1

My blog runs on Ghost and is titled flowing → systems. When I search that exact string, it appears as the first result. However, once I search just for flowing systems, it is nowhere to be found.

My first intuition was that the two keywords were simply too generic, but I realized that pages which link to my blog appear in the search result before the actual website.

Is it recommended not to use symbols like the right arrow to get a higher rank in search results?

  • Symbols do not rank. Text does. – closetnoc Aug 31 '17 at 16:42
  • 1
    @closetnoc how do you explain the difference in the results then? – jcora Aug 31 '17 at 16:47
  • Symbols can be searched. You did an exact match search and of course the results would differ from a search without the symbol. These are two different searches with predictable results. Not to be confused with rank. You are expecting too much. Flowing systems is a known industry phrase, but not exclusive. Remember that shorter search queries lack semantic clues and will produce links that result in topical strength rather than the phrase itself amongst any site that performs well for topics that share that phrase. Search is not a keyword matching paradigm contrary to popular belief. – closetnoc Aug 31 '17 at 17:47
  • 2
    As a rule, I do not recommend using symbols in important key areas of content such as the title tag, h1 tag, description meta-tag, etc. – closetnoc Aug 31 '17 at 17:50
  • Rather than hurting your rank when the symbol isn't there, my guess is that that is your normal ranking position. Other sites rank higher because they have higher reputation. Your site jumps up when searching for the arrow because you have it and other sites don't. You could test it by removing the arrow. I doubt it would change much if you did so. – Stephen Ostermiller Sep 1 '17 at 10:33
1

Google sees that two things.

  • The search term flowing → systems has an character, and so does your title. There are also symbols throughout your website, including an exact match of flowing → systems in one of your h2 tags. Google sees this one your site, but does not see this on your competitors' websites.

  • The search term flowing → systems is an exact match for your website title.

These two reasons are putting you ahead for the search term flowing → systems.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you for the elaboration, however if you read the second paragraph and of the question and the discussion in the comments you will see that I know that already and it's not exactly what I'm asking. Maybe I wasn't clear enough – jcora Sep 1 '17 at 22:05
0

... flowing → systems. When I search that exact string, it appears as the first result. However, once I search just for flowing systems, it is nowhere to be found.

My first intuition was that the two keywords were simply too generic, but I realized that pages which link to my blog appear in the search result before the actual website.

Sometimes you'll have to treat a robot as a robot and you'll have to pretend to be in your customer's position. They will more likely look for "flowing systems". Not many people will enter the arrow character in their search query (what's the ascii key code for that arrow again?).

If you need to use the arrow, then I'd suggest creating a small logo for your site with the arrow in it and display it in your web page.

Is it recommended not to use symbols like the right arrow to get a higher rank in search results?

I did mention that most (innocent) people won't type in symbols for their search query (unless someone was trying to do some hacking). By eliminating symbols from your most important phrase, people will have a much easier time finding your website which COULD increase your ranking.

To further improve chances of a ranking increase, make sure your website has quality content (a.k.a. paragraphs of text) that well fit in within the subject of your site. In your case, make sure your paragraphs of text are about flowing systems and that it makes readers interested. Also, follow Google's (and other search engine's) webmaster guidelines to ensure your website doesn't do any shady tactics such as making pop-ups in the middle of the screen while the user is reading the paragraphs.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.