Ranking Frequently Asked Questions RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Before posting ... Please review these frequently asked questions:

    Q: How come my site isn’t ranking well for my keywords?


    In order to rank well for certain words, it is imperative that the words on your pages match the keyword phrases people are searching for (although that is not the only consideration used for ranking).


    However, don’t rely on using the Keyword meta tag as very few search engines use it for gauging relevancy due to keyword stuffing and other abuse in the past.


    • Some additional tips on improving ranking:
    • Target no more than two keywords per page
    • Use unique <title> tags on each page
    • Use unique <meta> description tags on each page
    • Use H1 tags
    • Use text navigation links
    • Create content for your human visitors, not the Live Search web crawler
    • Incorporate keywords into URL strings


    Q:  How important are backlinks and will any backlink work?



    Backlinks are crucial to your site’s success in ranking. However, it is important to remember that we prefer quality over quantity. Backlinks should be relevant to the page being linked to or relevant to your domain if being linked to the homepage. Use the Backlinks tool in Webmaster Center tools to review the backlinks to your site.

    Some Ideas for generating high-quality inbound links include:

    1. Start a blog. Write content that will give people a reason to link to your website.
    2. Join a reputable industry association. Oftentimes they will list their members and provide links to their websites. Examples could be a local Rotary Club or a professional association like the American Medical Association.
    3. Get involved with your community Participating with your community through blogs, forums and other online resources may give you legitimate reasons to provide links to your site.
    4. Talk to a reporter Is there a potential story around your website? Or do you have helpful tips about your business that people might be interested in? Pitch your story to a reporter, and they might link to your site in an online story.
    5. Press releases If your company has scheduled a significant public event, consider creating a press release through a site like
    6. Suppliers and partners Ask your business partners if they would add a section to their websites describing your partnership, with a link to your website. Or, if your suppliers have a website, perhaps they have a page where they recommend local distributers of their products.
    7. Evangelize your site in the real world Promote your website with business cards, magnets, USB keys, and other fun collectables.



    Q: Do backlinks from low-quality sites adversely affect Live Search ranking?


    While they won’t hurt your site, they won’t help much, either. We believe in quality over quantity. Please review the question above to get some ideas for generating high-quality backlinks.


    Q: My site was ranked #(x) for keyword term (y) and it has dropped in rank. Why?


    Live Search website ranking is completely automated. The Live Search ranking algorithm analyzes factors such as web page content, the number and quality of websites that link to your pages, and the relevance of your website’s content to keywords. Site ranks change as we review the factors that make up the ranking. Although you can't directly change your website’s ranking, you can optimize its design and technical implementation to enable appropriate ranking by most search engines. For information about improving your website's ranking, we suggest you check out the Webmaster Center tools. We highly recommend that you use Webmaster Center’s Crawl Issues tool to determine if your site is being penalized for issues such as malware. Also review our post on what to do if you are not ranking.


    Q: My site is moving. How do I set up a redirect?


    In most instances, you will want to use a 301 redirect . These instances include:


    There are many different ways to institute these redirects, based on your preference and the technologies your site is using. For more information on managing a move of your site with Live Search, see What to do when your website is relocated,

    Sunday, November 30, 2008 5:22 AM