So Google Ranked One Of Your Pages For The Wrong Keyword…

SEO (search engine optimization) is a complicated affair. There are many variables that go into a perfectly optimized web page. On one hand you want to have amazing content and on the other hand you’re worrying about the perfect title. But what happens when you get ranked for an unwanted keyword?

In order to remedy the wrong keyword issue, you must first determine where the issue came from. There are a number of variables that determine keywords that your webpage will rank for. Here are a few of them:

  • Page Title
  • Image Title & Alt Tags
  • Words That Are Frequently Used
  • Meta Keywords
  • Meta Description
  • Outbound Links

What I’ve found is when I try to be creative in my writing, I end up causing Google to rank unwanted keywords. What people need to understand is that Google bots are algorithms which used to scan pages. While we want to have effective copy writing for humans, we must also be careful not to tip off the Google bots to unwanted keywords. For example, when I wanted to write a page about graphic design I wanted to show people that not all graphic design was created equal. I showed a picture of a terribly designed advertisement with a caption and alt tag along the lines of “bad graphic design” and BOOM! Google started to rank my webpage for the phrase “bad graphic design.” This was obviously not optimal for the image of my company, as I did not want those words to be associated with my website or business.

How To Remedy The Whole “Wrong Keyword” Situation

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s discuss how to stop ranking for negative keywords.

Step 1: Use Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools

If you’re reading this article then you probably already have Google Analytics set up. Otherwise, how else would you know if you were ranking for the wrong keywords. I also suggest that you set up a Webmaster tools account and link them to your Analytics. That way you can see more insights into your SEO as well as queries that your website ranks for.


Above you’ll see a list of queries that my website ranks for. (You can see valuable SEO data related to your website in the organic keywords as well as queries portion of your Google Analytics dashboard.) Moving on, as you can see I’m fairly comfortable with the majority of the queries that I’m currently ranking for. I wrote an article about starting a profitable blog, so the first one is fair. I’ve done a few articles about Google Adwords so query number two is ok in my book. I’ve written a blog about e-liquid label designs that I’ve done in the past so query number 3 is totally fine.

However, you’ll notice the 4th and 5th queries both involve a restaurant name that I don’t wish to be ranked for. Both of these are a result of me writing a blog about the completion of a restaurant website design that I had done. Silly me had thought that being known for the design of a prominent restaurant website would get me some great press through Google. However, it backfired and now I’m showing up when people search for the website.

Step 2: Identify The Source Of Your Unwanted Keyword Ranking

If you know what page is provoking the wrong keyword you need to pinpoint the source of your unwanted keyword. For us, we knew exactly where the unwanted keyword was coming from and we’ll show you how to correct it. Below you can see the metadata for the page in question. We hoped to rank for the words “Sam’s Ferndale Grill Website,” however as you can see none of the Google queries that we showed up for involved the word “website.”

keyword metadata

Step 3: Change Your Copy Writing To Reflect Words Which Are More Suitable To Your Original Goal

A few things to remember. Title tags are very important to search engines in determining the content of a page! Make sure to edit the title tag effectively according to your keyword goals. Url’s are also important and have a major effect on search engine rankings. If you decide to change the URL of a particular page, make sure to redirect it using a 301 (permanent redirect). That way users landing on your website from a search engine have less of a chance of hitting a 404 error page and also, so they know that the URL in question has moved permanently.

Go through your page and find out other sources for your unwanted keyword ranking. Change title and alt tags on pictures. Reword your article to reflect the correct keywords you wish to rank for. The whole 9 yards. Most importantly, make sure to sound natural as you don’t wish to turn off actual human visitors to your website!