Ranking Well But Not Too Well in Search Engines

Aug 28, 2007 • 7:07 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

A Search Engine Watch Forums thread asks a unique but very interesting question.

In short, this SEO's client wants him to rank a page well for a keyword phrase, but at the same time, he does not want the page to rank for a single keyword found within that phrase. The example given in the thread is that he wants to rank well for [bmw defects].

I have a good example of this in play on a real site. I purchased a Niko TV (it is an excellent TV by the way) because it had a very attractive rebate offer. Problem was, the rebate was too good to be true. So I wrote a blog post at my personal blog named Niko Rebate Very Scammy. Guess what? I rank in the top Google result (top two) for niko rebate. However, I do not rank in the top ten for niko in Google.

In another example, I was upset that my Sunbeam Water Cooler Sprung a Leak back in 2004, so I wrote about it. It now ranks number one in Google for sunbeam water cooler and has hundreds of comments from other owners of this water cooler, who have experienced the same thing. In fact, Sunbeam customer service has commented several times to offer support. Plus, it has influenced consumer's purchase decisions.

How can you guarantee that a page ranks well for a specific keyword phrase but not the keyword in the phrase? In the BMW example, to rank well for bmw rebate but not rank well for bmw? That is hard. The more competitive the brand name is, the less likely you will rank well for that keyword. It is much easier to rank well for a keyword phrase. So start slow and hope for the best.

Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch Forums.

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08/28/2007 12:58 pm

I think it's almost impossible to rank well for the keyword BMW alone so it should be easier to achieve his goal

Barry Schwartz

08/28/2007 01:46 pm

Gaman, Sorry, "BMW" was an example for example purposes. It is not the keyword he is looking to rank well for.

Michael Martinez

08/28/2007 03:57 pm

The question doesn't make any sense. You're less likely to achieve a high ranking for "keyword" than you are for "keyword in a phrase". Since no one can guarantee rankings anyway, it's not the sort of request I would agree to with a customer. I would explain how the phrase is more likely to achieve a high ranking than the individual keyword, depending on the rarity of the keyword and whether people optimize for it.

Rob Abdul

08/28/2007 10:49 pm

The “how can you guarantee” part of your question is erroneous. SERP’s and guarantee are mutually exclusive. You cannot for example get a 5 and a 6 with a dice (die) at the same time. For generic search engine traffic all you can do is aspire to be higher in SERPS. There are SEO techniques that can be implemented. I have made 400% increases in some of my sites and even got one site listed in Google in 6 days (Supplementary index). Unique multimedia rich content with an intelligent viral marketing campaign are two ingredients. The most important thing is unique RELEVANT content. Listen to the Google God’s. “Content is King/Queen!”.

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