Thursday, June 28, 2012

Website Success, the Google Algorithm, PageRank and Keyword Difficulty

Ever wondered why your website is not on the top Google results page for your prized keywords? The answer lies in website popularity.
Top Positioning and the Google Algorithm
Google gauges website and webpage popularity, also called authority, by links from other websites. PageRank is Google's evaluation of the popularity of a webpage. Webpage positioning for a keyword in Google's search engine results pages is determined by the Google algorithm: Popularity carries greater weight than content.
PageRank and Keyword Difficulty
A newly indexed webpage has PageRank 0 and the most popular webpages have PageRank 10. PageRank is on a logarithmic scale. A webpage on a website with high popularity will be positioned above a webpage on a lower popularity website, everything else being equal.
Many top positioned webpages for desirable keywords have PageRank 0 and this leads most web professionals to question the value of PageRank. Others believe that PageRank is the top factor in the Google algorithm and it provides the best indication of keyword difficulty. Keyword difficulty is an indication of the competitive strength of the top webpages for that keyword.
Several keyword difficulty tools incorporate webpage PageRank to evaluate competition. In one eBook, the PageRanks of the top 10 webpages on Google for the keyword 'Soundbar Reviews' were:
8+4+2+0+1+1+1+9+5+8 = 39/10 = 3.9 average.
This example would support those who question the value of PageRank.
HomePage PageRank
The current HomePage PageRanks for the top webpages for 'Soundbar Reviews' are
6+4+4+7+6+6+5+8+4+5 = 5.5 average.
HomePage PageRank seems to be a better indicator of keyword difficulty than the PageRank of the page. Google tells us that PageRank of websites as well as PageRank of webpages are important. The PageRank of a website may mean all the incoming PageRank link juice to the website. We have no way to measure this but HomePage PageRank acts as a useful indication.
The majority of top performing webpages are on websites with PageRank of at least 4 (64% in a series of nearly 50,000). This is compelling evidence that HomePage PageRank is a major player in the Google algorithm.
The current HomePage PageRanks for the top 10 webpages on for 'Windsor website designer' are:-
3+3+4+4+5+0+1+2+0+5 average =2.7
(Underlined numbers indicate that these webpages are HomePages).
The three webpages with HomePage PageRanks 0, and 1 are HomePages. Thousands of keyword analyses demonstrate that Google must be giving a boost to the effective HomePage PageRank when HomePages are competing for keywords. This works like a golf handicap system designed to level the playing field. It means small business websites have a chance to successfully compete against locality and professional directory websites that have higher popularity. The majority of top positioned webpages on websites with low HomePage PageRanks are HomePages. For SEO purposes, only the HomePage receives this boost.
Every search engine optimizer believes he knows a lot about the algorithm but the truth is that only Google holds the key. We must individually look at the evidence and come to our own conclusions.
Associated HomePage PageRank
Extensive analyses shows HomePages with PageRank less than 5, are boosted to an effective PageRank of 4.5 when they are competing for a keyword. In the analysis of 50,000 top webpages for 5,000 keywords, this boost came into play for 30% of top webpages. With this adjustment boost, the effective HomePage PageRanks for the top 10 webpages for 'Windsor website designer' becomes
4.5+3+4+4+5+4.5+4.5+5+4.5+5 average = 4.4
