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Better SEO Results May Start with 1 Weak Page

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Getting SEO results can be frustrating because the time and effort spent on a campaign may not lead to better rankings for the best pages on a site.

Instead, a weak page may end up with better rankings.

The definition of weak is a page that has low value and isn’t part of the campaign to improve results. Search engines decide for some reason that a page with low value to the site publisher has become more important.

It also might not be part of the core identity of the site. It might be a subject that could be considered rather lightweight compared to other pages.

What’s surprising is that a lone, unwanted, low-value page might suddenly pop to No. 1 in search rankings.

Why would that happen? It could — and does — happen for several important reasons.

Why a Weak Page Becomes Popular

One reason is that the topic might not have as much competition on search engines as other pages simply because it is lightweight. Other sites simply don’t bother to create a page with similar content.

A second reason is that the content on the “weak” page is thorough, authoritative and well-written. This is again despite the fact that the topic itself isn’t particularly compelling and the fact that it has low relative value to the publisher.

A third reason is often the result of the above reason. People who find the page think it is well done and share it via social media with others.

The resulting upward spiral of social media shares increases the ranking of the page in search engines. The higher ranking in search leads to more visits and more positive responses, which lead to more social shares. The SEO results improve, sometimes dramatically.

To the surprise and chagrin of the people involved in the site, the page reaches the coveted No. 1 spot on the first page of Google, Bing and other search engines. Crud!

What to Do About It

The page certainly has some relevance to the content on the rest of the site. Otherwise, it wouldn’t exist or shouldn’t exist.

That relevance creates an opportunity to boost important pages that do matter.

Examine the content of the page carefully to identify keywords that match other targeted pages on the site. Turn those keywords into links.

The higher the keywords reside on the page, the more beneficial the result for two reasons.

One is that people tend to leave a page as they scroll down. So having a link high on the page is more likely to get clicks simply because it is seen by more people than a link farther down on the page.

The other is that those clicks often are tracked by search engines, so they recognize the clicks as a vote in favor of the landing page.

The anchor text in the link signals the content of that next page, which eventually improves its ranking. By how much remains to be seen.

One word of caution: Choose only a handful of keywords to link. Each link can dilute the impact and click opportunities of the other links.

Other tactics for linking beyond text in an article is creating an inset box with three to five links and simply putting a link in the middle of the article between two paragraphs.

Regardless of the content, every page on a site is an opportunity for improving search engine optimization — even if the leading candidate is a piece of fluff.

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