Why Foundem.co.uk doesn’t rank in Google.

Google’s continuous algorithm tweaks have hit the headlines today.

The Guardian have published an article (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/aug/17/google-search-baffles-internet-firm) about the Foundem.co.uk website and its continuous struggle to rank. The husband and wife team that run the foundem.co.uk site are said to be “baffled” as to why they’re site won’t rank.

As I have said before when it comes to SEO content is king. Google loves unique, fresh content, and there just isn’t any on the foundem site.

The first page I stumbled across was the LCD TV page which looks like this –

This page may look fine to a user (my usability alarm is on red alert… but that’s another blog post!), to a search engine, the content on that page would look like this –

Found 704 Models Sort By: #Stores Price Make Model
Samsung LE32B450C
32" / HD Ready / HDMI / Digital Tuner
£299.09 to £599.99
from 35 stores
Samsung LE19B450
19" / HD Ready / HDMI / Digital Tuner
£175 to £269
from 32 stores
Panasonic TX-L32S10
32" / HD Ready / HDMI / Digital Tuner
£437 to £849.99
from 31 stores
LG 37LH2000
37" / HD Ready / HDMI / Digital Tuner
£439.05 to £649
from 31 stores
Toshiba 19AV615DB
19" / HD Ready / HDMI / Digital Tuner
£179 to £275.94
from 30 stores
LG 32LH2000
32" / HD Ready / HDMI / Digital Tuner
£309.1 to £499

 

This is only a small snippet, the page actually lists all 704 models available on the site. To the search spiders, this is going to look terrible, and the rest of the site is much of the same: Very little REAL content and lots of links.

I took a further look through the site and found this page.

This just shows the same paragraph of content over and over based on the different tariffs available to the user. I then searched for the first sentence of the paragraph and have found the same paragraph pasted all over the web, on a variety of different sites.

I (and SEOs across the industry) would never expect this to rank. It’s amazing that these people are blaming Google for not ranking their site when the amount of information that it provides for users is minimal, and to be harsh (but fair), of poor quality.

I then spotted the crowning glory of this story.

On the homepage of foundem is a link to http://www.googledelusion.com/.

This is essentially a big rant about the "ordeal" that the foundem team have gone through, and how Google is "stifling their innovation".

I was shocked to discover though, that they do know how to write content. There’s an awful lot of it on this site. Unfortunately it’s all very F.o.G (fear of Google)-esque, and that’s something I haven’t seen for a long time!

A thought for the foundem team: If you would have spent that time writing content for the foundem site rather than wasting time blaming Google for your own shortcomings, Google might actually be taking your site seriously and not just for a poor quality list of products.