John Mueller from Google was asked why does Google sometimes rank a home page for a specific keyword phrase when there is a deeper page in the site that answers that query better. The home page is more generic and covers a wider topic but there is a more specific page to better answer the query off the home page.
Why does Google not rank the better page for the query?
John responded to this on Twitter saying “usually that’s a sign that your homepage is just significantly stronger within your website.” Meaning, maybe the deeper page just doesn’t have enough signals, i.e. PageRank and/or other signals, to get the deeper, inside page to rank.
John said sometimes this can change over time, he said “sometimes that’s a matter of time (as people discover your detailed page & recommend it).” But he said that “sometimes it’s also a matter of you being super-clear within your site.” So it is a good thing?
Usually that’s a sign that your homepage is just significantly stronger within your website. Sometimes that’s a matter of time (as people discover your detailed page & recommend it), sometimes it’s also a matter of you being super-clear within your site.
— ? John ? (@JohnMu) November 4, 2020
This is not uncommon and not really a new phenomenon with Google, this has been happening for over a dozen years. I am sharing this because it is interesting how John answered the question.
Forum discussion at Twitter.