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    Red face Homepage does not rank


    Hey guys,

    I posted this before with not with full details in another thread, so admins please keep this one and here in this Google forums.

    I started working on a website. The site is old and has 3.2M links coming to it according to Majestic. And it generates loads of traffic about 22K UV per week from long tail keywords.

    Now the issues:

    1. The homepage does not show up anywhere in search. However, if I change anything on that page and re-submit in webmaster tools for a quick update, it immediately shows up around position 70 but only for a few hrs and then vanishes again until I do the same again. The website is old and used to rank top 3 for the main keywords, so lets say a lot of old links have been deleted but even then it should at least show up in results? isnt it?

    2. We have 2 main pages, the homepage and another page, they both behave the same way.

    3. The site was hit by Penguin 2.0 back in 2013, do you think the penalty is still going on?

    4. In the past few weeks I built some links from quality relevant websites but that had zero affect on rankings. Initially it showed some progress but then it just stopped.

    5. The site had thousands of duplicate pages and duplicate titles and I have fixed them all...almost.

    6. WMT shows no penalty and No duplicate content or titles or even errors.

    7. I'll add some more text on the homepage maybe that will help.

    I am not new to SEO but I am kind of stuck here, please help.
    Last edited by KernelPanic; Jul 27th, 2017 at 12:12 PM.
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    You have a number of no index tags in your code, why is that?

    Something's wrong, go here and enter your domain: Search Engine Spider Simulator the Spider sees a blank page

    Go here Backlinks Checker Tool - Backlink Watch and enter your domain, you have hundreds of spam links pointing to your website.

    Fix all that and see where you land
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    Thanks for your reply KernelPanic

    No index is being used to avoid duplicate content, those pages have the same content as another section. And that was added recently after trying everything else.

    I have disavowed most of those spam links already. Will check the tool and see if find more.
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    Full website is indexed (apart from those no-index pages) by Google not a problem there but the homepage does not show up in search other than the brand name.

    I've checked fetch as google bot and page is fully rendered properly.
    Last edited by SEOLadder; Jul 21st, 2017 at 05:39 PM.
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    Your home page is indexed. Your problems in addition to what KernalPanic has pointed out, are you are not ranking for the keywords you think you should

    edited to remove image at request of OP.


    Originally Posted by SEOladder
    No index is being used to avoid duplicate content, those pages have the same content as another section. And that was added recently after trying everything else
    That is also one of your biggest problems, using no index to fix a canonical problem. On pages that you consider duplicate content, you need to use
    rel=canonical.

    Here is a Moz article to help you understand rel:canonical. https://moz.com/learn/seo/canonicalization
    Last edited by KnowOneSpecial; Jul 25th, 2017 at 04:30 PM.
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    I tried everything before adding no-index...and even then its not the homepage, it should at least show up somewhere in search for the main keywords.

    Sorry but can you please remove that image from your post? just dont want to mention the domain name on the forum.
    Last edited by SEOLadder; Jul 25th, 2017 at 10:02 AM.
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    Let me add....

    If your page is not ranking for the keywords you think it should be, then your method of targeting those words is not done correctly.

    also you stated
    Originally Posted by SEOLadder
    3. The site was hit by Penguin 2.0 back in 2013, do you think the penalty is still going on?
    I would almost bet that the keywords you are wanting to rank for are also used heavily as link anchors for your backlinks. Not knowing exactly when you started your site repairs to recover from Penguin, it generally takes many many months.

    What are a couple of keywords you are targeting for the home page. We could give better advice knowing that, meaning the forum members here.

    Comments on this post

    • Test-ok agrees : Needs to use anchors like read more, view site on inbound links
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    Originally Posted by KnowOneSpecial
    Let me add....

    If your page is not ranking for the keywords you think it should be, then your method of targeting those words is not done correctly.

    also you stated


    I would almost bet that the keywords you are wanting to rank for are also used heavily as link anchors for your backlinks. Not knowing exactly when you started your site repairs to recover from Penguin, it generally takes many many months.

    What are a couple of keywords you are targeting for the home page. We could give better advice knowing that, meaning the forum members here.

    The main keyword is on the page titles on some main pages from top nav, we actually dont have too many links with those anchors. Most of the links have brand name as anchor which contains the main keyword too. I just started working on this site from last 3 months and have removed many anchor links and also disavowed most of the directory links that had a high spam score.

