November 2, 2009

PageRank Sculpting

Pagerank Sculpting, what is this? How one can sculpt an unmaterial thing like pagerank? In fact we don’t sculpt PageRank, but it’s distribution within a site. All of us who have one or more sites must admit that some pages are more important than others and we would like that some of them also occur between the results of research, not just our home page. I don’t know who had this idea of modeling the site, but the concept is this: there are important pages within the site that I care about and the others I care less because they have no relevance to the search engines. The idea is to pass more PageRank from those non important to the important pages: it is a redistribution of PageRank. And how we can do it?

The technical procedure is very simple and is accessible to all webmasters. The tip is the using of the tag "nofollow" (again this famous tag). The pages that you want to ignore must be linked from other pages using that tag. In this way the internal links do not pass pagerank to those less important pages, and the available Page Rank is distributed to the most important. Easy to apply and seems also to be very useful in some cases. But is this concept works, is it correct? By my opinion no and I will go to explain my point of view.

Who is familiar with the formula for the calculation of pagerank knows that the pagerank passing to other linked pages drop by a factor of damping (this is not of our interest for this reflection) and depends on the quantity of the number of links. The originators of this technique are confused and thought: putting nofollow tag fore some links, these will not be taken into account for the distribution of pagerank and here is the error. Number of links are used as the probability that one of the links on the page is clicked by a visitor. But the visitor does not see if a link has been tagged and not change anything in its intentions.

My conclusion is that this technique not only does not help the site, but it hurts: the pages linked with nofollow lose pagerank and don’t pass anything to important pages and at the end of the story, all the site is penalized because with less pages, drains less page rank from external links that point it. To those who are not convinced by my argumentation and that in any case would like to try this technique, I can say that this is recognized as legitimate procedure directly from Goolge. If your findings are different from mine, let me to know about.

July 30, 2009

How to get good placement with Search Engines

First of all, let’s say what I consider a good placement in Search Engines. It’s simply, the best thing is to be at first place on the first page of search results, but as good position normally is considered to be at the first page. If your site is present at the second or third page, you will probably have some traffic, but insufficiently to make enough money from your little business, supposing that you use the sponsors that pay you for clicks, or more usually for sell products. Let’s remember that the best clients are the visitors that come from search engines. And we want to have lot of them, so they can click our banners and buy our products.

As you can see from various articles on this blog, the tip to reach a good placement in Google and in other search engines is very simply: have a good pagerank and lot of backlinks to our site. The both of this things are reached in the same mode, submitting the site to directories, top lists and exchanging links with other webmasters that have the same scope as you. The concept is basically very natural and simply but it’s not always easy traduce it in the practice. Some of the directories and top lists, too, are specialized in some particular themes and don’t accept sites with not adequate contents. Lot of webmasters don’t want to trade link with some kind of sites, for example with adult sites, or with those that promote online games, or high yield investments.

The solution of this problem is to create a little network, better if a big one, of own sites, dedicated to the most various themes, and very different contents. From my point of view it’s better not go too far, i.e. the themes should be ours, the things that interest and excite us, that we know something about because in that mode is much more easier dedicate free time to this sites. When we create a net of about ten, twenty sites, it becomes rather hard to maintain and promote them if we haven’t passion. Part of our net can be composed of different blogs that we can freely open with some providers and less important sites can be free hosted (however, be careful to chose a good free hosting; there are on the Internet). The most important thing is differentiate arguments and subjects.

So now we can submit this, let’s call them, secondary sites to the places that our main sites wouldn’t be ever accepted and listed because out of topic. When our secondary sites one day finally reach Google’s pagerank (I forgot to say that this secondary sites must be promoted, but it seemed to me superfluous), we will put the links that point our primary sites and the game is done. Practically we obtained indirect links from the sites that wouldn’t give us direct link.

Construction of one little network with at least 10 sites, but not more then 50 if the network is managed by one person only, is an excellent solution that can greatly increase our revenues, but requires from 2 to 3 years of work. Having such a nice network, tomorrow when we will open a new site, we can give it immediately whole of links that will guarantee a fat achieve of page rank. The better thing is that the network is our, so we can do with what we want, and we can link what we need, without any dependence from other subject of Internet life.

March 16, 2009

Google’s rules

It seems that recently Google has become more severe in appraising the sites that it visits and that applies more penalization in comparison to the past. For those webmasters that earn money working on Internet, be in a condition in which the site is penalized and it doesn't appear in the search results, corresponds to a catastrophe.

