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Q: "Google Listing" ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: "Google Listing"
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: united65-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 22 Apr 2004 14:29 PDT
Expires: 22 May 2004 14:29 PDT
Question ID: 334515
In February 2003 I submitted my site with Google.
It took approx 6 weeks before I started seeing any positive results.
The number of hits gradually grew over the months as I improved my
site, added links to it etc.. During January and February 2004 I was
getting approx 600+ hits per month from Google search engines.

For some reason it has all stopped? No hits from Google searches, why?

A number of the webs URL's placed on the first page previously and now
I cannot even find some them?

A very good example is a search for "swim with dolphins in malta", my
URL was laways No.1 position and now it is on the 6th or 7th page.

I have gone through all your guidelines and the only two reasons that
I can possibly come up with are the following:
Links - when i request nothing comes. I know
for a fact that I have the following incomming links (amongst others)
to my website:,%20Gozo%20and%20Comino%20-%20Index.html 
The (internal) page links do not show up either when i request

Have I deleted something in the sript?

Since the original design I have changed the look of the site, added
additional pages uploaded a flash movie etc..., has this got anything
to do with it?

Even though I built the website myself I am not a webmaster, I am just
enthusiast and therefore my knowledge is extremely limited.

I would be extremely grateful if you would look into this for me as I
am completely confused and do not know what to do next.

Thanks in advance for your attention
Subject: Re: "Google Listing"
Answered By: eiffel-ga on 23 Apr 2004 07:33 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi united65,

When describing the "link:" query, Google advises that

"You may not find every page that links to you with this method ...
Please note: we do not serve link queries for all of the sites in our
index, so this may not produce any results for your site."

Google Information for Webmasters ? Page Rank Information

So, although you have incoming links that are not returned by a
"link:" query, Google would have seen those links when it crawled the

Naturally, every webmaster wants to be "number 1" for their preferred
search terms, but of course only one page can hold the top spot.
Looking at your example query...

swim with dolphins in malta

...I see that your site is the 60th result of about 4220. That's
actually a pretty good result, but of course I understand that it is
not a commercially useful placement. So what can you do to improve

In this case of the search query "swim with dolphins in malta" I can
give you some specific advice: you should include that phrase in your
page. Currently the phrase "swim with dolphins in malta" only appears
in the page title - also put it in the main text of that page, and as
the text of a hyperlink from one of your other pages too. Make sure
you do the same for other phrases for which you wish to be found on a
search engine.

Next I looked at your site as a whole. I checked several pages from
your site against Google's Webmaster Guidelines
and you seem to be following Google's guidelines pretty well.

But one thing really stands out - the links are letting your site
down. There aren't very many links, and many of the incoming links are
from directory sites and link farm sites (or, at least, sites that
might look like link farms to a search engine crawler). You need to
gain more links that demonstrate (to a web crawler) the value of your

Gaining these links is going to take time and effort, but it should
pay off well in the long run.

Let's take as an example the search terms "swimming with dolphins".
You could search for non-commercial pages that people have written
about an experience they have had swimming with dolphins. You could
then email the webmasters of those pages inviting them to link the
text "swimming with dolphins" to your site. As a courtesy to
compensate them for the time spent, you could offer to send them a
commercial "thank you" item such as a dolphin poster. You may only get
a 1% take-up rate, but the results could be very worthwhile.

Similarly, after your clients have swum with dolphins, you could
invite them to write of their experience on their own web pages, and
offer a dolphin calendar if they put a writeup of their experience on
the web together with a link back to your site.

What about other people with whom you do business ? your suppliers for
example? You could ask them to link to you. Family, friends and
employees may also have websites with content that would lend itself
to a link back to your site.

What about "swim with dolphin" operations in other countries? You
could invite them to link to you.

Most of your site's content is related specifically to the services
you offer. Can you add some pages with high-quality informational
content (about dolphins, maltese history, maltese food, maltese plants
and animals, culture, etc)? You can then search the web to find other
pages for which it makes sense to invite the webmaster to link to your
informational pages. This will drive traffic to your site ? and of
course each of your informational pages will have a hyperlink back to
the most closely associated commercial page on your site.

You can afford to be generous with the outgoing links on your
informational pages. If there is an interesting word or phrase,
hyperlink it to an interesting web page! Rich linking is part of what
makes the web work so well, and for most sites it works better than
having the site within its own "walled garden" of links.

Be creative seeking your incoming links. Find works of art about
swimming with dolphins (or even just about dolphins) and encourage
their webmasters to link to your site. Search weblogs for mentions of
swimming with dolphins, and email the blogger to suggest that they
mention your site in their next post. Run an essay competition with a
subject such as "Swimming With Dolphins Changed My Life" and post the
best essays on your site ? again with the expectation that people will
link to them.

