Keyphrase Positioning – Display Order v. Markup Order

The first match of keywords on the page appear to get selected far more often than the latter mentions of the same words, even if the latter mention of the phrase might be a better match.

Okay, so who cares?

Well, if you don’t now, you will in a second.

Google reads and processes your page in the order of the markup, not the order of display. Of course, for meta description these are not any different because the meta description’s not even displayed, so it doesn’t really have a display order but we are covering this here because in all other respects the meta description is just text on the page as far as Google’s concerned, so these rules apply to body copy as well which we’ll talk about next.

It is also always the first text on the page because it is in the head section prior to the body, so if your meta description provided the best semi-first fit by their algorithm, that’s the place that’s most likely to be used to generate the results snippet (that excerpt that the User sees in the SERPs).

But, what if that’s not the case? If you do not have a meta description at all, or do not have enough of the keywords of the search phrase to attract the hybrid match algorithm they’re using, then what is the next text on the page?

I bet it’s your keyword-rich navigation bar, and stringing the words of your navigation bar together is going to make it one ugly snippet; this used to be one of the few cases where we wanted to re-order content but there are now other very good reasons to re-order content.

Okay, so with all the little technical sidebar done (see links below for, ya know, more technical sidebar content) let’s get back to our ranking factors, shall we?

Some On-Page LinkLuv
On-Page SEO: Hello World!
On-Page SEO: the Title tag
On-Page SEO – Keyphrase Positioning – First Fit v. Best Fit
On-Page SEO – Head and Body – A Foot in Both Camps
On-Page SEO – Head and Body – Both Feet in Both Camps
Related: On-Page SEO – How Many Characters in a Page Title for Google SEO?

John Hargaden is CEO of wevolution digital, your full-service digital marketing partner focussed on growing your business online. Case Studies.