Site rankings are never judgmental and they are determined by complicated mathematical algorithms. Search engines might look for your site, but not in the same way you do. They look at nuts and bolts of the site; things that you and probably your developer are unaware of that are working against you with the search engines i.e. architecture, broken links, designs and most importantly, different keywords. Considerations put in place include; site and page quality, freshness of content, location of search and web history of the searcher, among others.
Algorithms are not the most perfect method and hence inferior sites may outperform your site for a period of time. As search engines continue to improve their algorithms systems, the sites having poor contents are at a higher risk of falling out of the rankings. This often occurs when there is a change in how they evaluate websites and a search engine decides on what weight to give each metric and then varies it per market.
There are various ways in which search engines rank sites. For Google, the best content is that which meets their intention and need of a searcher for a particular phrase. It is not necessarily the longest content or that which is written by the most well-known person. Since it is not possible for the manual review of all the internet contents, Google has to assess the best content for a particular keyword phrase based on various metrics which include the words and phrases used on a page, how long people spend viewing a page and the number and quality of other websites linking to a given page.
Google ranks webpages rather than websites for each keyword. Its search results often display specific webpages and not just website homepages, in response to each keyword phrase searched for. This means that a good website will not automatically outrank a poor website for every keyword that they are both targeting i.e. a website having great content and lots of backlinks can be outranked for a particular keyword by a website that generally has poor content and just a few backlinks. This can happen if, for a particular keyword, a webpage on the generally poor website has better content than a webpage on a generally good website.
Considerations when developing a site
Choosing the most suitable and targeted keyword phrase for a specific webpage is ideal. The keyword phrase should also have a better content as it is the one that is accorded the best or worst rankings.
The content on the site should be relevant, original, interesting, captivating to the reader and unique in its own way. It does not need to be long for it to be interesting or for it to carry more weight. After all, the length of given content is never considered when ranking.
They should be from a reliable and relevant source to almost every page.
This is generally and basically on how the site is constructed. You have to see that there is proper navigation to the site and that it is simple to understand paths when you log on to the site. Also, you have to make sure that relevant texts are linked to each other.
This achieved by having and embracing “good links” that can be for some reasons be built or purchased.
Customers and users
These are always the most important contributors in ranking of sites because they stir up the popularity of a given site. Therefore, you should carefully craft your website content being mindful of buyers’ personas. Knowing your ideal customer and crafting content to meet their specific needs will benefit you in the end.
Social media signals
Social media is so important when it comes to optimizing a website for better rankings. Websites with the most active social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram), and significant number of followers are deemed more authoritative. You should also maintain the habit of updating them so as not to render them inactive.
Despite the above considerations when setting up a site, there are also various reasons as to why your good site can be outranked. These include:
Website loading too slowly
Some websites may take so much longer to load that one opts to close it and seek another alternative. Faster loading websites give encouragement and motivate visitors who navigate the site.
This is poorly written, duplicate and generally low quality content.
No social signals or social media attachment
Social media encourages more visitors to the site and it can also be used as a platform for marketing your own site.
This is often built on foundation of spam links and lies. Your site may be ranked top most due to these fake shortcuts, but upon discovery by the relevant search engines, you will be definitely be penalized, devalued from rankings and your site exterminated.
Generally, there are various reasons why a competitor maybe outranking your site. If you carefully analyze the reasons behind it, you can easily tackle the situation and ensure that you do well to outrank them all and achieve the high rankings on popular search engines. Put in consideration that the only long term, risk free way to achieve good rankings is to earn them genuinely and deserve them. Build a quality, diverse, yet relevant link profile; connect with influencers and your followers on social media channels. Remember to track your efforts and results; otherwise you are less likely to pinpoint cause of your downfall.