The word on the street from those who watch such things is that Google are currently doing a Page Rank update. These things tend to take a day or two to sort themselves out but there are a few tools that can help you work out what your page rank might end up at. Here is one such tool from SEO Chat. [Read more…]
There is an interesting article over at SEO Chat titled – Why Google is a Tactic not a Strategy – which has some worthwhile advice in it.
‘The long and short of it, folks, is to plan your online marketing strategy so that no one tactic is responsible for supporting your business. The irony of the Web is that a lot of the tactics that don’t revolve around SEO actually help you with search engine positioning. Link placement, press release writing, content syndication and even offline marketing can all contribute to better placement in search engines.’
Wise words – don’t put all your eggs in the one basket – if if that basket has the potential to bring you a lot of goodness.
Search Engine Journal has a good post on What To Do When Your Established Site Drops in Rankings and gives this advice:
‘All I can say is that many have suggested the same advice in the WebmasterWorld thread. Brett Tabke, the founder of WebmasterWorld, suggested to do “NOTHING”. He said, “The worst thing you could do, would be to go make a bunch of changes. Just let the algo work itself out.” A senior member said that he “made the mistake of making many changes after taking the hit, many months later no where to be found.” ‘
I totally agree with this advice out of my own experience of disappearing from Google late last year. The temptation was to make some major changes at that time but I decided to stick it out and just keep working on some of the basics including writing good content, making the coding of my site validate, building relationships with other sites in the hope that I’d get a few extra incoming links.
A month back I wrote a tip about Getting Yahoo Traffic for your Blog that simply involves a technique where you add your blog’s RSS feed to the customizable MyYahoo headlines feature. I wrote in that post that after one day that I noticed a small increase in Yahoo referrals to my blogs.
I thought I’d give you another update on my Yahoo traffic.
It varies from blog to blog but I am pleased to report that Yahoo referrals have continued to rise since implementing this strategy.
On the majority of my blogs the rise has been reasonably small but with the most recent Yahoo index update in the past few days I’ve noticed a substantial increase in traffic to three of my blogs (blogs that until the last month rarely,if ever got any Yahoo traffic).
These blogs still rely on Google for most of their traffic but the new Yahoo visitors have increased overall blog traffic on these blogs by at least 20% (in one case traffic rose by 70%).
So if you haven’t implemented this simple technique to increase your Yahoo referrals I’d consider doing it today. No promises that the traffic will come flodding in – but it all helps.
I hadn’t noticed this post over at Wayne’s on the Google Sandbox which I’m linking to here not only because I think many of you will find it valuable but because I am always getting asked about the Sandbox and this will be a great article to send people to in future to explain it.
‘What is the Google Sandbox?
The Google Sandbox is an alleged filter placed on new websites. The result is a site does not receive good rankings for its most important keywords and keyword phrases. Even with good content, abundant incoming links and strong Google PageRank, a site is still adversely affected by the Sandbox effect. The Sandbox acts as a de facto probation for sites, possibly to discourage spam sites from rising quickly, getting banned, and repeating the process.
How would you describe the Google Sandbox in one sentence?
The Google Sandbox is very similar to a new website being placed on probation, and kept lower than expected in searches, prior to being given full value for its incoming links and content.’
A couple of days ago I mentioned the new Google patent that reveals a lot about the ways Google is now indexing sites. The patent is long and if you don’t know the ins and outs of the technical stuff can be a bit overwhelming – so I’ve been checking out what it all means from a few bloggers and webmasters who have the gift of translating it for dummies like me.
What they are saying is fascinating stuff (I’m shocked more people are not talking about it in the blogging community) – let me give you a few snippets.
Paul at Work Boxers asks Is PR Still Relevant?
‘However, it definitely isn’t as important as it used to be, since so many people have learned to game the system. PR is good for long term success in the search engines, but is not something that can be measured very well short term.’
I agree with Paul – Google’s Page Rank isn’t anywhere near as important as it has been previously – however I don’t completely write it off. I suspect that it still plays a part in how Google ranks sites in its results – but another important factor is that page rank can still be an important factor in working out how much to sell ads on your blog for.
I am regularly asked by people to sell them text links on my blogs and Page Rank remains one of the main factors that they ask about. The higher my page rank the higher amounts I’m able to charge for a link – so I’d answer Paul’s question by saying – in terms of Search Engine Rankings I’m not sure Page Rank is as relevant as it previously has but in terms of grading the value of a blog for other purposes it remains one of the few tools people use and therefore is helpful.
If you’re into Search Engine Optimization you might be interested in checking out this article and the comments at this Threadwatch post titled Google’s War on SEO. It refers to a recent patent by Google that could shed some light on where they’re going with their algorithm.
It is pretty heavy stuff – but sheds a bit of light on the legendary and often speculated about Google Sandbox. I’m yet to go right through it all – but one of the initial take home comments seems to be that if you want to grow in Google you need to work on ‘natural’ growth and not the sudden appearance of a large site with loads of backlinks to it (which has been an approach of many SEO experts perviously.
This makes sense and is probably good news to bloggers who in most cases grow their blogs pretty slowly over time with a steady growth in backlinks. Anyway – if you’re into this stuff have a read and let us know what it all means to you in comments below.
There is also a good discussion on the same topic at Search Engine Watch.
If you want to spend some time this week optimizing your blog for Google then you might want to check out some of these articles on SEO for Google that came up in my RSS feeds this morning. They are good solid tips for people wanting to learn some SEO basics: