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I have a website where the home page ranks mid page 1 for a key search term. for example "widgets london" which for example indexes www.johndoeengineering.co.uk

It is a highly competitive search term and we rank well for all landing pages that have the item + location in the url ie www.johndoeengineering.co.uk/widgets-surrey/ ranks top in Surrey

the home page also by its nature needs to be a summary of all the company / services so losing key search term density

So I created a new page about 3 weeks ago called www.johndoeengineering.co.uk/widgets-LONDON/ and removed virtually all references to the location "London" from the home page.

But for the search term "widgets london" the home page has dropped as expected but Google hasn't picked up that the new page "/widgets-lomdon/" which is highly SEO'd and now more relevant for that search term and put that in SERPS. (by the way you need to be in the top 3 organic to get enquiries)

Is there a way to make this happen? I was thinking about putting a 301 redirect on the home page to the new landing page for a few weeks until Google put that new landing page in serps then remove the redirect. Would that work? If so would it cause any issues with the other landing pages?

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Is the new page ranked at all for "widgets london"? Don't be surprised if it's ranked much lower than the home page was before the change. Even if you did a great job optimizing it, it's still a new page and you say it's a competitive term.

Did you also change your internal linking structure for this? If not, your previous style probably has many links to example.com in your headers, footers, home buttons, body text, etc. That linking structure tells Google 'example.com is the main page here' basically. Change how your internal linking works, and you can change Google's mind on ranking.

Depending on how competitive these keywords are, it's possible the homepage was already well optimized for the term and now your're simply competing against the rank you lost by changing it.

I wouldn't go with the redirects you mentioned if you'll only do it temporarily. When you remove the redirect, the same results will most likely come back if no other major factors have changed.

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So an update. Nothing I tried worked except "last resort" option.

I deleted the home page and redirected it to the landing page. After a few weeks Google started to show the landing page in SERPS. I then reinstated the home page after a good 2 to 3 weeks just to make sure.

This worked and the landing page is now sticking as the result in SERPS.

Drastic action and not right for many cases but in this case it was a critical term so worth the change

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many thanks - tried all these and it didnt work, Google would just not select the correct page for SERPs.

I have noticed for the last few months that Google has become very bad at selecting the right page for SERPs. For example, I have a strongly seo's page for a service x location. But Google is picking the contact page that only mentions that location once.

I have not known this level of inaccuracy from Google before.

Thanks for trying though and your suggestions. I suspect this time last year they would have worked but Google has changed for the worse.

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I had the same issue /and still have - ranking is split evenly now. What a shame, Maybe check: https://moz.com/blog/wrong-page-ranks-for-keywords-whiteboard-friday

That might help.

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    A link only answer is not high quality. Can you edit this to say more? At the very least, summarize the main points of the linked article so that people can understand the general gist of your answer here without having to click. Apr 13 at 21:35

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