Why Does My Competitor’s Ugly Site Rank Above Me? [Video FAQ]

Why does my competitor's ugly site rank above me - Video FAQ

Ash Buckles answers: “If I have a nicer site than my competitor, why do they rank above me?”

Video Transcription

Your competitors page(s) are delivering more of the attributes the search engines are expecting to find; relevant content & page titles, unique content that references your keywords and associated words, domain credibility, incoming links to the ranking page, and so on.

Search engines are designed to rank pages that deliver a great user experience through relevance and authority. Although design is a huge part of user experience, it doesn’t outweigh the need for quality content and proper page structure.

This is because the search engine robots read text (which can be displayed through different fonts, with many different design elements) and they recognize attributes like colors, image sizes, page placement and so on. The visual appeal of the design, however, isn’t a direct factor in ranking pages. For example: the search engines don’t care if you like blue vs green Or horizontal vs vertical images.

Site design is very subjective and what looks good to you may be a turn off to me. Now, if that adversely affects your core audience from visiting your page, it can affect rankings. But generally, design is a visual element for human interaction and does not affect search engine algorithms.


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  1. Ralph Thelemaque says

    Hey I just Wanted to Say great post..i see that a lot they are so many with sorry content but they always rank first in the search engines. 

    • Ash Buckles says

      Thanks, Ralph. Generally speaking, content can help to rank better than design elements. That’s the point of the post. You can have a beautiful site that doesn’t rank and you can have a bland-looking site that ranks really well.

  2. Kent says

    Totally agree with you. I believe most Malaysians should watch your video, I will repost this on my blog and let Malaysians know the design of website is not the major factors for search engine ranking.

    • Ash Buckles says

      I appreciate that. Design should not be your driving force when considering rankings. I believe website design is important for aesthetics, conversion, credibility-building, etc. but not strictly for rankings.

  3. Ash Buckles says

    Layout and design are separate in this case. Yes, layout matters but it can be controlled on the front or back end of your code. However, design elements generally don’t make the difference in rankings. For example: how much white space you use, what colors you choose for page elements, button shapes, etc. are not considered ranking factors. How you code these into your page layout can make a difference. Thanks for the comment.

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