Hi Peter ~
First of all, this morning, at approximately 7:30 PDT, I get two
entirely different results for your domain, depending on whether or
not I use the 'www'.
WITH www.6sigma.us, Google has determined that I am searching for a
domain and gives me the usual return on that query as follows,
"Six Sigma - Six Sigma Training - Six Sigma Certification
- Design ... Six Sigma . us. ...
Google can show you the following information for this URL:
* Show Google's cache of www.6sigma.us
* Find web pages that are similar to www.6sigma.us
* Find web pages that link to www.6sigma.us
* Find web pages that contain the term "www.6sigma.us" "
With just the '6sigma.us' entered in the search box, I am getting
results as one would for any ordinary search term. This rarely happens
with other top level domains (TLDs) such as .com, .org, etc., but it
IS happening with any site which is using the .us TLD.
This would indicate that without the 'www', at this moment Google
isn't resolving that as a TLD, but rather as a "regular" search query.
[Google search link below] -
It is not difficult to see that may be leading to the phenomenon you
are experiencing at the moment.
It has been noted in other forums that the same type of 'phenomenon'
or 'difference' happened with other TLDs, such as .com, .org, .net,
etc., and some of those appear to have been resolved, with Google
search results pretty much the same with or without the 'www'. On
others, there are still two different sets of results with or without
There is *definitely* a whole different look in search results when
searching for your domain, depending on whether or not one uses the
'www'. I suspect it's a matter of Google not adjusting its algos to
handle all the TLDs yet so that either with or without produces the
same search. There are still some URLS that require the 'www' to even
bring a site up, and it should be easier to accomplish this on the
world wide web than tweaking search engines to recognize it.
The reason both with and without the 'www' are showing up is simply
because some of the links TO your site are listed without the 'www',
and Google has picked this up.
For instance, here's a cached link,
And some others,
Since you're using the .us TLD, I would make sure all links to your
site use the 'www', if only for the sake of continuity.
All of the foregoing is offered by way of understanding that even
Google can make some mistakes at times, but that it is always working
to achieve its main goal -- to deliver the most RELEVANT results in
answer to the searcher's query.
To Answer Your Questions
Please understand that Google results can change from one search to
another, sometimes several times per day for search queries. This
often has to do with which of Google's many data centers your search
query is directed to (due to internet traffic, etc.) - so seeing some
unusual or even different results for the same search is not unusual.
My colleague pointed you to a Google link for that, and as I showed
you above, the site www.6sigma.us IS indeed listed and indexed by
If you click on "Find web pages that link to www.6sigma.us", there are 0 returns.
If you click on Find web pages that contain the term "www.6sigma.us"",
there are "about 1,620" results.
For the search term 'six sigma', your site ranks 409th.
For the search term 'six sigma training', your site ranks 95th.
If you care to check yourself, you can use this tool - Google Rankings
- www.googlerankings.com/index.php (warning, don't use it too often,
Google doesn't approve) to check where you rank). Its results are from
a live search and are usually pretty accurate, although it, too can
reach a Google data center that you won't reach when doing your own
So Why Are There No Links
And Only Pages That "Contain The term"?
I was unable to find out whether or not previous searches for your
site on Google returned any "pages that link to" or any results for
using Google's link tool (entering link:www.6sigma.us) - however, I
find it interesting that you have an entire section devoted to links,
whether or not they are relevant to your own site's content (Six
In addition, there are links from link exchanges TO your own site such as,
and others, which really aren't relevant to your site's content.
Google specifically warns against participating in linking schemes and
has been known to penalize sites for doing so. As you can see at the
moment, it is not attributing any of those sites as actual "links" at
the present time.
In its "Quality Guidelines - Basic Principles", Google specifically mentions,
"Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase
your site's ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid
links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web
as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those
And further states in reasons your site may not be listed,
"certain actions such as ... setting up pages/links
with the sole purpose of fooling search engines may
result in permanent removal from our index."
Recently, such types of links which are purely for the sake of links
have been greatly discounted toward page rank. In some cases, sites
have dropped so low in search results so as not to even be listed. You
may want to rethink the benefit of participating in those type of
The best advice you can receive is still that contained in Google's
Guidelines, to design your site for your users.
Jill Whalen, of High Rankings, said it best,
"Google wants what Google has always wanted -- pages
that provide some sort of usefulness to the people
Google sends to them. Some of those will naturally
have links out to other sites, some of those won't...
... Google looks at all different things, but it has
to look at each individual page (and perhaps each site)
and take it on its own merits.
The bottom line is that you should do what makes the
most sense for your site and its own situation. If
you want to link out to other sites because it's
helpful to your visitors, then you should do it! If
you don't think there will be any benefit to your
visitors to link to other sites, then don't. Either
way will only help or hurt you in so much as you do
it just because you're trying to figure out what
Google might like."
So as you are working to optimize your own site, always keep what is
of benefit to your visitor - not to Google or any other search engine.
In the long run, those sites that do that are the sites which place
well in search engine results pages.
Important Google Links For Your Reference
It is natural to want to place well in search results on Google,
because it is the number one search engine online. Therefore, I am
including important links from Google's site. This information will
help you understand Google's goals and responsibility to the web
searcher (and not the webmaster or site owner).
It is incumbent upon you, the webmaster or the website owner, to
ensure your site meets these basics if you want your site listed.
Webmasters who do follow the guidelines and avoid Google's "Thou shalt
nots" usually have no problem getting listed and showing up under the
search terms they desire.
* Google Today (absolutely the best information you
can read about the "how and why" of Google's results
* How Do I Get My Site Listed on Google?
* My Web Pages Are Not Currently Listed (a good 'primer'
on how and why Google works so well)
* PageRank Information (covers both Google's PageRank and
* Webmaster Guidelines (contains both the dos and don'ts)
* Google Facts & Fiction (can you buy your way to a
high ranking in Google?)
* Search Engine Optimizers (some good advice on what to look
for if you're going to hire a Search Engine Optimizer)
* Frequently Asked Questions (pretty much what it says, but
definitely worth wading through)
* Remove Content from Google's Index (just in case you feel
a burning need to start all over again)
Other Sources of Information
There is also good information from many of the top search engine
optimization experts, such as
* Detlev Johnson, Search Engine Guide
* Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Watch
* Jill Whalen, High Rankings
* Shari Thurow, Web Pro News (and quoted all over the Internet)
who all have columns or newsletters to which you can subscribe and
keep abreast of the best way to use good content for better
positioning in search engine results.
It never hurts to keep track of the discussions; but remember, trying
to optimize for search engines only is like trying to hit a moving
target. You'll notice among the more experienced contributors to the
discussions - plus the SEO experts listed above - that there really is
no substitute for content, relevant links and good HTML.
Search terms ~
Besides the specific searches I listed above, I relied on reliable
resources I use in my daily business as a designer and SEO consultant.
I hope this helps answer your questions,
Google Answers Researcher