There are at least 200 factors in the Google algorithm. HomePage PageRank has the greatest influence particularly if one accepts the 'boost theory.' Analysing keyword difficulty using PageRank anaylysis of the webpages and corresponding HomePages on Google's top results page for a keyword is simple to do. The only way you can convince yourself one way or the other is to put it to the test.
Webpage PageRank and the Google Algorithm
A problem arises when several top webpages for a keyword are HomePages. Their adjusted average HomePage PageRanks will all be around 4.5. If we look at the examples of 'Windsor website designer', 'Manchester website designer' and 'London website designer' their respective average adjusted HomePage PageRanks are 4.4, 4.6 and 4.8.
The HomePage of a new website would be boosted to an effective HomePage PageRank of 4.5 for the keywords it targets. It is tempting to assume that if a new website was to compete for 'London website designer' with its HomePage, top page positioning could be quickly achieved.
  • For 'Windsor website designer' the average PageRank of the webpages on the top Google results page is 2.4 and two HomePages have PageRank 0.
  • The average PageRanks for 'Manchester website designer' is 3.9 and the lowest PageRank of the top webpages is 3.
  • For 'London website designer' it is 4.1 with a lowest PageRank of 2.
It becomes apparent that your HomePage needs popularity in the order of PageRank 3 or 4 to successfully compete for 'London website designer' and this will take time.
Clearly PageRank of webpages is a factor in the Google algorithm although it is not quite as powerful as HomePage PageRank. Full analysis of webpage and associated HomePage PageRanks of the webpages on the top Google results page (SERP) for your keywords shows you the popularity of your main competitors websites and webpages.
Research shows:
  • HomePage PageRank is the top factor in the Google algorithm.
  • Google boosts the effective PageRank of HomePages of low authority websites to 4.5 when they are competing for keywords.
  • Averaged HomePage PageRanks, including the boost, of the webpages on the top Google results page for a keyword is the top indicator of keyword difficulty.
  • PageRank of webpages remains an important factor in the Google algorithm.
  • Averaged PageRanks of the webpages on the top Google results page is a secondary indicator of keyword difficulty.
Website Success
Search engine optimization aims to maximize targeted visitors to a website. There are many programs and optimizers who promise that with their guidance you can reach the top on Google for any keyword you choose.
The fact is that if your competition for a keyword has high popularity as indicated by webpage and HomePage PageRanks, and you have a website has low popularity, you cannot succeed.
If you target niche keywords that are in range for your website, you will gradually increase the popularity of your websites and ever more desirable keywords can be successfully targeted. Start small and build gradually.
David Viniker MD FRCOG has 30 years experience with computer applications for medical education and he has applied the principles of evidence based practice to SEO: He is a doctor trained to practice evidence based medicine. David has published compelling and easily verifiable evidence that HomePage PageRank is the top factor in the Google positioning algorithm and that Google provides a boosting adjustment to HomePages that are competing for a keyword. He has developed a new, essential keyword technique and corresponding tool - which calculates keyword difficulty based on HomePage PageRank. Danny Dover, who was the lead SEO at, in his book "Search Engine Optimization Secrets" explains the difficulty in producing a program that automatically obtains PageRank information.
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How to Get More Web Site Traffic Using Only Free Methods

