The ranking of the webpages depends on various things and sometimes using some tactics more than required or in an incorrect way can even backfire.
To make things easy for you, Google’s John Mueller has answered some questions that will help every brand to rank their category pages in the google search engine. He told the importance of links and a negative effect of keyword stuffing, he also explained how google sees the URLs and keywords that are present in certain webpage.
How to Rank a Category Page?
There are certain instances where the product pages for certain brand rank for a keyword rather than the category page. However, most of the time, the brand wants to rank the category pages. But, even if the category page is indexed, it is possible that the product page will rank and not the category page.
Importance of Internal Linking
A good site structure is what everyone needs to focus on. Many of the websites are not well structured and as a result, the user and the bot find it difficult to reach the page that is looking for and sometimes the user needs one or two extra clicks to get to the desired page.
According to John Mueller
“Some of the things I think you should look at here, one thing is to make sure that the category page is well-linked within your website.
So if you have multiple products that are all in the same category or related to that category then link to that category page so that when we crawl the website we can really understand this category page is actually really important.”
User Intent can make the Product Pages to Rank
Google’s algorithm has the ability to understand what the user wants and sometimes because of this, Google ranks the product page when the user searches for a general keyword. This happens when a certain percentage of users are searching for a similar keyword and then google starts to rank the product page for that keyword instead of the category page.
Keyword Stuffing has a negative effect
Another reason that a category page might not rank is too much keyword stuffing on that page. This is known as keyword stuffing or spamming. There is much doubt regarding this but as per John Mueller's excessive keyword can adversely affect the page and the webpage might not rank well in the google search engine. The thing here is that too many uses of the keyword make google take the page as fishy and not trustworthy.
Mueller’s advice on uses of the keyword
“ So it might be that you’re… kind of overdoing it with the category page in that it would perhaps make sense to kind of move back a little bit and say, I will focus my category page on these keywords and make sure that it’s a good page for that but not go too far overboard.
So that when we look at this page, we’ll see… this is a reasonable page, there’s good content here, we can show it for these terms. We don’t have to worry about whether or not someone is trying to unnaturally overdo it with those keywords. “
Link The building is helpful in Ranking a Category Page
Link building can be really helpful in ranking the page however, one should avoid increasing the number of links artificially. What the brand and marketers need to understand that link building is a natural process and it will naturally happen over time and will help the page rank better.
Mueller advised that
“So, I don’t think you’d need to go out and kind of artificially go out and artificially build backlinks to a category page like that.”
Therefore, we can understand from this sentence that artificially building the link can actually backfire and the page might not rank well. Brands should carefully build the link and they should be aware of the number and speed of the link that they are adding into the page.
Fixing a Category Page Ranking is a Long-Term Project
Changing the internal linking of the category page can cause a change in the ranking of the page. Whether it is internal linking or external linking, making any changes in this can have a significant effect on the ranking of the page. Even though there have been incredibly changed in the ranking of the webpage within hours after certain links have been changed, Mueller, says that we need to take the fixing a category page ranking as a long-term project.
As per Mueller, the algorithm of google sometimes takes a while to recognize the changes and act accordingly. So, it is quite evident that it will take some time for the webpage to rank again and it is more or less a long-term project.