To rank higher than your competitors, you need to have more and better links than them. It’s really quite simple really. And the answer is:

Backlinks

links

A backlink is a vote of excellence telling search engines that the page it’s linking to is valuable. So, generally speaking, if a page has more votes than another page, it will outrank that page in search results.

What this means for you is that if your site isn’t ranking in Google (but it’s optimized for your target keyword), then you most likely don’t have enough backlinks pointing to it.

Remember how I mentioned earlier that each backlink is like a vote of excellence for your site? Usually, when you vote on something like an election, each vote carries equal weight.

That’s not the case when it comes to backlinks. Each backlink your site receives has its own value. Some backlinks will help your site greatly while others could actually damage it.

Your goal when getting more backlinks is to focus on two key areas: quality and quantity.

Quality

a thumbs up

Quality backlinks will give your site the most value. In some cases, one high-quality backlink can give you the same amount of link juice as hundreds of low-quality backlinks.

So it goes without saying that just a handful of quality backlinks can have a very big impact on your ranking but they’re also more difficult to acquire.

You must be prepared to put in some hard work to acquire these types of backlinks.

Two of your best strategies for earning high-quality backlinks are:

Publishing unique and valuable content.

  1. Creating content that’s unique and your own, good quality, thoroughly researched, well-crafted, valuable and actionable. And then promoting that content via all of your available methods.
  2. Guest blogging.
    Creating the same type of content as above but publishing on other top niche-related sites that will provide a valuable backlink to your own site.

Quantity

A site’s number of backlinks has been an important ranking metric for Google.
In Google’s eyes, the more natural backlinks a site has, the better the chances your site will have value to people who visit it.

So Google will tend to rank it higher in search results. When you focus on acquiring a higher quantity of links, quality will drop as a result.

Don’t worry about it, though. Because remember, even lower quality links still count as a vote for the viability and worth of your site.

Over time, these backlinks will add up and you’ll notice a significant increase in rankings. What’s the best way to get more backlinks to your site in a relatively short amount of time?

Run a link popularity campaign.

This is a link building campaign where you solely focus on increasing the number of links pointing back to your site and typically involves link building strategies like:

Forum and comment posting

Infographic creation

Niche related blog directory submission

 

Related Post…..Get inbound links to your website

 

You Have Too Many Un-natural  Backlinks

Without a doubt, unnatural and spammy backlinks are one of the biggest reasons why sites are penalized or de-indexed on Google.

To put it bluntly: Google hates spam.

And they’re quick to place guilt by association. Meaning that if you have spammy sites linking back to your site, then they’ll assume that your site is spammy or low-quality as well.


If you have spammy links pointing to your site, you need to get rid of them as soon as possible.

In order to do that, you need to know how to do two things:

  1. Identify and locate spam backlinks
  2. Remove spam links from your backlink portfolio

How to Identify and Locate Spam Backlinks

A tin of spam


Google identifies spam links (what they call “link schemes”) as:

Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results.

Below are some of the most common spam link types.

Paid links that pass PageRank

What Google means here are followed links that you pay someone to place on their site.

It’s worth noting here, that paid no follow links, links that don’t pass PageRank, are acceptable according to Google. But I urge caution if you consider using this strategy to drive traffic.

But I’d extend that definition to include paid services that promise hundreds of backlinks to your site. Here’s why:

These services create backlinks that almost always fall within Google’s spam violation guidelines.

In other words, the links they point back to your site are themselves spammy and will most likely result in a violation of Google’s spam guidelines and your site will be penalized.

 Links from low-quality directories and bookmark sites

These are links that originate from irrelevant and low-quality online directories.

Directories of this type often accept any link that’s submitted to them and exist for the sole purpose of creating followed links back to the parent site.

But not all directories are bad. Some can actually provide you with very valuable backlinks.

When submitting to a directory, you want to make sure it meets the following:

  • Has a good online reputation
  • Uses an approval process for accepting new links
  • Has an editorial team that reviews and edits submissions
  • Is specific to your site’s niche.

This type of link spam often accompanies thin content—content that’s poorly formatted and filled with misspelled words, poorly spun content and lack of depth.

How to Remove Spam Backlinks

While it’s possible, it’s very time-consuming and tedious to try and find spam backlinks without the assistance of software.

Without it, you’ll have to manually research every single backlink to your site.

The Hoth Free Online Backlink Checker

a red jaggard circle with the word free in it

Now, once you’ve located the spammy backlinks, you’ll want to remove them from your backlinks.

You ultimately have two options for doing this:


Request a removal
or disavow the link.

Asking the site owner to remove the link should always be your first choice.

But if that doesn’t work, then disavowing the link is your next best bet.