While there are many ways to jump start a websites traffic intake, some webmasters simply don't have the necessary resources to take action like some of the big guys. But luckily, there are a few ways to get increased web site traffic for free! You won't have to spend any of your hard earned money, yet you will be able to generate as much website traffic as you want. Sounds like a dream come true, right? Well it is! However, to make that dream a reality, you will have to motivate yourself to work harder and get more done.
Some people will tell you that paying for advertising is a lot more effective than using free methods. Well, that is often an opinion and NOT a fact. The truth is that free traffic techniques can be just as effective, if not more effective than paid methods. It really boils down to how you utilize your knowledge, as well as how well you know your target audience.
If you're trying to get a person to your website, yet you don't have a single clue about their wants or needs, you will fail. No ifs, ands, or buts about it, you will fail. Therefore, whether you take the paid or the free route, you won't get any traffic if you don't know what you're doing.
Free Method Number 1
Find some online forums and online communities and then sign-up for a free membership. Forums and online communities are an excellent source of traffic because each one will usually fit a certain demographic; thereby allowing you to narrow down your target forums. For instance, if you have a website or product that is related to anti-virus software, you wouldn't join a gardening forum, would you? Of course not. You would find software and/or PC security related forums and start posting there. As you can see, it all about finding a niche forum for your chosen niche.Don't get ahead of yourself and just start posting willy-nilly; you'll get nowhere fast. Instead, take your time, familiarize yourself with the forum, and then target an area of the forum you want to start in; usually a sub-forum. Discuss the topic at hand, give your opinion, offer advice, and just be interested in the topic; which shouldn't be too hard.
After awhile, people will start recognizing you and they will be eager to hear what you have to say; as long as you speak intelligently of course. Spend enough time in a forum and your reputation as an expert is bound to increase. Also, always have a signature attached to your posts. You never know who might be looking. Remember, every little bit helps.
Free Method Number 2
Another great, yet marginal, method is link exchanging and directory submission. Some people think directory submission is not worth the hassle, while other internet marketers believe this to be a great technique. It really depends on the directories you submit to and how many of them you actually submit to. Some of them have higher PR (page rank) than others, so each person's results will vary. However, no one can deny the fact that having their link on a PR8+ website is a wonderful thing.On the flip side, link exchanging involves you contacting webmasters with a niche website similar to yours and then requesting a link exchange from them. They put your link on their website, and you put theirs on your site. You both get a one way link and you may even get a little bit of traffic out of the deal. It's really not a bad method, but it should still be used in moderation.
Although directory submission is very much alive, many people consider webmaster-to-webmaster link exchanges to be dead. Whether that is actually true or not remains to be unseen. But the odds are good that a few webmasters are still doing it somewhere.
Free Method Number 3
Perhaps the greatest free traffic method ever is article marketing. Article marketing is free, simple, and undeniably powerful. Getting increased web site traffic is truly a breeze with a keyword rich, well distributed article.Articles are usually quick & to the point, which is exactly the type of information the average websurfer craves. Most people don't want to read a 20 page report about a topic, let alone a 3000 word article. Instead, they would rather read a short, yet informative article that tells them everything they need to know. This is exactly where you come in, as you will write the small informative article, provide the reader with the necessary information, and then offer even more information or a great deal in return for reading your article. If they like the article, they will be thrilled with your offer and they'll click on the link in your resource box, which will then lead them to your web site.
The vital pieces of a good article are: keywords, unique content, great title, wide distribution, and an outstanding resource box. If you can put all those pieces together to create one article, you will get more web site traffic than you can imagine.

