Can Keywords Hurt A Site?

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I have a website that has a pr6 and a lot more links than anyone at my
search term (keywords) yet my site which should be number one is only at
number 9 right now. I think I figured out why this is happening and
could use some opinions and feedback with this: The site has 20 internal
pages all linking to each other and the index page. The index page is
the big important page for me not the internal pages. For the link text
I have strong use of my keywords and those links with the keyword text
is at all the internal pages. The internal pages also have quite a bit
of keyword text in their text content as well. My feeling is that the
keyword text in the text content and more importantly in the link text
content is causing many of the internal pages to show up high to between
pages 3-15 at my search term listings. I'm thinking that 2-4 internal
pages showing up high might be preventing my main index page from
getting a number one listing. Does this make sense to any of you that
know about this stuff? And if so what would you reccomend that I do? The
titles of all the internal sites have my keywords in them as does the
header page title (forgot to mention that). Should I change the page
header title to be different then the meta title and remove all keyword
rich text content? What if I removed the keywords from the links on all
the internal pages and only had the keywords listed on the index page
links? Would that help or would it just screw something else up? Any
suggestions would be appreciated!

Re: Can Keywords Hurt A Site?

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I have noticed something similar.  I had two pages listed, when I really
expected three pages to be shown (in the top 100).
If you use Google with 10 results per page and you really have 3 pages in
the top 10 then only 2 of these pages will show.  One page appears first and
the next result will be immediately below and indented.  The positioning in
the listing depends on the best page but there may be a rule that somehow
rearranges the sequence so that the home page or higher directory page comes
first, regardless of merit.   So if you have pages at say #4, #9 and #10
then two pages will show at positions #4 and #5.  If the #10 page is the
home page then this may be listed first, even if the #4 and #9 pages are
better on merit. I am not sure about this.  To see all three pages click on
"more results" after the second listing.  Google calls this "folded
underneath".  If you use Google with 100 results per page the above
phenomena is more obvious.

Regarding PR, if you link all the pages to all the other pages (full MESH
network), then the PR averages out across them all, but with pages which
have incoming links from outside having slightly higher PR.
If you link all pages from the home page and back again (STAR network) then
the home page will have very much higher PR and all the others will be
lower. Try using the PR simulator at

Best Regards, Eric.

Re: Can Keywords Hurt A Site?

 Basically you're saying it's more a problem of how the pages are linked
and not a keyword problem then if I got you right? I haven't taken out
any keywords yet but was thinking about doing that. But if the keywords
are not the cause then there's no reason for me to fool with them.

Re: Can Keywords Hurt A Site?

 Forgot to ask you something. If I change my linking so that the
internal pages just link to the index page and the index page to them,
instead of all the internal pages linking to each other as well, will
the internal pages get their pr4+ still which they need to be counted by
google as back links? I'm afraid to take the chance but really have to
try one of my sites doing that I guess.

What still has me confused though is one site that just came up from the
upper page 20's that I have to top page 2 and all the pages link to
every page at it. The only thing different about that site is there are
zero keywords on any of the internal pages and keywords exist only on
the index page. Whereas my site at number 9 on page one has the keywords
on the internal pages as well. That site should really be at number one
and isn't.

Re: Can Keywords Hurt A Site?

On Mon, 10 Nov 2003 10:34:53 -0000, "Eric Johnston"

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I've noticed this on a fair number of my SERPs.

The page I'd expect to see first is the indented one with the home
page as the non indented.

I'd put it down to the home page ranking better than the one targeted
at the page (more PR etc...), but now that I think about your theory
it has some merit, makes sense.

Suggests to me that you could use this information to better
understand your SERPs. If the page you are targeting a phrase for is
indented to the home page, it suggests the home page would rank higher
in the SERPs for that phrase if it was targeted on the home page. So
if it's a high traffic phrase worth targeting on the home page.

Then you'd have the problem though of targeting too many phrases on
one page which can do more harm than good.

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