Sunday, January 28, 2007

PageRank Advancement

I was actually pretty surprised and shocked when I checked the PageRank of gSpy today and noticed a leap from nothing to 3 shortly within two months. While many Search Engine Optimization (SEO) companies guarantees a 24 hour inclusion in Google and other popular search engines, I managed to get listed in Google within 12 hours (at that time I got only a few blog posts). How is this possible? Let me share my experience:

  1. Google loves content and to Google, content is king. Google believes that clear and accurate pages that is helpful, information-rich will attract many visitors and entice webmasters to link to your site. This to me means to blog about Google and that's all. I never mention anything off-topic, e.g. Apple released the innovative iPhone or when Yahoo updated its ad algorithm (this is the first time). For other webmasters, this means might mean to narrow up your main focus and to reduce off topic content. For instance, a blog about NBA shouldn't have posts about Window Vista ... you know what I mean.
  2. Content is king but it makes no difference if your site is never seen. Ever since I started to blog in gSpy, I was desperate to let Google know its existence. The most effective and efficient way is to make use of the webmaster tools.
    • Add your page to the to-be-crawled list and in most cases, Google bots will visit your site within hours to get a basic idea of the page content. Any content that catches Google's attention will be included in its index shortly (normally within hours as well). Keep in mind, however, submitting your URL to Google does not guarantee inclusion, but only to notify Google and let it examine it.
    • Verify your site in Google Webmaster Tools by adding in a specific META tag into your blog's . Though I don't know the mechanism behind this (and Blogger don't support Sitemaps) , I get the feeling that this helps speeds up the inclusion process. Moreover, this tool helps you understand more about your pages - in Google's perspective. For example, Google will tell you the common words found in the content of your site and external links to your site. These factors determines the ranking of your site for a particular keyword search (Though Google has never reveal its PageRank algorithm, people commonly agree that Google uses the quantity, quality and keywords of incoming links to a site, the URL of the page, the title and keywords in the page and the layout to determine the importance of a page. Read more about Google's PageRank technology here.)
    • If you own a blog, remember to ping Google every time you create a new post. Unlike normal websites, blogs tend to be updated more frequently and Google wants to keep its index up-to-date. Google Blog Search tends to be less strict in terms of index inclusion. So more likely your blog will be searchable within the next couple hours.
  3. I have been talking about Google indexing your blog so far, how about the PageRank? As a recent post in the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog mentions, blogmasters no longer have to optimize their content so that 'thematically-related or trusted websites link to you by choice'. The more recent method is, takes advantage of Web 2.0 social content websites such as Digg, Del.icio.us, or !Yahoo Answers. In my case, every single post in gSpy are being Dugg to ensure to increase exposure and most likely, good stories get more diggs.
  4. Focus on users rather than search engines and keep working. It sounds a bit naive (or from the Official Google Blog) but that's reality. The more you focus on search engine rankings, the more you forget about readers or visitors. And without users, you it will have to pay more for even unnatural SEO. I waited for two months not days (of course it is also because I was lucky enough to have a PageRank update in January.)
I have once been like you, struggling to get visitors and readers. But once you get used to the rules, you notice the importance of user experience and content.

If you would like more reading, here are some really useful reference:
Webmaster Guidelines
How can I create a Google-friendly site?

4 comments:

Okinawa said...

Nice post. I think that non-bloggers are at a disadvantage in today's search engine rank (rat) race.

!Keith said...

It is true that sometimes content rich and useful blogs are ranked lower than those who pay for SEO.

Great Face said...

ITA that people with static web pages are at a content disadvantage as compared to blogs. It's ironic that Google's own blogging platform doesn't support trackbacks and pings(easily) which is why I luv Wordpress.

!Keith said...

I totally agree that Blogger should support more Google products. For instance, Blog Searh Ping, Google webmaster tool, Google Toolbar button hosting. By the way, Google can benefit from this as more users get aware of the its products.

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