Free Method Number 4
Having great, unique web site content is the biggest rival to article marketing, as it too can be an EXTREMELY effective method of generating traffic. This method is a lot like article marketing too; you must use highly searched (low competition) keywords, you need to have unique content, and you have to provide the visitor with information and keep them interested at the same time. The only difference here is that the content will be only your web site and not on an article directory.Search engines scour the internet for websites with updated, unique content and then they add those sites to their listings. When a person does a search for a specific keyword, the most relevant websites are displayed. Therefore, your goal is to turn your site into one of those "most relevant" websites. If you can do that, generating free traffic hits won't be a problem.
Start using the 4 free methods above and you will have increased web site traffic within just a few weeks, guaranteed!
Are You Tired Of Having a "Great" Website, but Virtually No Traffic? Then You Need To Check Out These
80 Free Traffic Tips!

To Get More Traffic Techniques & Information, Go To..., the #1 Resource For Website Traffic Information!
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The Advantage Of Using Link Directories For SEO

Do you know that much about SEO? Do you understand that the more links you get back to your site will mean the better your site will look in the eyes of the search engines? What most people don't understand about SEO (search engine optimization) is that the amount of links don't matter, the quality of the links do. With that in mind it is not a natural process to only get links from article directories, blog comments, forum posts, and things like that, you need to mix it up.
What most people don't realize is that mixing up the links that point back to your site will not only make it much stronger but they will also help you get a diverse group of traffic to your site as opposed to just the same people over and over again. In many people's opinion it is best to use link directories to help get your SEO campaign up and running. One of the greatest things surrounding a link directory is they don't take that long to submit to and there are a ton of them that you can use.
Benefits of utilizing link directories for SEO reasons
Fast submissions - The benefit that many people really like is the fact that doing a submission takes just a few seconds. The biggest problem with most link building methods is they take a while to do and that is why link directories are so beneficial to you. What you must understand is that directories are very easy to do but the problem with fast submissions is if you do too many in one day then your site will look spammy and it will possibly get flagged by the search engines. Trust me when I tell you that there has to be a happy medium when it comes to link building.
Easy to understand - One great benefit is they are very simple to understand. Aren't you tired of getting links denied for not having the best spelling, for not putting your title in capitals, for doing something minor that they somehow picked up? This is one thing that will not take place in regards to directories.
Good results - Link directories might not be the best links available right now but the good thing is they still have some power in the online world. What you must understand is a link directory is not going to send you thousands of visitors every month. The link directory is simply there to help you get results through the search engines, not from the directory themselves.
Great start - As I said before, links should be built naturally and over a number of different methods. If you are building links from directories, blog comments, forum posts, and article marketing then you will have a very strong position in the search engines when all the links get picked up.
Just remember that you will have to get out there and see which web link directory will work best to start with. There are lots out there so just know that you will have your hands full with simply submitting to link directories.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

SEO Link Building Strategies: Free Link Directories, Do They Still Work For SEO?

SEO Link Building Strategies: Free Link Directories, Do They Still Work For SEO?
Are free directories still a good way of building links to your website? There are hundreds of websites out there that have a high page rank, but are they all going to give you a link for free if you spend time submitting to them? On February 20th I applied to 100 directories manually with all of the necessary data. Where there was an option to leave a reciprocal link on my website, I did, just to see if it would aid the process of getting my link approved.
So after 7 days, I can confirm that most of the work was a waste of time.
Firstly, there are warning signs on sites, where the site says there are 1,600 active links, and 100,000 pending, it's pretty obvious that only paid links would get a look in, or it's a graphic (not a live status) designed to get people to part company with their money to get a link.
Strategy and Warning Signs:
  • Not all directories are unique, it's easy to spot templates that have been re-used. I do have a list on my site of mirrored directories.

  • Even if you get an email confirming the listing, check them by looking for your listing in the website search bar. Some have automated responders after a period of time that are not correct.

  • Pick a category that relates to your niche market.

  • Where the directory is edited by humans, this will have far more value as it's being managed to create quality resource for visitors.

  • Only sign up to directories that have strict guidelines for submissions. You do not want to link to a site that is related to gambling and x-rated material.

  • Check the links to get to your category within the website (not the search bar). If you get a 404 page not found, leave the website as it's of poor quality.

  • Don't expect to get any visitors from a standard directory. You are more likely to receive business and leads from a local directory. There are usually business listings off the back of local newspaper websites.

  • The more links on the category page you are going for, the less value your link will pass to your website.
The other warning signs are that it can take up to 6 months for a review to get a link back on some of the sites. If you think I'm going to wait around for 6 months to find out it is nonsense you'd be wrong!
Depending on your budget, local businesses can get away with adding maybe 6, larger corporations and organisations, a lot more. The reason for carrying out this test was to check if free links worked, they don't. The directories I used do accept payment for links, and will give you them for a small fee. If your website is critical to building or maintaining your business and you're not already at the top of the search engines, put aside $200-$300 to submit to these directories. Standard process of checking what you have submitted to, when you paid, how much you paid, the PR and that the link is live need to be kept in a spreadsheet. These links are for life, it's worth checking them in the in future in case they remove you to maintain their own 'link juice' and PR.
Quicker Submissions:
Go to a directory and you will be given some empty fields to fill in. Set up a word or note document so you can draft some descriptions.
  • Title
  • Description (200 or 500 characters)
  • Meta Description (160 characters)
  • Keywords (pick between 4 and 8 related to what you're trying to rank for)
  • Have an email address that you don't mind getting filled up with email verifications and marketing subscription emails.
When you've filled in your first one and you're happy that it is a good listing, copy and paste into all the other directories the same information to speed up the process.
Please note that this is a fraction of any SEO process. Smaller local businesses stand to gain more from this respectively than any other size of business.
Brendan M Smith Freelance SEO Consultant.
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