Saturday, October 22, 2005

How to Increase Page Rank

I'm sitting in my formal living room, feet up on the carousel table that graces the space between the leather couch and the Yamaha Disklavier grand piano. The bottom of the Compaq notebook (c 1999) is hotter than an iron. My Google Desktop is rotating photos of a recent trip to Chicago. The AdSense plugin impresses me with the clicks, CTR and best of all, Earnings for the hour.

Recently, my daughter surprised me with a "birthday party" in this same room, complete with party hats and cake, and even took the picture. She's only five, and the camera is pretty sophisticated.

It is impressive when you think how far the technology has come to make all this possible.

Google itself has evolved. A news search shows 26,900 entries for "google". They seem to be into everything, with no technology safe. At the same time, everyone wants to be on their bandwagon. Get in good with Google and maybe some of the profit will rub off on you, no?

One of the most coveted pieces of Google is their Page Rank. Now, if you search for "How to Increase Page Rank", you'll get 275 entries. When you search just "page rank", you get an unbelievable two million, 930 thousand. So, obviously it's pretty important. There are ebooks, online courses, programs and teleconferences - more training than you can shake a stick at. So who do you believe and which do you choose?

Interestingly enough, Page Rank was the impetus for the Google Search Engine. Co-founder Larry Page was frustrated that then top search engine AltaVista displayed results, but in no given "rank" or order of importance. The driving factor of getting listed higher was tied to how many of the search keywords you had in your web page (and meta tags).

Larry created "BackRub", software for spidering how many "back" links a site had. Depending on the importance of the web linking to the site, Larry's software ranked that page higher in relevance. BackRub gave way to a new name, Page Rank, named after its creator, Larry Page.

I started this blog on September 11, 2005. On October 21, 2005 the blog had a page rank of 5. How did that happen? In spite of what you read, there are only a few things that will increase your page rank. The first one is something I have preached since the beginning of this blog - and that is, "content". If you've followed the posts, or read the archives, you know I've experimented with some software that posts the headlines related to a topic you can choose. I don't consider this scraping because on none of the sites do I steal or scrape an article and post it as it were my own.

None of these sites rank as well as content that is written from research or from a passion. What other than content? Content of "value". And that is what will drive visitors to your site. When they see something of value, they will stop and read - and most importantly, if they have a website - "link" to you. And just like a newspaper - an ad or two may catch their eye and they will follow it to see what it's about. (Think of how much more powerful contextual ads are when they deal with the same topic as your web page?!)

Content. Content with value. What else?

I also outline early on how important it was to get people to subscribe to your blog, even if it's your friends and family. Every link helps. And even more important is telling the blog search engines like Technorati and Syndica8, where you are. Make it easy for people to find you.

Then, of course, there are "links". When you read how page ranking works, you'll see that most of it has to do with who links to you. The idea is someone would only link to your site if they considered you important.

Let's break it down.

  1. Content is king. Write about stuff that is interesting. Make sure it is fresh.
  2. Write something of value. No one will hang around for fluff.
  3. Get listed. Find the blog search engines and add your blog.
  4. Get linked. If you have a site with a page rank, link to it. If you don't, try buying some links on eBay. Try to stay within your category - again, make it of value for someone to bother clicking on your link.

Patience helps. Be patient. Google re-ranks every 80 - 90 days. It may take that long to get "ranked" if you started shortly after they ran their last update.

Ask questions. I will help with what I know, or direct you to some great resources. Experiment. Get in for the long term.

Now, there you go! Once you get it down to a system, you'll have time to have tea and birthday parties on the carpet - and not stress about your contextual ads.

Problems with My AdSense Ads

Hurricane Wilma can't make up its mind. A monster storm has many parameters of influence. Those we often hear about; ocean temperature, terrain and weather fronts, make up only a fraction of what drives a tropical cyclone.

Hundreds of other details, jet stream, sun storms, eye wall height, to name a few, also play a big part in where the storm will go and at what strength.

fortunately for webmasters like you, your challenges with making AdSense work is simpler. The thing that drives AdSense is the context of your web page that the Google engine can decipher, nothing else.

That said, I get many questions like, "if that's the case, why can't I see AdSense ads on my page"? Another biggie is, "the ads Google serves have little to do with my context. What's up?" We've all seen the Public Service ads, especially on pages Google has little inventory for.

So, what's the answer?

Until recently you had to "Google" your way across cyberspace to find your answer. But now, Google itself has created "Troubleshooting Wizards" to help you find the solution. Yes, Google is into just about everything, but no, these aren't physical wizards with cone shaped hats. Hopefully they'll never get into that.

Predicting the landfall of a hurricane is much like the stock market. Past performance doesn't guarantee future results. However, these tips will better steer your AdSense campaigns to a bigger bottom line.

Here they are:

I placed the AsSense code in my HTML, but no ads appear.
All my ads are Public Service ads. How can I change them?
The ads don't appear to match the context of my site.
I don't want my competitors showing up in my AdSense.

Until next time,
Keep fine tuning!