Hi guys, thankyou for your thoughts on this.
I think really you're saying the SERP position shown in webmaster tools may not be up to date because Google is updating its results all the time.
The website in question went live in 2003 but has been rebuilt twice in that time. Generally it does have good Search Engine rank in Google, it's just funny that this one keyphrase keeps coming and going.
Today it's back up page 1 at no 8 which is good news. That's not logged in so I know it's correct.
Thanks for the mention of which market you're targetting and how that can skew the webmaster tools results. My websites are all UK based so Google UK is the only one I look at, as you say webmaster tools is including .com I guess.
Back to the coalface in search of more links then , cheers Nik.
Furthermore, if you select "images" in the drop down, the table of links does NOT change for the most part, but, the URL's OF the links changes to have "images" in them changing them to an image search! This makes absolutely no sense. So it would seem that drop-down filter is not working. They appear to be jumbling all together a combination of all options in the left drop-down (All Searches, Images, Directory, Mobile, Web Search). They claim a certain position, but you have no way of knowing in what kind of search that position was achieved!
Example: I take my first one listed in the table, "#1" for highest %'age, for "Web search" in the drop-down, and it says "Position: 16". I click on the word and my pages are no where to be found on the first several pages of results. That alleged result URL is google.com/search?q=word. I then chose "Images" in the drop-down and that same 'word' goes to #6 and Position 10, and I click on the word and that URL is google.com/images?q=word and I then see the result, and at the 10th spot as claimed!
If you leave the drop-down menu on "Images", all of the G hyperlinks in the table have "images" in the URL. When you select "Web search" in the drop-down, "images" is replaced with "search". That makes sense, but the list of words remains the same!
The only area that's accurate is the table at the right "Clickthrough : Users clicked on your site in these searches", you can click on any of those and there you see the result just as WMT claims. So I don't understand the purpose of the left table "Impressions : Your site appeared in these searches" since they are not even close, and they never have been for years.
I realise that Google always try to return local results but this is pants for business results if your market place is else where in the world!
I am in the holiday business on a Greek island and was recently amused when a local guy was proud that he had after much expense and sweat got his web site above mine in google.gr.
I congratulated him, shook his hand and paid for his coffee (as the loser I explained)
Now if he ever gets above my sites in the UK, I will be irritated!
"It is not what you say or who you are, it is what you do that defines you!"
I think ranking is depend on quality links and link age. How much quality link taken for your site and how much popular your site in search engine, Domain age is also a bigger part in search engine ranking. I prefer high pr and same niche links for stable ranking in search engine ranking.
I will go for something like this.
If I have UK sites, I prefer to have uk domain and uk hosting (with UK IP). I try to obtain as much links from uk sites from the same area of interest with me.
Content is very important for me, the quality of the articles (text) must be high and written in correct English.
So content + links I think is the winning solution.