I have a small business and I am trying to increase my Google PageRank
on one of my pages in particular. I currently have 4/10 or sometimes
3/10 and I recently submitted a piece of software to 350 or more
software archives. Most if not all of these download sites link to
the page. Is this a significant amount of links? What should I
expect my PageRank to become after this?
Also, if there is anything else I should be doing, please let me know.
My initial response to David was simply, "Why do you care about your
Apparently, Google recently updated the toolbar PageRank on tons of
pages and it has put people back in PageRank mania mode. Our forum is
full of threads on it, with everyone all in a tizzy. I'd say this is
as good a time as any to revisit my "PageRank Mania" article. I've
edited it to address today's PageRank concerns. Enjoy! - Jill
PageRank Mania Revisited
Every day there are numerous forum posts asking how to increase
PageRank, and every day I and the other moderators ask the posters the
Why do you link to the sites you link to? Is it because they're
useful and informative and might be worthwhile to your site visitors?
Or is it because you hope you'll get a reciprocal link, which just
might boost your PageRank? Perhaps it's some combination of these
things, or other reasons altogether.
Everyone likes having links to their site; that is a given. When
they're from appropriate sites, inbound links often bring a lot of
high-quality traffic. In fact, the Web was founded on the practice of
linking, which is why it's called the "Web." Without linking, I guess
it would be just a list. Welcome to the World Wide List. Doesn't
have a very good ring to it now, does it?
As soon as people realized that search engines such as Google were
placing an emphasis on who's linking to whom in their ranking
algorithms, all hell broke loose as far as I'm concerned. I'll never
forget the feeling of dread I felt when I read the first post in
I-Search many, many years ago that went something like, "Hey...I've
got a great idea! Since the search engines are counting the number of
links to sites in their ranking algorithms, why don't we all link our
sites to each other?" Whoohoo! Witness the birth of the link farm.
It didn't take "savvy" Webmasters long to realize that they could
create whole bunches of sites for one company, and link them all
together to *artificially* inflate their link popularity. If there's
a way to trick the engines, you betcha plenty of people will figure
out how to do it. But this is old news.
Google's done its best to put a stop to this sort of manipulation.
Many sites that belonged to old-time link farms found their PageRank
scores disappearing and their backward links vanishing. Without any
real links, rankings in the search results are difficult if not
impossible to obtain.
For awhile, link farms became a thing of the past. However, the
latest craze is to buy "text ads" on any and all sites, regardless of
the relevancy of the content. In many cases this works beautifully
because it's pretty difficult for Google to figure out the difference
between a true link that is a vote for a site and a paid-for ad that
is simply there to manipulate PageRank. However, even this house of
cards is starting to fall. We're starting to see many of the sites
that were successfully selling text-based link ads suddenly not
passing any PageRank to the sites they link to. I heartily applaud
Google for their efforts on this. I do wish they could move a bit
faster though, as it's still working on most sites that use this
Unfortunately, the spammers have again ruined things for regular old
Webmasters who just want to do the right thing. People are completely
confused and dazed as to the best way to obtain links to their sites.
Suddenly, there's a mad scramble to try to figure out "safe" linking
procedures. Everyone is scared to link or get linked to because of
the fear of penalization. More and more people are asking what the
criteria are to safely link sites together.
The answer is simple -- don't buy or trade links with irrelevant sites
just for the PageRank value and don't build bunches of sites for the
sole purpose of linking them together.
That said, if you already own multiple sites (that weren't created for
the purpose of link popularity), of course you can link them together
if it makes sense to do so from a usability perspective. In other
words, if it adds value to the user to have a link from one of your
sites to another of your sites, then of course you should do it.
That's what linking is all about. And no, you don't have to pretend
that the sites all have different owners by placing them on different
servers and obtaining different IP addresses. You only need to do
that if you have something to hide, which of course you don't.
The search engines understand that regular, normal businesses often
have numerous Websites.
I refuse to believe that Google or any other search engine is looking
for ways to make fewer sites show up in their search results. They're
not interested in banning sites that provide great information. They
*are* interested in maintaining the integrity of their search results,
however. Therefore, I suggest you don't ruin an otherwise great site
by attempting to trick the search engines. You may not get caught
today; you may not even get caught tomorrow. Heck, you may never get
caught. But if you do, you'll have to start over from scratch in
order to redeem yourself.
Sadly, it appears that PageRank is often the driving factor in how and
why people link to each other, and that is just plain wrong. When a
site owner refuses to link to a great site that might be useful to
their visitors simply because it's only a PR3 or 2 or even zero, then
we've got a huge problem. To me, links are not a commodity to be
bought, sold and traded, even though I realize that they most
definitely are being used this way. I link to other sites and
discussions when it's appropriate to do so, and not with the caveat
that I get a link back. If it's helpful, it's helpful whether or not
they link back to my site.
Like I always say, search engine optimization is all about making your
site the best it can be. When we become so consumed by what sites we
can and can't link to, or even whether we can link at all, then we're
not making our site the best it can be. We're letting other factors
dictate our site content, and that's just not right.
June 14, 2004
CEO and founder of High Rankings®, Jill Whalen has been performing search engine optimization since 1995 and is the host of the free High Rankings Advisor search engine marketing newsletter, author of "The Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines" and founder/administrator of the popular High Rankings Search Engine Optimization Forum. In 2006, Jill co-founded SEMNE,
a local search engine marketing networking organization for people and companies in New England.
High Rankings is an internationally recognized search engine optimization firm located in Framingham, MA specializing in search engine optimization, SEO consultations, in-house training, site audit reports, search marketing seminars and workshops. High Rankings has a 100% success rate for substantially improving client rankings and targeted traffic.
Jill speaks at national and international conferences and has been writing
about SEO and search marketing since 2000. She's been quoted in such
publications as The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report and The
Washington Post. Her articles have appeared in numerous print magazines and
online websites including CIO Magazine, CMS Focus, The Internet Marketing
Report, ClickZ, WorkZ, Inc.com, Entrepreneur, Lycos Small Business,
WebProNews, SiteProNews and others. Jill has also appeared on many online
and offline radio programs such as Entrepreneur Magazine's E-Biz Radio Show,
SearchEngineRadio and the eMarketing Talkshow.