Struggling to Rank on Google? Understanding the Pitfalls and How to Navigate Them

by | Apr 2, 2024 | SEO, Technical SEO

In the digital age, having a webpage that doesn’t rank on Google can be particularly frustrating. After investing time, energy, and hope into your content, seeing it overshadowed by competitors can feel unfair, especially when you know your content has what it takes to be at the forefront. The path to Google’s top ranks may seem complex, but with a strategic approach, it’s achievable.

Identifying Why Your Page Isn’t Ranking

The first step is to differentiate between a page that isn’t ranking at all and one that isn’t ranking well. This distinction is crucial and often hinges on Google’s perception of your content’s value. Tools like Google Search Console become indispensable in this stage for pinpointing where your page stands.

Is It a Site-wide or Page-specific Issue?

Understanding whether the ranking issue affects your entire site or is isolated to specific pages can help focus your diagnostic efforts.

Technical Barriers to Ranking

Crawling Blocks: Ensure nothing is preventing Google’s access to your page. Unintentional blocks in your robots.txt file or inadvertent password protections can obscure your content from Google.

Indexing Issues: A page must be indexable to rank. Google Search Console’s “Inspect page” tool is pivotal for verifying a page’s presence in Google’s index.

Internal Links: The architecture of your website should facilitate easy navigation to your page through internal links, signaling its importance to Google.

Speed and Core Web Vitals: In today’s fast-paced online environment, your page’s load speed—measured through metrics like Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)—can significantly impact its ranking potential.

Rendering: If Googlebot struggles to render your page correctly, it may not fully understand or index its content. Google Search Console offers tools to test how Google views your page.

Content-Related Issues

Keyword Cannibalization: When multiple pages on your site compete for the same keywords, Google may struggle to identify which page to prioritize, diluting your content’s effectiveness.

Content Format: The format of your content should align with Google’s preferences for certain queries. For instance, some searches may favor video content over text, necessitating a multi-format approach.

Search Intent Misalignment: Ensuring your content precisely matches the intent behind users’ searches is key to ranking success. Misalignment can lead to poor visibility.

Superior Competitor Content: Sometimes, the straightforward reason for a lower ranking is the superior quality of competitor content. A critical comparison can reveal areas for improvement.

Suboptimal Optimization: Revisiting the optimization basics, including keyword usage and meta-tags, can sometimes uncover missed opportunities for enhancing your page’s visibility.

Lack of Uniqueness: Content that doesn’t offer unique insights or differs significantly from what’s already available may struggle to earn a spot among top-ranking pages.

Language and Localization: For global sites, ensuring content is in the primary language of your target audience can improve rankings in local search results.

Manual Actions: Violations of Google’s guidelines can result in manual penalties, severely impacting your page’s visibility.

Credibility and Authority

External Links: Backlinks from reputable sites not only drive traffic but also enhance your site’s credibility in the eyes of Google, potentially improving rankings.

E-E-A-T Signals: For topics requiring high levels of trust, such as medical or financial advice, Google places a premium on signals of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.

Algorithm Updates: While often cited as a catch-all for ranking drops, true algorithmic impacts should be considered only after other factors have been ruled out. Understanding the specifics of an update can guide targeted improvements.

Navigating SEO Challenges

Tackling these areas requires a blend of technical acuity, content mastery, and strategic foresight. While some issues may stem from clear-cut technical mishaps, others, like content quality and E-E-A-T signals, demand ongoing attention and refinement.

Before implementing major changes, identify potential issues through a comprehensive audit, leveraging tools like Google Search Console for insights. Methodical testing of adjustments can prevent unintended consequences and guide your page toward better rankings.

Achieving SEO success is an iterative process, demanding patience, precision, and a proactive stance toward evolving search landscapes. With a keen eye on these 16 critical areas, your path to improved Google rankings becomes clearer, paving the way for enhanced visibility and engagement.

Have a project for us?

6 + 6 =

Continue Learning

Lady Trojans Achieve Historic First NJCAA World Series Appearance, Finishing 8th Nationally with Record-Breaking Season

Last week, the Las Animas County Board of County Commissioners recognized the Trinidad State College Women’s Softball team, the Lady Trojans, and Coach Steve Swazo for their remarkable accomplishments and successful run in the May 2024 National Junior College Athletic...

Discover the Ancient Art of Batik at the First-Ever BatikUSA Exhibition in La Veta, Colorado

On August 31, the art of Batik is set to make its American debut with the first-ever BatikUSA exhibition in La Veta, Colorado. This event aims to bring awareness of the ancient art form to the US audience. Artist and event host Jonathan Evans expressed his excitement,...

Local Garden Manager Shares Tips for Battling the Bindweed Beast

Mike McDaniel, Manager at Trinidad Community Garden, knows all too well the challenges that gardeners face when dealing with weeds. Effective weed management is essential for maintaining a healthy and productive garden, as weeds compete with desirable plants for...

New Mexico Delegation Secures $2M from FEMA for Watershed Restoration After Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire

The New Mexico Congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján, alongside U.S. Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández, Melanie Stansbury, and Gabe Vasquez, has successfully secured nearly $2 million in Federal Emergency Management...

The Evolution of Search Engine Optimization in an AI-Dominant FutureAbstract

This article examines the transformative impact of generative artificial intelligence (AI) on search engine optimization (SEO) practices. It explores anticipated shifts in user search behaviors, implications for content optimization, and the strategic adaptation...

Tech Companies are Forcing AI in Their Tech: Consumer Beware

Logitech recently disclosed the launch of their latest mouse model, the Signature AI Edition M750. A representative from Logitech contacted Ars Technica to highlight this new wireless mouse, which is described similarly on the product’s official page. My personal...

A Comprehensive Guide to Navigating Post-Google Core Update Rollouts

A Comprehensive Guide to Navigating Post-Google Core Update Rollouts Google's core updates are significant events in the SEO world, reshaping search rankings and digital strategies. The March 2024 core update was notably impactful, creating waves across various...

Explore Pikes Peak 2024: New Shuttle Services and Visitor Enhancements at America’s Mountain

Preparations are in full swing on Pikes Peak as the area gears up for the busy season beginning in May. With visitor numbers increasing substantially, the management is implementing new strategies and services to accommodate the growing interest. In 2023, Pikes Peak...

Colorado Parks and Wildlife: Promoting Healthy Wildlife Interactions

Colorado Parks and Wildlife: Promoting Healthy Wildlife Interactions Feeding wildlife might seem like a kind gesture, but it can be detrimental to their health and survival. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) strongly advises against this practice to prevent harm to...

Community and Veterans Unite for Titan Fire Recovery

In an unprecedented collaborative endeavor, a multitude of organizations are coming together to dedicate resources, expertise, and manpower towards the restoration efforts of the Titan Fire Burn Scar. This comprehensive initiative, set to take place from April 11 to...