FAQ: Site Position in Google Search

7 months ago on August 01, 2023

This article brings together answers to the questions we at Google hear most about your site's position in Google Search results.

How do I get people to link to my site?

The key to getting links to your site naturally is to create unique, compelling content that other people want to link to. Google is very good at detecting unnatural links that violate our spam policies (for example, those that come from link-exchange schemes, paid links schemes, or are auto-generated), so participating in such schemes could end up doing more harm than good.

Watch this video for some ideas about getting people to link to your site:

My site used to rank really well, but now it doesn't. What happened?

The web is an organic, constantly shifting ecosystem, and your site’s performance in Google Search can change for many reasons. To start troubleshooting, check out Why is my page missing from Google Search.

Does my top-level domain (TLD; for example, .com, .org, .gov, .ponies) impact my site's performance in Google Search?

No. Google's goal is to return the best and most relevant results to people, regardless of the top-level domain. If our system determines that the best result is a page on a new Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD), we'll return that page in search results.

Can a competitor do anything to damage my site’s performance in search results?

We work really hard to make sure that competitors can’t negatively affect other sites’ rankings. If you're concerned about another site linking to yours, we suggest contacting the owner of the website. Google aggregates and organizes information published on the web; we don't control the content of these pages.

What techniques might cause Google to place a manual spam action on my site in search results?

Our goal is to provide users with the best and most relevant results for their query. Sometimes site owners—accidentally or on purpose—use techniques that attempt to game the system. For example, a site might include hidden text or links, or use cloaking or sneaky redirects. Our spam policies outline the illicit practices which can lead to a manual action.

Does buying ads improve my search ranking?

No. Google's advertising programs are independent of our search results. Search results display on the left side of our results page; ads appear on the right and in the colored box at the top.

Participation in an advertising program doesn't positively or negatively affect inclusion or ranking in the Google search results. Inclusion and ranking in Google Search results don't cost money; we don't accept payment to expedite inclusion or improve a site's ranking for particular keywords. Learn more about how Google ranks pages.

Except as otherwise noted, the content of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License, and code samples are licensed under the Apache 2.0 License. For details, see the Google Developers Site Policies. Java is a registered trademark of Oracle and/or its affiliates.

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