Ever wondered why your SERP rankings are dropping despite not much change in your content? Or, why your competitors occupy prime positions on the first page despite the not-so-pleasing SEO elements?
Though we may be unable to solve all such queries that you have, this short article might provide some solutions that will make you relook at your site.
Why Ugly URLs are Ranking High?
Well, that’s the question a publisher put forward in the latest round of Ask an SEO.
Simply put, this publisher wanted to know why his competitors’ sites that had ugly URLs, ranked higher than his?
Before we share the SEO’s response to this, here is a little piece of information about ugly URLs.
What are Ugly URLs, and What to do about them?
An ugly URL is one that search engine bots find difficult to crawl.
So the ugliness here is from the crawler perspective. As long as the search engine spiders can crawl the URL, it does not matter if users find it pleasant or not.
However, an appealing URL isn’t the only factor for a site to rank high.
Other signals such as inbound links, content, etc. play their part in pushing it up the SERP.
Thus, the SERP rankings result from an interplay of various SEO factors one of which is the URL structure and aesthetics. But rarely is the latter the only deciding criterion.
However, that should not keep you from following the best practices for URL structure, as every bit of SEO counts.
Get Your Content to Rank
A publisher providing downloadable ringtones lost some precious rankings recently. When he addressed his concerns in a Google Webmaster Office Hours, John Mueller provided some useful reminders.
One of the most valuable pieces of advice that comes time and again is to offer content that is not run-of-the-mill but unique. Mueller emphasized that the algorithms value content that is different than the competitors’.
Provide High-Quality Content
Don’t stop at being different but ensure that the quality of content is the best in class.
Consider User Aspirations
It’s always good to be reminded of these pieces of advice that we tend to forget as we race towards the coveted SERP positions.
But, something more interesting and powerful that came from John in this Office Hours was the piece on websites being an aspiration of users.
Just like products, good websites are those that reflect the personal values of consumers.
They are useful and symbolize the aspirational goals of the users.
Websites that manage to successfully create a distinct image in the minds of target customers stand out, and of course, SERP rankings follow.