Jan
3rd

Google PageRank Update 2010

Well, technically, I suppose it was 2009, but Google did just do another PageRank update.  Be sure to check your PageRank to get an idea of whether Google has moved you up or down in perceived importance.  We’ve dug into this topic numerous times in other posts, so here are some to read if you’d like to learn more about Google PageRank:

What does Google PageRank Mean?

Interesting PageRank Changes

Google PageRank Summary

Nov
1st

Google PageRank Update, October 2009

Google updated their PageRank again on the 28th / 29th of October.  What does that mean?  Well, you can always read through some of our other PageRank articles, but we’ll give you the short version here.  Google PageRank is a measurement of how “important” your page or website is compared with the rest of the pages Google has indexed.  Google is constantly updating these values internally (and they aren’t integers), but they release them periodically for us to see.

There are two primary uses for knowing this value.  The first, and most important is that it gives you a reasonable idea of how your site promotion is going.  As you work on your SEO and link building, you want to see that it’s doing something.  The primary way is to check your rankings in Google for important keyword searches.  However, the PageRank number is a nice summary so you can get a rough idea of how you’re doing in a  single number.

The second use for this number is if you do any sort of marketing yourself.  When you post links for other websites, they will have more value if you have a higher PageRank.  Therefor, if you are selling links, or article writing, or something similar, they will be more valuable on a website with a higher PageRank.  This is only important if you are actually charging clients to write blog articles or something similar, so it doesn’t matter otherwise.  Because most of us aren’t writing pay-per-link articles, this particular use usually gets more attention than it’s worth.  Keep that in mind when you’re looking at your PageRank.

So, check out some of the other articles we have on Google PageRank (when it was last updated in June) and get a better handle on your website’s SEO.  Subscribe to our RSS feed, so you’ll always know when the Google PageRank update is released!

Jul
6th

Twitter Shorten – Your Guide to Squeezing Tweets

Squeezing Twitter

Squeezing Twitter

One-hundred forty characters.  That’s all you get, 140.  Well, maybe that’s all Twitter will give you, but we can definitely fit more than 140 in there.  The main trick is to use URL shortening services, but that’s rookie stuff.  There are ways to get a lot more into your Twitter posts than just shortening a URL.  Let’s discuss at least two other ways you can use to get more into your Twitter posts… but first, let’s cover the rookie stuff.

Before you can really get the most out of your SEO on Twitter, you have to at least understand URL shorteners.  These are friendly little web applications that allow you to take a really long URL and turn it into a very short one.  For example, I recently used a service called bit.ly to turn this “http://www.christianfinancialblog.com/2009/06/the-value-of-money/” into this “http://bit.ly/3t3qjB“.  Much shorter, right?  This allows you to fit very long URLs into your 140 characters of Twitter.  We’ll write an article on this soon, but for now you can check out a service like bit.ly and see how it works.

Now for the more interesting secrets. Continue reading Twitter Shorten – Your Guide to Squeezing Tweets »

Jun
27th

Google PageRank Update June 2009 – Bloggers Beware

Google has just updated PageRank for the second time in 30 days! I found this very surprising as some updates have taken 3 months or more. Interesting to note in this update is that Bing soared to a PR9. My DVD Collection website has moved from PR1 to PR2. That is especially interesting to me because in the previous update, it moved up as well. In that case, it increased from a PR0 to a PR1.

It wasn’t all good, however. I took a search of 5 blogs that I know participate in paid posting and 3 of them had their PageRank drop. One of them actually dropped from PR5 to PR2 — quite a drop for < 30 days! The others only dropped 1 point to PR4. Those were the only sites I found that dropped from the recent update, so it could be possible that Google changed their algorithms to target pay per post blogs.

What surprised me most about the jump of DVDCorral.com is that the PageRank scale is non-linear. That means going from 1 to 2 is much harder than going from 0 to 1. For example, the Richter scale is a logarithmic scale which measures earth quakes. There are about 120 level 6 earth quakes per year, but only 18 level 7. Go all the way to level 8 and there's only 1 per year. What does this mean for SEO? It means that whatever work you do to get from PR2 to PR3, you'll have to do much more to get from PR3 up to PR4. How much more? No one is really sure. I have heard estimates that one level to the next is about 4 or 5 times as many links (assuming equal quality links).

I also noticed my mother's Prayer Music Website went up from a PR0 to a PR1. Her site is fairly new, so Google has only found links from Twitter.com so far. Twitter, however, is now a PageRank 9. One has to wonder if the increase in links to Twitter (and Google’s corresponding PR increase) has made it a more valuable place for online advertising.

This may be bad news for blogs that are selling paid advertisements as posts, but it looks like good news for those of us who love Twitter. Catch me @bgeisel1.

Jun
22nd

PageRankSubmit Review – Good for SEO?

Does PageRankReview Measure Up?

Does PageRankSubmit Measure Up?

There are so many sites out there advertising how they will provide you with great SEO, it’s hard to wade through the muck.  Every site has big promises, and more often than not they end up disappointing on those promises.  For better or for worse, I’ll do my best to keep you updated on my experiences so you can avoid the disasters and flock to the successes.  It’s nice to sit in my blogging lair today and bang out an article on the latter, a website that successfully delivered on (at least some of) the hype.