Because the basic rule to earn money with a Internet site is very simple and consists in the being on the first page for the search. No visitors from the search engines, and we know everybody that Google is used from more than the 90% of the navigators, means no money for webmasters. It’s happened to me, too, to be victim of this last wave of the penalizations, and with this article I want to revise the rules of Google together with you; this has been useful for me and I hope for you, too.

The basic condition during the process of the preparation of a site and during its promotion is to examine and respect the rules given by Google, that can be found on the following page:
Let’s see together the basic concepts. They are separated in three groups, and in this way I have prepared my exposure, adding something from my own experience.

Design and content

Shortly, it is advise to use the site structure with static link and that all the pages that want to be considered by, are linked from at least one other page: in this way the search engines can easily find all the resources of the site. The body text must contain the keywords, those tied to the topic of the site. Obligatorily use Title and Alt tag, and if Description tag is used, it should be at least 20 words long. There are also the councils how to organize dynamic pages, but my advise is to avoid them, when this is reasonable. Moreover, control that all the link are working and this is worth also for the connected images. The number of the link on a page would not have to exceed 100, considering the sum of internal and external links. At the end it is advised to write the important texts as text, not to insert them in the images; Google isn’t able to read the text inserted on the images.

Technical aspects of site

During the creation of the site and before putting it online, it is advised to control its “readability” using different browsers, as for example Microsoft Internet Explorer, FireFox, etc, in order to assure the compatibility and correct accessibility with all of them. It is important for the visitors, but also for the robots of the search engines, because they can interpret the same html code in a different way. I always try to produce the most simple HTML code possible, excluding Javascript, visual basic and css, where not closely necessary. These aspects contain also a series of the councils for the server settings, using the robot.txt files, and so on.

Quality requirements for the site

This part of the rules is the most important, because not respect of some of them can induce Google to penalize the website, as it declares explicitly. First of all Google insists to create your site for your visitors, and not for search engines. The fact is that if the site is enough good to attract attention of the surfers, the same should happened with the search engines, obviously if the site respects Google policy. There are the list of the “dangerous” actions that can cause the penalization or, still worse, expulsion of the site from the search results of Google. It’s prohibited use of hidden text (very used practice in the past, still remained in the memory of some webmaster), cloaking, the practice to show different pages to search engines and to visitors, duplicate content copied from other sites, and so-called doorway pages, the pages wrote only for the search engines, in order to obtain the placing for the several keywords.

On the other pages, connected to this with the guidelines, some details are explained, but the new ones can be found, too. One of this, very important, is the concept of the natural link, the fact that the site are linked spontaneously by other sites, duo to its quality. This concept produces another rule: no pay link, because buy links to own site isn’t natural. And here is another catch: also the links that link sponsors can be considered as pay link and your site can be penalized for this.

This rule is debatable, but the master (read Google) has always reason, so what can we do to resolve the problem.? Nothing fear, the solution is very simple and also confirmed by Google: it’s enough to insert the attribute rel=”nofollow” in all links that go to sponsors’ site.

February 11, 2009

More about Nofollow tag

Few days ago I was contacted by a webmaster that wanted to exchange index page link with one my site. I made a detailed analysis of his site, the thing I always do to be sure that it’s a good trade, and I discover that he has more then hundred links, about 130 if I remember well, on the index page, where my link should be inserted. One of the rule that I respect when I trade links is to not make exchange with pages with mode then 100 links (I consider together external and internal links), because this is against Google policy.

I responded to the webmaster that I’m not interested and I explained the reason. He let me know that for more then 60 links on the his page have nofollow tag, so he support the thesis that he has only about 70 links. I thought about and I concluded that nofollow tag shouldn’t influence the page rank vale passed to the linked page, because the concept is, as we can see from page rank formula, that the total number of links represent the probability that one of them would be clicked by a surfer that visits the site. So nofollow tag, that isn’t visible for a normal surfer (you must open the html source to see it), doesn’t increase the probability that other links, without it, be chosen by visitor.

I sent an e-mail to the webmaster, and I said him that I’m not interested due to my opinion that nofollow tag doesn’t change the real page rank values passed. I’m not really sure that my opinion is really right, but I put it in my know-how notes. Of course, the webmaster didn’t share my thought, but at the end of the story, we didn’t make a trade.

I want to conclude this article with ask a question that this days I make to me: where will be the next Google update of Tool Bar PR, and if Google will respect the regularity of this as it did the past year. However, Google updated at the end of January, but that update wasn’t visible on the Tool Bar.