You could set up a gallery of "swimming with dolphin" photos on your
site. If the photos have sufficient merit, people will link to them.
And of course each image will be accompanied by a link to one of your
commercial pages.

You can probably think of many more creative ways to increase the
linkage between your site and the rest of the web.

Google Answers Researchers are not privy to the algorithms that Google
uses to determine page rank. But in the long run it is pretty futile
to try to exploit Google's algorithms to increase ranking. As soon as
any technique becomes widespread, Google will tweak the algorithms in
an attempt to prevent the page rank system from being compromised.
Trying to outguess the page rank algorithms is like shooting at a
moving target.

For most webmasters, it will make more sense to produce a website that
is as useful as possible to the customers of a search engine, and to
let the search engines work out how to elevate such sites to the top
of their listings. It's in their interests to do so, and you can be
sure they are trying mighty hard to achieve that.

I trust you have found this answer useful. Please request
clarification if you have any questions.

Google Search Strategy:

swim with dolphins in malta

"swim with dolphins in malta"



Request for Answer Clarification by united65-ga on 23 Apr 2004 08:35 PDT
Hello eiffel-ga

Thanks for all the advice, information and suggestions about linking.
Since posting the question on Google I had already looked into linking
more, however you have made some pretty useful suggestions.

I am still baffled as to why from April 03 to Feb 04 my ranking was
good to excellent and suddenly my ranking is, in my opinion, none

It is not just the dolphin page that you used to rank well, but most
of the different web pages. In fact they still do on MSN, YAHOO,

So. Even though you have given me sound advice, I am still confused
and cannot understand as to how and why it can go from one extreme to
another??? Therefore I must conclude in saying that my question has
not been completely answered.

Clarification of Answer by eiffel-ga on 23 Apr 2004 14:01 PDT
Hi united65,

Your site has dropped in placement because Google has produced a new
index, as they do every few weeks. And every time they produce a new
index, they "tweak" their ranking algorithms in an attempt to make it
as difficult as possible for people to "fool" their ranking

Unfortunately, this can sometimes also cause a drop in placement for
some sites that were not trying to fool the ranking algorithms. But,
on the whole, it is more likely to benefit those sites, and it's in
the interests of such sites that Google continues to tweak their
ranking algorithms.

Google doesn't divulge the algorithms to the Google Answers
Researchers. And even if they did, and even if I was allowed to post
them here, it wouldn't help your site because EVERY site would then
take exactly the same steps to try to boost its rankings.

So I can't tell you exactly which aspect of your site is now being
ranked differently. But you should expect changes from month to month
- changes in ranking are going to keep happening.

What you CAN do is to improve your average listing positions by:

   - putting your key search terms on the relevant pages
   - putting your key search terms in links to those pages
   - avoiding links from sites that might look like
        "link farms" to a search engine crawler
   - increasing links from other worthwhile web pages to yours
   - adding content that has real informational value


Request for Answer Clarification by united65-ga on 24 Apr 2004 02:24 PDT
Hi eiffel

I am nealy understanding the concept. One last thing. I assume that
this applies to all domains that are submited to google's search

If so, when I request, why can I cannot see
all links both internal and from an external source.

When I check similar sites to mine and request a link, for example, both internal and external links are
listed. Included in their external links are some which I have, yet
mine are not listed. There are many other sites which I can refer to.

This does not make any sense at all, I am sure you will agree.

Clarification of Answer by eiffel-ga on 24 Apr 2004 04:54 PDT
Hi united65,

The general consensus amongst webmasters who follow the Google
indexing closely, is that Google does not index links to your pages
unless both your page and the page that links to you rank above some
threshold (in the page rank algorithm).

Google does not officially acknowledge this, but it does imply that
something like this might be going on by the comment that I quoted in
the main answer:

"You may not find every page that links to you with this method ...
Please note: we do not serve link queries for all of the sites in our
index, so this may not produce any results for your site."

Google Information for Webmasters ? Page Rank Information

So it's not just the quantity of links that counts, it's the quality.
But the ranking of the pages that link to your site is likely to
change from month to month. So provided you don't invite
spammy-looking sites to link to you, you can probably build a rich
network of links that will become more and more worthwhile over time.

When you think about it, it makes sense for Google to disregard links
that it considers less significant. The page rank algorithm is
computationally expensive (involving matrix mathematics with large
matrices), and there are over four thousand million pages in Google's
web index, so it wouldn't be surprising if they only track the portion
of links that they consider to be the most relevant.

Here's a thread from a discussion forum that illustrates the current
"perceived thinking" about which links Google is recording and

Search Engine Optimization - Google & links from other site

united65-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Thank you very much for the sound advice.

There are no comments at this time.

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