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SEO help: more backlinks, more keywords, same pagerank: MUCH lower position??

Cannot fathom this out.
We had a reasonable ranking (perhaps due to Freshbot) but have now
dropped right out of site.

For search "hotel wareham" why does the site:
http://www.theprioryhotel.co.uk/ with hardly any keywords appear so
high up when the site http://www.worgretmanorhotel.co.uk hardly
appears at all?
I have used all the tricks I know - keywords at top, in H1 tags, in
page titles, in relevant text.  Perhaps I have over-keyworded it?  I'm
not sure if this is "keyword stuffing" or not.  I don't think I'm

Any help appreciated.
3 Solutions
Let me guess, yesterday you were still on a nice spot in the results.
But today you've dropped to the bottom.

Welcome to the world of Google and their updates in their algorithms.
If you're site is a good site and you didn't spam them, you will probably be back up in a couple of days.

Dave -

>...I have used all the tricks I know...

This is the key to the inconsistency of your ranking.

It is possible to perform open heart surgery after reading material available on the web but if you want the patient to survive it's better to study for a while with someone who knows what they doing.  SEO is a bit like that except that it is actually more difficult because most of what you read on the subject on the web is rubbish.

For example while you have been getting excited about H1 tags your competitor has an entry in the ODP and hence is in the Google directory. Where's your entry?

Another example, your competitor has a simple <title>The Priory Hotel</title> you have <TITLE>Worgret Manor Hotel Wareham Dorset Bed &amp; Breakfast Accomodation Business Travel Short Breaks in Wareham Dorset</TITLE> which do you think Google prefers? Will it think it's spammy? Does it spot the spelling mistake?

Here is another example put your competitors site through the W3C validator and it comes up with a clean bill of health "valid HTML 4.01".  Put yours through the same test and you get "This page is not Valid HTML 4.0 Transitional!" and 54 errors.  How do you think the Googlebot handles each of these errors? Does it misinterpret the code or perhaps it just gives up after the first 20.

There are loads of other examples but I think you get the general idea. If you want the patient to survive the heart surgery get a professional to do it or work out a plan of study and take time off to acquire the necessary skills yourself.

- duz

PS If you think this answer is more like a kick in the pants you're right. It's meant to get you going in the right direction and to stop you wasting time chasing your tail optimising your own site without really knowing what you are doing. I hope it works :)

I didn't look as deep in your site as duz did.
But what he said is SOOOOOOO TRUE!!!

or is it `she`? duz? ;)
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daverb70Author Commented:
I'd like to think I am a professional but you've certainly given me a couple of very good tips:  spell checking and the W3C check.  I appreciate it.  

I do want to learn more about SEO.  I've been reading as much as I can over the past year, so I'm relatively new to it.  I do understand search engines and the web having worked in the area for over 5 years (yes, no excuse for sloppy coding and I'll take the kick in the pants for that!) but things change pretty quickly -- like my ranking!

There seems to be a lot of goods info about (or at least looks good): google newsgroup, searchenginewatch, keyword analysers and suggestors etc.  but also a lot of what looks like dodgy practices and companies charging a fortune for their services. I'm just trying to do the best for my clients on the budget it allows.  I don't want to spam but also realise you need the keywords on there.

Any pointers to good books or sources of info to help me become an expert in SEO would be greatly welcomed.

Your site has a very decent PageRank (PR4 for a local site) and decent design and content. It should be ranked within top5 if seach engines are 5 more year smarter.  It could be ranked on the first page of search result with some minor adjustments.  

1) validate html code as duz suggested;
2) the text in <title> tag may be little bit too long;
3) too many keywords in meta tag. This may confuse search engines;
4) try keyword in title, link text, bold and relevant text.

SEO is hard since Google ranks search results in more than 100 factors.
SEO is easy since very small # of pages are properly optimized (aka, user and search engine friendly).  There're so much room for improvement.

Google rankings is unstable for a few weeks after major update.  

good luck.
daverb70Author Commented:
Just a note to say that we are now #2 and #3 in Google for our search terms.  Problems in the HTML were to blame I think.  Use that W3C validator, and keep your Javascript in a single external file.  So I've learned some valuable lessons!

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