OK, I’ve never claimed to be an expert at this but I do think I’m a fast learner. So you can imagine that I’ve been going a little bit crazy to watch one of my URLs consistently drop in the rankings despite a lot of work begging for links from related pages. Considering how much money is at stake for these particular keywords, you can also imagine that its not very easy to get these links.
So, when I got my page to a higher PR than any of the competition and found myself declining even against other sites of similar age, when I saw four URLs that linked to my URL ranking higher than me, I knew something was up.
Was the minus thirty penalty back that had originally knocked me off the SERPs completely? No, the page was still listed for some competitive keywords – even first page for a one-word search that’s just a little less likely to convert sales than the two word phrase I was really targeting.
Well, if this happens to you, skip the confusion and frustration and just go straight to your on-page code. Almost by accident, I was looking around at the links on that page (ensuring that affiliate links were nofollowed, etc) when I found that a self-referencing hyperlink using the target keyword phrase led to a mis-spelled URL!
Like I said, this is one of my biggest newbie moments of the last few months.
Unexpected results in your SEO activity? Check the on-page source. Now I’m going to say that a few more times out loud to myself until it really sinks in. Sure, a mis-spelling sounds like a very simple and basic mistake, but its one that probably cost me a few hundred dollars over the last month.
The good news is that my home page here at WebsiteBuilding.biz is up to “medium” in the Google webmaster results, so I believe we’ll be seeing PR5 on the top of the domain by the next PR update.