I’m sure you’ve all been frustrated by this: the unoptimized, poorly built site that outranks yours on Google. While most of us are more than willing to defer to well-optimized, content-rich sites with great user experiences, it’s tough to get beaten by a site that just seems, well, out of date.

But it happens all the time. And this issue isn’t confined to any particular niche.

You’ve killed yourself getting the on-page optimization just right, and you’re stuck with a ranking that’s below an older and much-less-interesting site that’s in your niche. What can you do?

The first thing you need to understand is the complexity of Google’s algorithm. Why is your site is being outranked? In short, it’s because there are more than 200 factors in Google’s search algorithm.

Even though your site might have a better look and feel, with great use of keywords, and terrific content, it’s possible you’re being outscored on a variety of factors you’re not considering. Some of those factors might include domain age, domain privacy settings, backlinks from edu domains, or the geographic address of your IP address.

The truth is, there are (let me repeat) more than 200 factors in the search algorithm. So while the criteria you’re using to compare your well-built, highly-optimized site to another may be taking in 20-30 of those factors, you do need to consider the bigger picture.

Google Search Quality Guru Matt Cutts spoke on this issue during a recent daily Webmaster video.

Cutts reiterates something we’ve discussed recently here on the Casino Affiliate Programs blog. He says “We’re also looking at off-page content and backlinks” and discusses how there might be backlinks pointing to that other, un-optimized site that you can’t see that are causing you to be outranked.

In short, Cutts says, “If they’re good, we want them to show up in search results.”

If you know your site is good, then you’re on the right track. Keep getting backlinks and keep working toward publishing terrific content on a regular schedule. Keep working. Your audience will find you and you will get results.

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