Ranking for Irrelevant SEO Keywords: How to Solve This Issue


So, your content is finally up, and it’s looking stellar. Your text is optimized for carefully-selected keywords, and… you start attracting traffic related to the world record for hot dog eating. 

Great. All hope is lost. 

Or is it?

Let’s go over the steps you need to take to stop ranking for irrelevant words and a few of the reasons why this phenomenon occurs in the first place. 

Why Am I Getting Ranked for Wrong Keywords?

First, let’s go over the reasons why you may be receiving organic traffic from irrelevant keywords. 

Google’s Indexing System

Google’s indexing algorithm is good, but it’s far from perfect. So, if you recurrently mention something on your page that’s not that relevant (say, hot dog-eating world records), search engines may start ranking you for these keywords. 

Unusual Search Requests

Now, there are also instances where you’re ranking for keywords that don’t actually appear on your site. In some cases, these are unusual search requests that don’t have accurate matches. 

In these cases, Google will try to match these queries with the most relevant page. Sometimes, this means your page, even if it’s not that relevant in fact. 

For instance, if someone searches for a “hot dog eating record in Vienna” and gets one of your pages about Vienna tours as a result. 

Your Content is Not Aligned with Your Goals

A lot of the time, external factors are working against you, which results in irrelevant rankings. In others, it’s actually an internal issue, like a lack of alignment between your content and your goals. 

This specific cause can manifest in many different ways.

For instance, if you author an entrepreneurial blog about starting and managing a business, your content should be all about this topic. 

But you may have written articles about using marketing to grow your business. This can drive a lot of marketing-related traffic to your site, even though this isn’t your main target audience. 

In these cases, your traffic won’t align with the overall theme of your page.

Backlinks are the backbone of any SEO strategy. In short, a backlink is a link that points to one of your pages but is located outside of your website. 

If you collect relevant, high-quality backlinks, your pages will rank well. 

But, if you end up with irrelevant backlinks, your rankings may not be as good as your potential suggests, regardless of how good these may be. 

Review your statistics and make sure that all referring domains are sending traffic to your account and, at the very least, somewhat relevant to your content.

If you’re analyzing your organic traffic and find an unrelated keyword but can’t locate your site when you run a search using this term, it may be due to a backlink. 

In this scenario, if a page containing your link appears on the first page of Google, the traffic will be attributed to the original search. 

Are Wrong Keywords Always Bad?

The impact of wrong keywords varies from one site to the next. Moreover, it’s normal to have a certain number of irrelevant keywords. Yet you should still monitor it, so they don’t become a problem. 

Unrelated or even strange keywords are not a problem as long as you’re still ranking for relevant terms.

However, if most of your traffic comes from irrelevant searches, it may be a sign that Google has not categorized your website properly. 

In this case, your best bet is to address the issue and ensure that you have the right categorization. 

Cleaning Up: How to Get Rid of Unwanted Keyword Rankings

For starters, you should only target high-volume keywords on your site with many searches rather than low-volume terms. The reason for this is that Google handles a lot of high-volume searches, so it has a better idea of the intent behind each query. 

Thus, in order to clear up your page and avoid irrelevant search traffic, you should:

  • Review your content and make sure that it doesn’t drift away from the main topic
  • Create more content with keywords you want to rank for
  • If the wrong searches are viable, start targeting them purposefully on your content
  • Rather than “combating” the wrong terms, focus on “adopting” the right keywords
  • Verify that the semantic core of your content is aligned with your goals
  • Disavow odd backlinks on Google Search Console if they become an issue

To Sum It Up

As we mentioned in this blog, having wrong keywords in your stats is relatively normal and isn’t usually a problem. That said, it’s essential to keep an eye on this and take steps to improve it as soon as it becomes a problem. 

Monitoring your keyword rankings is a great way to monetize your content. Another effective and simple way is by joining Monetag. 

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