You probably found this site in a search for a review of PageRankReview.com, so I’ll do my best to cut to the chase.  If my reviews are honest and thorough, you’ll hopefully come back to check out my other reviews.  I was happy with PageRankReview and I’m in the process of using them for all of the sites I manage (see the Blogroll on right).  In my opinion I got $100 to $200 of SEO for $29.  It didn’t save the world, but it did get my site to show up in the first few pages of Google.

The claim from PageRankSubmit.com is that they will submit you to 100 Internet directory sites for $29 (price as of this post).  They say the sites all have a PageRank of PR4 or higher.  When you are finished, they will send you an Excel spreadsheet containing a list of the sites to which you were submitted and their PageRank.  All entries are manually submitted by their team, so you don’t have to worry about CAPTCHA issues blocking non-human entries.

In reality, I found they were pretty close to their promise.  They actually submitted my site to 101 directory sites.  I did a PageRank lookup and not all of the sites were still at their advertised PageRank, but remarkably most of them were.  My biggest concern was that some of the directories would be in Google so-called “bad neighborhoods” and that I would be penalized for it.  As far as I can tell, none of the directories had bad reputations with Google.
Continue reading PageRankSubmit Review – Good for SEO? »

May
29th

Google PageRank Update May 2009

Yup. Google just updated their published PageRank this week on May 27th, 2009. You may have noticed your site just go up or down in PageRank. It’s like report card day for webmasters, except that you don’t know when it’s coming. Webmasters all over the globe giggle with glee that their PageRank just went up or sob like a baby if it went down.

For those not familiar with Google PageRank, it is a metric Google uses to determine how “interesting” a site is. It was invented by Larry Page and hence the “PageRank”. The odd thing about PageRank is that it doesn’t directly influence search engine listings, but its indirect effects are important.

PageRank is similar to the way we determine who we trust. For example, my best friends are all essentially PageRank 10 (Google’s highest PageRank). If one of them says that Joe is a cool guy, then I trust Joe with a PageRank of about 7. Even though I don’t know Joe personally, someone I trust said he was trustworthy, so I’ll give him some amount of my own trust. If one of my PR (PageRank) 10 friends says that Joe is a good plumber, and I know someone looking for a plumber, I may recommend Joe.

Google does the same thing with webpages. When another site links to you, the “Google love” you will receive is based partly on the PageRank of that other site. Now you can see why getting a PR8 site to link to your site is a very good thing when it comes to SEO. Obviously it’s just part of the picture, but it’s important to understand how PageRank works.

Here are a few other things to remember when it comes to Google PageRank:

  • The PageRank scale is logrithmic, meaning PR4 is not just “one better” than PR3.
  • Google doesn’t use integer PageRank.  That means a PageRank of 1.3 will only show up as PR1 so sites of equal reported PageRank are not necessarily equivalent to Google.
  • Reported PageRank is delayed.  It’s hard to know by how much, but suffice it to say that it’s not real-time.

In any case, if you’ve been wondering what your PageRank is, time to go check it.  As of May 2009 the PageRank data is fresh!  We’ll try to keep you posted in the future when we hear of additional updates (Google doesn’t announce them).

May
26th

SEO / SEM – Getting your Website Noticed

Increase Traffic with SEO

Increase Traffic with SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are important to your website, so you should take some time to learn how to do it effectively.  You may have heard the axiom “Location! Location! Location!”.  Well, it’s just true on the Internet as it is for a physical location.  On the Internet, your “Location!” is determined by where you appear in search engines.  When you’re right up front in searches — that’s the equivalent of establishing your business on a main highway next to Walmart.  Sometimes it seems like black magic, but hopefully this article will shed some light on how you can more effectively market your website.

While it is possible to hire your SEO out, you can also do it yourself.  For anyone considering hiring an SEO professional, make sure they can show google searches which show their clients very high.  For everyone else, I’m going to assume you’re going to do at least some of your own SEO.  Let’s look at some of the ways you can increase your PageRank.

Google PageRank is a representation of how important Google thinks your website is.  It should not be considered the “end all, be all” of SEO, but it is one of the factors you should consider.  Without focusing on it too much, PageRank is basically increased by other websites that link to your website.  When a site like Yahoo links to your website, that’s obviously worth more than a site that gets very little traffic.

Getting links then is one of the most important ways of getting your website.  If you have a blog or another website, be sure to give yourself a link that way.  You can also write articles, or get others to write articles.  Generally, you’re going to want several hundred links (or several thousand depending on your market).  Many of those can be created yourself, but at some point you may want some help.

There are a lot of online directories that will list your site for free.  Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time to go through and submit your site to each of these directories.  Recently I decided to try a service that will submit these links for you.  I was impressed to see that they actually submitted my website to 100 directories and sent an Excel spreadsheet listing all of the sites they submitted my links to.  Total Cost: < $30!  I decided to become an affiliate so I could tell you about the service.  You can follow this link to check it out for yourself.

One last word about external links to your site: keywords.  Be sure to find out from analytics what your major keywords are.  That is, what words are sending the most / best visitors to your site.  You now want to make sure those are the words that you optimize your website for.  For example, if “Free DVD Catalog” is what you find visitors search for to find your website, then you might make your links DVDCorral – Free DVD Catalog so that Google will rank you higher for the words “DVD Catalog”.  See how I just promoted one of my other sites on a blog?

Now go and do likewise.  :-)