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Google Page Rank Update

There is a lot of talk around the web at the moment about Google’s current page ranking update. You may have already noticed your blog’s page rank change – most of my blogs are pretty stable although I’ve noticed one of the new ones has gone up from 2 to 6 which was a nice surprise.

Much of the discussion in forums has been by worried bloggers and webmasters whose page rank has decreased and therefore are losing substantial traffic. Dropping down a ranking can mean the difference between a top ten result on Google and a top 100 result.

Jim Hedger is writing over at WebProNews about the page rank change with Google and writes:

‘ Most webmasters will remember last year’s Florida Update which turned Google’s rankings upside down for about eight weeks. That eight week period caused a great deal of turmoil for SEOs, small businesses and web masters. The Florida Update was introduced on November 15, just six weeks before Christmas and at the start of the most important season for retailers. If Google does update it’s algorithm in the next few weeks, another sudden round of “placement dislocation” may occur thus frustrating online retailers desperate for online Christmas sales. While it is impossible to predict such an update with 100% accuracy, there are a number of simple steps webmasters and SEOs can take to protect their clients in the case of a major update.’

Keywords or Keyword Phrases? Effective SEO Strategy

About.com asks the question – should those wanting to optimize their site target single keywords or keyword phrases?



“Consider the keyword “cars.” A quick search for this phrase at Google reveals nearly 20 million web sites competing for a ranking for this phrase. Since studies show that few consumers make it past the first few pages of search results, that means that all but about 30 of these web sites are unlikely to see any traffic from this phrase.

Apart from the fact that even the most skilled SEOs would be hard pressed to earn top rankings on this keyword, it’s also not a very targeted phrase to optimize for. Will the searcher who types “cars” be looking for pictures of cars? Car sales? Car events? New Cars? Old Cars? The list could go on and on.

Web surfers tend to learn very quickly that in order to find what they are looking for, they need to target their search queries more carefully. So…get specific with your keywords.”



Read more at SEO 101 – Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research

New Sites Abandoned by Googlebot

Mike Banks Valentine writes this excellent piece on the plight of new websites in their quest to be ranked by Google.



“As a search engine optimization specialist I often optimize existing web pages for small business clients, upload them to the site and see pages re-indexed by Google within a week.

This only happens with existing business sites that have been online for a few years. Google seems to be updating their index as often as every other week at this point and older established sites that are already indexed seem to be re- crawled on that twice a month schedule on a fairly routine basis.

Two clients that hired me for recent work saw their rankings shoot to the top for a newly targeted search phrase in a weekend when I did optimization on a Thursday and they were ranked instantly by Saturday. Now keep in mind that this doesn’t happen for everyone, only those that have been online for some period and already have significant content that simply needs tweaking and proper title and metatag information added. They usually have relatively good existing PageRank and do well for other RELEVANT search phrases already. I offer that warning only to avoid instilling false hopes in anyone hoping to achieve the same instant ranking boost overnight.”

Read more at Sites Abandoned by Googlebot

Product and Brand Names are Best Keywords

The Daily Rundown (link removed as the site is no longer there)has this interesting piece of analysis about what people are searching for on Google.

‘ 28% of Google searches are for a “product name”, 9% are for a “brand name” and 5% are searches for a “company name”. “Brand” keywords also have a 8x higher ROI than generic keywords. Not sure if that is for all searches or just consumer-product related searches, but either way it demonstrates the importance of making sure your site shows up on the SERPs for your brand.’

Now that is some useful information that fits pretty well with the anecdotal evidence that I’ve seen over the past year. So if you’re reviewing, previewing or just talking about a product you should be as specific as possible with your keywords – put them in your title, in your image tags, and make sure they’re included numerous times in the body of your post.

Search Engine Optimization FAQs

SEO – Seven Most Often Asked Questions is a good article with some FAQs that people often ask about Search Engine Optimization complete with answers that should help anyone wanting to optimize their sites for Search Engines. The first FAQ is:

‘Please help! My website has been banned! I cannot find it anywhere in Google or even in AltaVista for that matter. Since 3 years now, I have been following all the great advice you give in your newsletter and on your website. I’ve always been number 3 or 4 on the first SERP of Google, but now I just cannot find my site anywhere! What should I do? ‘

To Outward Link or not to Outward link….

There is a good article from Wayne Hurlbert at SEO Chat about the pros and cons of outward bound links in terms of SEO on your blog.

“Few topics in search engine optimization (SEO) cause as many heated disputes as the concept of linking out to other sites. Whenever the subject of linking to other sites arises in conversation or on and Internet message forum, the sides in the debate are certain to become very polarized….

Most SEO professionals tend to agree that linking out provides no real boost in link popularity. They rightly point to the fact that the search engines, and especially link-obsessed Google, reward incoming links. The search engines provide no weight to the links going to other websites. With that in mind, many website owners are reluctant to link out to other sites….

Outbound links are not all bad, according to many Internet marketing specialists. By linking out to other related sites, a visitor is provided with even more helpful information on the topic. Sending to traffic to other useful websites is especially important for purely informational sites….”

Read more at Linking Out: Finding the Benefits

Google traffic dropped dramatically for many sites

There is an interesting thread over at Webmaster World’s forums that indicates that a significant number of web masters have noticed a drastic reduction in referals from Google in the past few days. Some are reporting decreases in in Google visitors from numbers like 2000 to 350 or 30,000 to 5,000.

In checking my stats in the past few days I’ve not noticed such a decrease – although it would be my worst nightmare as over 90% of my blogs traffic comes from Google at present and such a decrease would result in a similar reduction in advertising revenue.

Have others noticed such a decrease in Google’s traffic?

Do forum signature links help PageRank and SERPS?

One of the tips I’ve seen given in many SEO articles is that if you add your blog’s URL as a signature in your messages left in forums that you’ll increase your Search Engine Ranking. It makes sense, especially if you use the keywords you’re targeting – however Search Engine FAQ is running a test on the theory and so far it seems that such a strategy is yet to prove to be helpful in increasing page rank.

Read more about this test at Do forum signature links help PageRank and SERPS?

All is not lost however trolling forums to promote your site in signatures is your strategy because it can still send significant traffic to your site if you choose the right forums and are genuine in your comments.

Getting your blog to the top of the Search Engines

Search Engine News Journal has posted 10 great tips to get your blog ranked at the top of the Search Engines. I really like their approach because they acknowledge that it takes time to get your blog high up the rankings. I also like this tip about ‘titles’:

‘Create a killer Title tag. Title tags are critical because they’re given a lot of weight with all of the search engines. You must put your keyword phrases into this tag and not waste space with extra words. Do not use the Title tag to display only your company name, or to simply say “Home Page.” Think of this tag more as a “Title Keyword Tag” and create it accordingly. It should reflect exactly what your page is about, using the keyword phrases people might be using at a search engine to find your company.’

Read more at Search Engine News Journal – Ten Tips to the Top of the Search Engines and read more about how titles are everything.