lunes, 1 de noviembre de 2010

PageRank for Mommybloggers 101

PageRank is an algorithm created by Larry Page of Google. It is a trademarked, highly guarded system that Page named after himself.
PageRank reflects our view of the importance of web pages by considering more than 500 million variables and 2 billion terms. Pages that we believe are important pages receive a higher PageRank and are more likely to appear at the top of the search results.

PageRank also considers the importance of each page that casts a vote, as votes from some pages are considered to have greater value, thus giving the linked page greater value. We have always taken a pragmatic approach to help improve search quality and create useful products, and our technology uses the collective intelligence of the web to determine a page's importance. Source
Google and other search engines use "crawlers" to travel through the internet. Crawlers are a software agent that systematically copies (index) all the content in every page of every website. They also have an operation called spidering that follows the outbound hyperlinks of each page, evaluates it and adds them to the destination's PageRank. The entire process is complicated. Google updates it regularly to keep it relevant to the changing internet landscape. If you have

Now let's apply this to your website. PageRank applies to blogs in several ways. Having a search engine optimized (SEO) site give your site a higher chance to be shown on the first page of a potential readers keyword search. For instance, do a search on Google for "the percentage of politicians that i think are honest is:" and a post I wrote in November 2007 is the third on the list. I'm first for "swing shift sucks" most days. Rankings like this keep my little blog with only a few dozen subscribers at PageRank 4.

This PageRank brings more unique visitors to my site. This benefits my site in two ways:

It makes my Google AdSense clicks pay higher. Ads clicked from visitors who come from direct links pay a small fraction of the fee paid when you have new visits from search engines.
It makes PR reps take notice of my site. PageRacnk and traffic stats are the two most commonly requested metrics from companies looking for blogs to advertise on.

While no method is foolproof, I have found several things to be much more important than others pertaining to blogs and PageRank. Blogs are a different animal than a business website.This list will help you cover all your bases. I refer mainly to self-hosted WordPress blogs for tools and plugins as it is the most common platform.

Own your domain. The plain truth is that search crawlers don't pay close attention to blogs in that end in or If owning a self-hosted site is not in your budget right now, at least buy a domain through your current platform.
Sitemap: Giving the search engine bot a schematic of your site so it can index all of your posts.

If you are in WordPress, use the Google XML Sitemaps Plugin.
Link to sitemap.xml in the footer of your site.

Register your site on Google Webmaster Tools and Quancast.

Google Webmaster Tools puts your site on the crawler's automatic queue. It will scan for new posts, comments and links to index without the need for pings.
Quantcast is a public analytics site. Whenever you have a PR inquiry, they can look there for real time stats. You can also embed the charts into your media kit.

Use "pretty permalinks" for your posts. For WordPress, select Custom and input

%postname%/ this turns your title "Oh Happy Day" into /oh-happy-day
%post_id%/%postname%/ this adds the post's numerical identifier before, making it /9435/oh-happy-day/. I suggest this for people who are prone to using the same titles unwittingly or have more than 3 years of posts to rename.
While you're at it, name your photos with keywords. girl-with-a-daisy.jpg is going to get more attention than IMG_9094.jpg

Google updates PageRank scores every quarter. You can monitor your score at Google PageRank Checker. Don't despair at a low score. PageRank is difficult. Most Website Administrators consider a 4 as great, 5 is outstanding. Only about a dozen sites achieve a 10. I recommend using Website Grader by Hubspot. It will give you an in-depth analysis of your site. Don't sweat the score. Look at the suggestions. We all have room for improvement. This is the internet, we're all learning as we go.

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