Google SEO experiment: Why targeting an indented listing may be a bad idea -

Google SEO experiment: Why targeting an indented listing may be a bad idea

Google SEO experiment: Why targeting an indented listing may be a bad idea


By Kelvin Newman / May 14, 2010

Last month Tad wrote a great post on travel SEO – titled 10 Travel SEO Strategies. The idea behind this was to provide fresh ideas to my original travel SEO post from 2008.

Because the original post was already ranking at number three, we thought it would be useful to try and grab extra on-page real estate and increased clickthroughs. This would be achieved by creating a second piece of content, targeted towards the same term, and gaining an indented listing in Google.

However, this also had the negative effect of forcing the original listing down from 3 to 5 (see above).

But this is what keeps us SEO’s on our toes…

Optimising for a double/indented listing used to be a reasonably quick and easy way of generating extra traffic and clickthroughs for a term.

Even if they don’t admit it, I’m sure SEO’s wouldn’t enjoy their jobs quite as much if it was too easy and everything you did in the past still worked a treat every time today – Google need to keep evolving their algorithm and just because it works once doesn’t mean it will work every time – or continue doing so.

In the case of indented listings, I think we have three main options here:

  1. Target an indented listing by using the same target keywords in the second listing, which was our initial approach here.
  2. Use a similar variation of target keyword phrase – reinforcing the original post by linking to this – but not overlapping with the main target term. This is what we are now testing, by renaming the new post to 10 Travel Search Marketing Strategies, so that this no longer includes the keyword SEO in the headline, title tag etc.
  3. Republish new content using the old URL. Using a consistent URL such as to host all of the new content on. Either merging with or replacing the original content.  Or you could move the original post to a new URL instead (e.g., meaning that all old and new inbound links point to the same URL!

I’m going to use this as a test and try a few different strategies here to see what works best. Would be interesting to see if anyone else has noticed anything similar with Google indented listings too.

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