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Google Page Rank Reappears

SEO addicts are breathing a sigh of relief today after the Disappearance of Google Page Rank seemingly being rectified in the last few hours. The green bar on the Google Toolbar has returned.

For the average web surfer and blogger the loss of PR would have had little impact but I know a few SEO experts whose businesses rely upon it who will be very relieved today.

Update: Reading between the lines on what ‘Google Guy’ has to say on the WebMasterWorld forum it looks like this was just an upgrade of infrastructure that was timed to coincide with a holiday weekend in the US. It is not an roll out of ‘Trust Rank’ or even an update of PR. Things should be back to normal by now.

Google Page Rank Gone?

Discussion forums around the web today are buzzing with talk of major problems (or are they just changes) at Google. Earlier in the day Google’s cache server was down and more recently people have started noticing Page Rank has disappeared on many sites – including Google itself.

Of course this has caused a lot of discussion and rumors – ranging from Google scrapping Page Rank, to Google having some sort of melt down, to changes about to be rolled out to Page Rank.

They say ‘no news is good news’ – but I’m suspecting that changes like these put the SEO industry into a spin as they try to work out what’s going on.

Stay tuned for future reports on this issue as they come to hand.

Update: It’s been over 24 hours now and some are starting to panic. Check out some of the following discussion forums for the latest speculation:

Webmaster World
SEO Chat
Cre8aSite
Search Engine World
Digital Point
Web Workshop
SEO Guy
SitePoint

Update II – PR seems to have returned today over two days after it went away. No news yet as to what the issue was.

Search Engine Optimization Secrets

Adrian at Be A Design Group has a good post on Search Engine Optimization Secrets which is a good, non hyped, well thought through and easy to read post full of good common sense Search Engine Optimization goodness. He gives five tips (and writes a bit on each):

  1. Don’t Fake Your Content.
  2. Avoid Flash
  3. Start a Blog
  4. Search Engine Optimization Isn’t Magic
  5. Link Management

The importance of Title Tags in Search Engine Optimization

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A few days ago I was moaning to a mate about the fact that despite thousands of inbound links and a page rank of 6 – ProBlogger.net is still yet to rank highly for many of it’s relevant search terms in Google – as a result I rarely get any traffic from Google on this blog. Even for a term like ‘Blog Tips’ (something I write about a lot) I only ranked around 60th on Google.

My friend asked a simple question that made me realize how blind a blogger can be when they stare at their own blog all day and lose objectivity. He asked:

‘What is in the title tags of your blog?’

As soon as he asked the question I knew how stupid I’d been. This is a question I often ask other bloggers but had not asked myself!

The title tags of my front page had been ‘ProBlogger: Helping Bloggers Earn Money’. A good descriptive term – but not including some of the key terms that I was wanting to get hits on – particularly ‘Blog Tips’.

[Read more…]

New Google update

For those of you who watch such things – it seems that Google have just started a backlink update.

MSN Search Updating

I’m noticing significant shifts in MSN search results today on most of my blogs. They must have just done some sort of update. I can’t see any discussion of this in forums however so it could be just on my domains.

Since its inception the results were artificially high (for example I ranked number 1 for some very popular search terms on some brand new blogs) – so I was expecting an adjustment – today it came.

Whilst its sad to lose a little traffic (it never sent a huge amount) because of it I’m also happy because it shows MSN are becoming more accurate with their rankings – my blogs didn’t deserve the position that they had this early in their life.

Where to Put Keywords on your Blog

Getting your blog ranked highly in Search Engines can be a complicated task – so can sifting through all the theories being espoused by SEO ‘experts’. Everyone has their theory. As a result I like it when people put together simple well thought out lists that even a non technical person like myself can get his head around at the end of a hard week’s blogging.

SEO and Online marketing have put together a helpful list of 8 places to put your keywords in your blog if you want the Search Engines to look favorably upon you. Being smart about using keywords (the words you want people to find your blog with in Search Engines) – is generally accepted as important factor in SEO.

Here’s the list (each point is expanded upon in their post):

1. Use Your Keywords in Text Links for ALL Links – Inbound and Outbound.
2. Use Your Keywords in the Page’s Title Tag.
3. Put Your Keyword in Your Description Tag.
4. Place Your Keywords in a Keywords Tag.
5. Make Sure You Use Your Keyword in Your Heading Tags.
6. Put Your Keywords in Bold Text in Several Places on the Page.
7. Use Your Keyword in Text Early – and Often.
8. Use Your Keywords in Alt Tags.

The Power of the Passive Link

Eric Ward at Search Engine Guide writes about the power of the passive inbound link. In short – a passive link is a link you don’t buy, ask for or trade links for. His premise is that passive links are a more powerful type of link than others – especially reciprocal ones. Search Engines treat such links as a vote for the authority of your site.

This is one of the strengths of blogging – write something original, clever, witty, powerful, touching, insightful, controversial (linkable) and the links tend to come in. Whilst you can spend all your time emailing people and asking for links with the offer of linking to others, the best strategy for getting passive links is simply to run a quality blog.

If you want an example of this principle currently in progress check out what happens when you land a big story – like the Engadget interview with Bill Gates today. I must have seen at least 15 links to it in the past hour and technorati reveals more.

Creating A Search Engine Copywriting Plan

Karon Thackston wrote a good piece recently over at WebProNews that I’ve been meaning to link to. She breaks down the posting process into 9 elements for writing posts and articles that will rank well in Search Engines. They are good, basic, non technical tips for bloggers wanting a simple starting point for thinking about SEO. It is easy to get caught up in the technicalities of SEO – but if you at least start with these tips you’ll be on the right track.

1) Use Three Keyphrases Per Page
2) Have 250 or More Words of Copy
3) Write In Natural Language
4) Use Keyword Phrases In Headlines and Sub-headlines
5) Use Keyword Phrases Once or Twice Per Paragraph
6) Use Keyword Phrases In Bold, Italic or Bulleted Lists
7) Do NOT Use Keyword Phrases As Substitutes For Generic Terms
8) Use Keyword Phrases As Anchor Text In Links
9) Test and Track

Found via Learning SEO