Why do my competitors' pages go to a higher
position than mine in search results even though
my PageRank is obviously higher?
The position of a page in search result on a phrase depends, as a minimum, on three factors:
PageRank of the page.
Optimization of the page for the given phrase (density of a phrase on page, presence of a phrase in various headers and tags).
Reference ranking (presence of the phrase in the links referring to the page).
The exact formula for the influence of each of these factors is not known. But perhaps in the case you mention PageRank is not the most important factor.
I have seen software sites that are very badly optimized - ones which have high PageRank, but are far outside the reach of the SE users on the majority of relevant subject phrases. However, there is one request for which the site will always occupy the first position - the name of the program located on that site.
And this can be explained. The majority of software archive sites place the link to the program page like this: <a href="Program Home Page URL">Program Name</a>. A page has a better chance of rising in the search results, the more incoming links to it there are consisting of keywords from the request. So, submitting the program to many software directories automatically provides a good reference rating on the key phrase contained in the program name.
Choosing a popular relevant search phrase as the name of your program is a guaranteed strategy. For example, to guarantee a high position in search results on the highly popular and competitive request "gif animator", call your program Advanced GIF Animator.
It is more difficult to provide a reference rating for words not included in the program name or program description. But it is also possible. You can write articles and place them in online magazines, subject sites and forums. Include the most popular and relevant words of your site in the names of the articles and in the links referring readers from your article to your site.
There are some very attractive and relevant phrases. But I can't seem to shoot to the top on these phrases in any way. What should I do?
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