Archives for July 2007

Google Page Rank and Link Popularity

Google Page Rank and Link Popularity

Google Page Rank and Link Popularity Establishing a good page rank is important for web masters if they intend to receive any web visitors from search engines and other directories online.  New web masters as well as old struggle to understand the method in which search engines index and catalog their sites.  Google, Yahoo and MSN all rate web sites based on the quantity and quality of relevant back links.  Back links are simply links that point to the web master’s site.  These back links and the amount of back links are referred to as link popularity.  Link popularity is the definitive tool by which the major search engines rate and rank the web master’s site.

Google Page Rank and what it means to the web master is basically a number from 1 to 10, with the highest rated sites simply achieving better search results over all.  Google page rank is assigned to every web page on the internet that Google has spidered, or will be added at some point in the future.  When Google indexes the web master’s site, it makes a record of all the relevant links linking back to the site and ranks it accordingly.  The more relevant links pointing to the web site, the better the rank.  The page rank can be determined easily enough with Google’s page rank tool that comes with the Google toolbar, available for free on the web.  Ranks are listed from PR0 to PR10 and can take some time to reflect changes on the web, as it only updates every three to four months.

Although Google uses the amount of back links to the web master’s web site to judge and assign the web site’s page rank, it is not possible to use Google to ascertain back links to the web master’s web site from other web sites on the internet.  While Google provides a webmaster tools interface, it will not reveal the amount or location of links that Google might be counting towards the link popularity or page rank value of the web master’s web site.

As far as other search engines besides Google, Yahoo and MSN didn’t always calculate link popularity and back links to the web master’s web site as an essential function of the search and ranking algorithms.  Of course, once Google initiated the link popularity and back link counting method of establishing page rank, Yahoo and MSN were left somewhat behind as worthwhile and functional search engines and had to revamp their methods of rankings and listings.  After years of being considered also rans, the two search engines adopted a link popularity and link counting system similar to Google’s.

Link building is good practice for any web master, regardless of page rank or desired page rank or link popularity.  Building links to the web master’s web site is an essential function of improving and generating traffic flow to the site.  Without sufficient doorways and portals to the web master’s site, the number of potential visitors is drastically reduced and the web master will naturally see less return on investment.  The goal for any serious web master is to build as many links leading to the web master’s site as humanly possible, using relevant and descriptive anchor text that provides a clear and concise idea of what the link actually points to.  Blind links and other baiting methods are discouraged by Google and most other search engines.

Every web page on the net has been or will be searched and indexed by Google at some point and after being indexed, will be assigned a page rank.  The page rank is determined according to who links to the page and the value of any pages that contain the back links that lead back to the web master’s site.  Having a link from a lower ranked page is of no use to the web master, as Google will only raise page rank for links that have originated from pages ranked higher than the page that is back linked.  If the pages that link to you are assigned a lower or equal page rank as the web master’s site, there is no benefit from the links on that site, other than whatever natural traffic may be received through the back link.

As a web master, it is critical to build and continue building relevant back links to the web site, leaving the URL of the site or sites everywhere the web master goes, including message boards, forums, comments pages, classified ads and any other source available for the posting of links.  Avoiding the use of duplicate material, the web master can establish static mirror pages that are filled with key words and phrases to attract the attention of the search engines and then link them back to the main page.  As each of these mirror pages increases in page rank, so will the original web site that is being so vigorously back linked.

Many newcomers have had varying degrees of success with back links and search engine rankings in the early stages, only to have the buzz fall away and the rank drop like a stone a few months later.  This leads to a lot of complaints of the page rank system being out of sync or any other number of postulations.  A common tale of web masters is that the initial boost in page rank wears thin and the popularity of the site wanes after some initial traffic and visits.  This doesn’t mean that link building is ineffective or that the web master has made a mistake in the design of the web pages.

It is common for the publication of a new article or back link of some type to build buzz early on and taper off quickly.  This is true of many ”news” or press release oriented articles and other methods of link building.  Upon the initial release or publication, the effect is a surge of traffic followed by a gradual tapering off, as the general public becomes less interested in hearing what has essentially become stale news.  Keeping the traffic and page rank high means keeping the news and articles fresh.

When a new site is listed, as when a new article is created and published on the web for the first time, Google basically can’t yet assign the page rank due to the nature of it’s lengthy and time consuming algorithms process.  Rather than give a brand new site a poor ranking indiscriminately, the search engine gives the brand new web site a pass, assuming it has some rank and lets the generalization slide until page rank can be established at some other point.  As the new page gains established relevant back links, the page rank increases over time.

After a specified amount of time has lapsed, Google will again check to determine if the new site or blog has attained any back links or page rank value.  If a new web site hasn’t developed page rank value after a thirty to forty five day window, the new site or blog will be moved to Google’s supplemental listings, considered purgatory by most web masters.  If the web master’s new web site has developed page rank of it’s own, then the page obviously remains in the main index of Google.

Pages or web sites that end up in supplemental listings aren’t necessarily stuck there, as they may build external links over time that increase the page rank of the indexed pages.  A simple way to build links is with strong high value content, such as articles and article marketing.  Any content worth distributing will bring back links eventually, as more and more users leave relevant links to the web site and build it’s page rank over time.  Once the web master’s site has achieved a page rank, it is added to the main index on Google.

It generally takes ninety to one hundred days to establish any type of page rank.  While some web sites never establish rank, most will even when poorly or haphazardly marketed to the public.  While marketing and publicizing the web master’s site is recommended, it is important to remember that page rank takes time to achieve and will not occur overnight no matter how hard the web master tries.

The web master should focus on an ongoing strategy for the link building process, as this is the most important feature of the web site to worry about for the web master.  Without a decent page rank and links from other sites and blogs, the web site’s page rank will never go up.  Building back links and maintaining them is critical to the web master’s eventual success online.  Rather than concentrate on what rank that the web master has not achieved, it would be a far better use of the administrator’s time to focus on the facilitation of more back links and a strong ongoing networking and link building strategy with other relevant sites.

Best Regards, Link-A-Billy Dave