    The problem is the homepage does not show up in search for the keywords in its title, it doesnt show at all. is that Penguin 2.0?

    Full website is indexed by google and rendered properly if I use fetch as google bot so indexing is not the issue here?
    Last edited by SEOLadder; Jul 26th, 2017 at 02:52 AM.
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    Originally Posted by KnowOneSpecial
    Your home page is indexed. Your problems in addition to what KernalPanic has pointed out, are you are not ranking for the keywords you think you should



    That is also one of your biggest problems, using no index to fix a canonical problem. On pages that you consider duplicate content, you need to use
    rel=canonical.
    I tried canonical before adding no index, but the site lost traffic almost 1000 visits per day, then I removed the canonical and the traffic returned, I have yet to see the effects of no-index. I might remove no-index too, Google seems to be happy without it. But the problem is the rankings for the main keyword.
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    Well you either gonna hate me or well appreciate this ....

    One last observation.... leasing deals, contract hire -- these words in my opinion are really to generic to target. Leasing deals and contract hire can apply to a tremendous variety of niches. Just the one reference to "" in your third place keyword in the title is not doing the job.


    Also your link repair and building is paying off... you made a typo and the typo is ranking.

    You're ranking, albeit for the term "" There is zero traffic for that particular term.

    For the term "" according to Google....which you rank #1 in all SE's
    some key word>> Avg. monthly searches >> 1K 10K Competition >> Medium

    I suggest you hire a competent SEO specialist. No offense mate. I am not being disrespectful, but your skills are failing you in this instance..
    Last edited by KnowOneSpecial; Jul 27th, 2017 at 06:08 PM.
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    This is an old website and has millions of links, I did not create any links with typos...this was done by some automated bot from a scrapper website in the past.

    Please remove any references to the brand name from your post again.

    The information you've given me is something I know already. My question was why is the homepage not showing up in results at all. Is that because of penguin 2.0 that is still causing issues?

    If there is no penalty then the page should at least be in results considering thousands of links coming to it.
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    Hey SEOLadder, you only had to post once.

    Comments on this post

    • Hikin Mike agrees : Removed extra posts.
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    Originally Posted by SEOLadder
    Now the issues:
    1. The homepage does not show up anywhere in search.
    Well you are mistaken there. I have shown you. This means you are not ranking for the terms you "THINK" you should be.

    This means you need to consider rewriting some of your content and using your keywords more smartly and mixing in some new ones as well.

    You have a tremendous number of poisoned inbound links, but I have no idea of which ones you disavowed. They are targeting, probably, the keyword terms you are wanting to rank for. I could be wrong, but I don't think so. I suggest you disavow domains rather than individual links. Faster and gets rid of some possible stragglers.

    In a nutshell the site looks as if it is done with pre-2012 seo tactics which don't work, since 2012.

    Could this be Penguin ( current version ) doing its' work, could be. Wouldn't be surprised all. This could be a clear case of Penguin Punishing A Page and not the site. Which is how Google describes that Penguin now currently works.
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    My question was why is the homepage not showing up in results at all
    It does show up in the results, search your url without the http://www and the .com and see what pops up.
    Your home page.

    and KnowOneSpecial is correct when he says.
    Well you are mistaken there. I have shown you. This means you are not ranking for the terms you "THINK" you should be.
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    Yes you are right the site was designed around 2010 and they created a separate page for every single thing which causes duplicate content. I have fixed many many pages and whole sections now at least webmaster tools shows zero issues.

    Now for the Penguin thing, I know the site was hit by Penguin 2.0 in 2013 and lost half of the traffic, before that the site was ranking top 5 for all main keywords and top 3 for over 200 that generated a lot of traffic. I can see the previous SEO company built thousands of links from those free directories with exact match anchors. I believe thats what caused the issue. I have disavowed domains over 100 and adding more as I find them.

    As for the site showing up for the brand name, yes it does but that's it. The domain is old and even if we say Google has discounted all of those directories already but the site has got some really good links too some form university websites and some other high quality websites, the homepage should at least be in top 200 for the main keywords? I can see sites become less relevant after about 100 results...and the site not showing up in top 200 suggests some kind of penalty?

    So those toxic links could be causing it? so the new penguin punishes pages rather than whole websites? so if its just one page or one keyword, could that be whats punishing this website? :O

    Last edited by SEOLadder; Jul 28th, 2017 at 04:35 AM.
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