We run a website for a client which is very, very specific. It only does one thing and it’s an information site.
Now we know how much Google likes to control information on the internet and this is one of those sites that it probably thinks it could do a better job of providing the information, like it already does for ‘time in Australia’, Liverpool FC or ‘£10 AUD to GBP’. In fact it probably thinks it can aggregate this information better than our site, but it can’t. We know this because the data we have on the site has to be manually gathered and changes regularly and it requires a real person to get the data from a range of sources, some online, some not, and collate that data into a useable format for end users.
Each month we get around 500-600 visits from people looking for this information. They don’t stay long and we don’t try to sell them anything. They get the answer to their question and then go.
Currently we are number 1 on both Yahoo and Bing for this specific search and the site performs well. In fact it even earns affiliate revenues from adverts on the site. Users like it as it answers a question and we even get return visits for updates on this information.
But Google won’t rank it. At all. Not a single page.
The reason is simple; even though the site has been crawled and shows in Analytics, Google thinks it is a thin site with an exact match domain (EMD) and as such it has thrown it out of the index. Despite the fact that their #1 result for this search is a firm which doesn’t provide the correct information and is selling a service.
This is a great example of how adherence to Google’s current rules means we are a poorer society, as we are bound by what they will show and as such, in this case, our knowledge is limited. In fact of all the resources in their search result you can’t find the answer to the question you are looking for, but still they won’t rank our site.
We understand that the index was getting crowded with EMD’s which didn’t do a decent job but the ‘sledgehammer to crack a nut’ response from Google has been to hit every site like this, not just the ones that were abusing the index.
Time for a rethink Google as your index is incomplete. And if people can’t find what they want on your search engine they will use others. As 500 people a month already do to find our site on Yahoo and Bing.