I have been doing some searches online to try and figure out where my website ranks and how to improve SEO. I have done a lot of work to improve code quality and add relevant keywords into my text.

I searched online for

cheap protein

and seen a number of competitors placing on the first page. I selected the first place to check out their site which was:


on scanning their site, I noticed that there was no mention anywhere of "Cheap Protein". Which left me very confused as to how they can get such a high ranking with no reference to the search term appearing.

I have heard that there is a more technical side to SEO which could potentially help them get to that position.

  • 1
    When you search for cheap protein you are not searching for the exact phrase "cheap protein", but the two words cheap and/or protein and synonyms there of.
    – DocRoot
    Jan 19, 2018 at 11:03
  • Google hasn't used straight keywords for years now. Google now uses synonyms and may even ignore words in a query. As a user you have enable "verbatim" search from the search tools menu on Google if you want Google to return results that actually have your terms. Jan 19, 2018 at 12:19
  • Aha! Now that explains why I can never get Google to return relevant results. Jan 19, 2018 at 16:59
  • Even Verbatim doesn't help much anymore. Neither do brackets, quotes, or anything else I've tried. As much as I dislike Google as a company, I used to have to admit that they ran a good search engine. Now even that's gone to crap. Jan 19, 2018 at 22:34

5 Answers 5


Latent Semantic Indexing, they may have words like low price which are related. Google displays websites that are relevant to the topic of the search. This is clearly visible with terms like buy, cheap, for sale and etc.


That could have several reasons.

The most obvious:

  1. Check their backlink profile, maybe some anchors somewhere?
  2. Semantic - Google knows that discount relates to cheap, and i am shure they have protein on their website. Though i think that "supplements" is rel
  • 3
    "Google knows that discount relates to cheap" - In fact, "discount" is one of the emphasized words in the search result description, so you have a visual cue that Google has made this connection. (And "protein" is a very common word on that page.)
    – DocRoot
    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:56

Google considers links from other sites. Somewhere somebody (maybe even them) have linked

<a href="https://url">some term not on their site</a>

And google will not find the site when somebody searches for some term not on their site.

Further google got quite good in recognizing synonyms in the search terms and will give you relevant (and irrelevant) hits for the synonymous word.


Back Links

If I place a link on my website to discount-suppliments.co.uk and the link text is "click here for cheap protein" that gives google an indication that the site I've linked to has some relevant to cheap protein, despite the text not being anywhere on the site.

The more popular / busier / better ranked by site is will affect how much trust Google has in my links, and therefore affects the weight given to the keyword association.

If other people write about your site on their established sites and post links to your site with good descriptions, this is known as back linking and is one of many important tools in the SEO manager's tool box.


Google constantly improves, that's also why they are able to tell what an article/text is about and put together what might be a good fit. I saw that they also have blog articles, maybe they did mention it in there somewhere. Another possibility would be that some people might have linked back to this site mentioning that it offers cheap protein, all these are indicators for Google to learn what a site is about.

  • you mentioned linking back to the site... Im curious, does the fact I have mentioned their website url in my question count as a backlink for them now? Jan 26, 2018 at 17:20
  • Whenever someone puts their URL on another website with a hyperlink, it is a backlink. But since it is not a hyperlink it won't be any benefit to them and does not count as a backlink.
    – alexcop
    Jan 29, 2018 at 7:53

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