You can check here on how to disavow backlinks

 You Have Too Many Backlinks from Foreign TLDs

Technically speaking, links from foreign top-level domains (TLDs) are not spam.

But, depending on where your own TLD is located, Google may still treat
them as such. Especially if there are hundreds of them linking to your
site. Why’s that?

Google finds it difficult to explain the validity of why a site would have several different foreign language-speaking TLDs linking to it if the site is in a completely different language.

This could change in the future, thanks to rapid advancements in translation technology. But as it stands now, too many backlinks from foreign TLDs can hurt your rankings.

So if you have an abundance of foreign TLDs linking to your site, it would be wise for you to consider removing them from your backlink portfolio.

If the TLD has a flag that’s different from your own country’s, then it’s coming from a foreign TLD.

You Don’t Have Enough Followed Backlinks

All backlinks in existence, regardless of quality, fall under two main categories:

  1. Follow
  2. Nofollow

Followed….. links are links that Google considers when deciding where and how to index your site or page.

Nofollowed….. links are links that Google does not consider when ranking a site or page. They completely ignore these links.

So it goes without saying that if your backlink portfolio is full of no-followed links, then you’re going to have a tough time ranking your site on Google.

Followed links should always be your main goal when running any type of link building campaign.

Nofollowed links should occur only as a natural byproduct of follower-focused link building.

How to Find Your Followed and No followed Backlinks

How do you know how many followed and no-followed links you currently have?

Check your no-follow links

  1. Right-click on the document you wish to inspect.
  2. Select “View page source”. Alternatively, right-click on the link you wish to inspect. Click on “Inspect element” in order to view the source.
  3. Press ctrl+f to open a search box. Type in “no-follow” and press enter.
How Can I Check if a Link is DoFollow or NoFollow in Chrome?
  1. Download from here: http://moz.com/tools/seo-toolbar.
  2. Then click on “Add” when you see the prompt.
  3. To launch it you can either click on the little “M” icon in the top right of your browser or use the hotkey: CTRL + Shift + Alt + M.

You Don’t Have Enough High-Quality Backlinks

Earlier I told you that your backlink campaigns should focus on both quality and quantity.

Well, most marketers just starting out tend to focus only on quantity. Their rationale behind it is this:

“If my top competitor has 300 backlinks, then I should be able to outrank them if I get 310 backlinks.”

(And back in the early 2000s, that was actually a viable strategy.)

But, times have changed and Google places much more emphasis on giving their users helpful and valuable search results with their queries.

And one of the main ways they do that is by focusing on the quality of the links pointing back to a site or page.

So if your site has more backlinks than your competitors but you’re still not ranking on Page One for your target keyword, then the culprit is most likely your site’s lack of quality backlinks compared to your competitors’. In other words:

You need to change gears and focus on getting some backlinks from authoritative, top-tier sites related to your site’s niche.

A few key strategies I recommend for doing this are:

The Skyscraper Technique

an image of sykcraper buildings
This technique involves three main steps:

1. Researching the top results for your target keyword

2.  Creating a piece of content that’s more valuable and more in-depth than those top results

3.  Publishing and promoting that content to key influencers in your industry.

You can learn more about the Skyscraper technique and how to implement it here

Broken Link Building

Broken link building involves finding links on high-authority sites that currently lead to dead or out-of-date pages, either locating or creating a piece of content on your site that will serve as a better alternative for the site to link to, and then reaching out to the site owner to request that they link to your page instead.

Testimonials

Testimonials can score you some easy high-quality backlinks.

What you do is find industry-related product and service providers, either purchase their product or service or ask for a review copy, use it and write an engaging review and send the review back to the provider. They’ll often post the review on their site with a backlink.

Infographics                    Go here to make your own infographic

An infographic about my money bizs
Well-made infographics can attract tons of high-quality backlinks. And they’re not as difficult to create as you might think.

The most effective infographics are ones that:

  1. Focus on a subject important to your industry
  2. Are filled with useful data and statistics
  3. Include a written summary in addition to the infographic

And don’t worry about design. You can use free online software like Canva to create great-looking infographics with relative ease.

 You Don’t Have Enough Relevant Backlinks

Even high-quality backlinks suffer from not being relevant to your site.

Google wants to see niche-related sites linking back to your own. If they don’t, then the backlinks won’t carry near as much weight.

You should always be targeting relevant sites with any link building campaign you run.

You can make sure you’re doing this by:

Finding and cataloging sites that are related to your niche. And creating valuable niche-related content that your competitors will want to link to. And Guest blogging on niche-related sites.

I hope this article “why is my website not ranking” helps you to achieve more success in gaining quality backlinks to your website.

If you have any questions please leave a message in the comments box or you can contact me in the contact box below.

Related content…Why is my website not showing on Google. Here you will find some tips to help you rank in the search engines.

Regards

Janet

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