Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Google+ Social Media Project From Google

With the introduction of Google +1 button in search all were waiting to see what Google is really up to? The +1 button according to Google is "this is pretty cool" or "you should check this out". It is actually a recommendation that any user can make if he finds the result he got using Google search useful. Only thing required for the user is a Google Profile. When a user +1 a search result, his friends will also see it while making the same search.

Google was pushing +1 so hard in the past one month and their effort is showing results. It seems like Google is trying to build a "Social Search Engine" or a "Social Search Network"!!!

Now the wait is over. Google announced a new Social media project called "Google+". It seems like Google is going to revolutionize the concept of social media.

Take a tour of the Google+ features. Some of the features of Google+ are +Circles, +Sparks, +Hangouts, +Mobile.

The key feature is called "+Circles". With this you can create groups based on your interest like Family, Friends, Office and any group name as you wish. What is interesting is you can share your thoughts to any one group or groups you have created. This is something exciting because it is like "real life sharing". In Facebook everything I share can be seen by my Friends and Family. So the +Circles is useful in controlling what I share online. There are so many other exciting features.

Watch out for the next big competition between Facebook and Google. Before any sort of agreement between Facebook and Bing or Blekko or any search engine competitor for a social search media, Google wants to make it clear that they are up for the challenge.

The Google+ project is in field trial and one can join only by invitation. You can join the project.
Few videos have been released.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Play 3 Engine Monte game from Blekko

Are you interested in checking your knowledge on the SERPs of Google, Bing and Blekko? Even a beginner to SEO should be able to analyze the SERP to know about how the search engines are ranking the websites for a search query. Why the search results differ in each of the search engines.

Then you should check out this feature in Blekko. Blekko an open source like search engine introduced a new SEO game.

Visit Blekko. At the bottom you will see a link to the game called "Play 3 engine monte". When you click it a result page will be seen for a random keyword picked by Blekko. The search result pages are of Google, Bing and Blekko.

SEO Trivandrum

Now if you are good in analyzing each result then select a result which you think will be of Blekko. Actually I tried to guess Google. Check out the result. Try your luck for various search queries.

Monday, June 13, 2011

How is traffic and Google PageRank related

How is website traffic and Google PageRank related in SEO?

Website traffic and its PageRank have a correlation. One might help the other. But not necessarily.
To get high traffic you don’t need a high PageRank and to get high PageRank you don’t need high traffic.

If traffic to my website is high will it improve my PageRank?

Google has not mentioned about traffic when it comes to PageRank. Google PageRank is calculated only on the basis of your backlinks. Please refer my post Google PageRank - Relevancy, Quality and Quantity.

Suppose I have a website I used the domain name “Example” as my anchor text in my link building campaign and because of my domain popularity I gained a high PageRank of 5. My competitor who has a PageRank of 2 actually has a very good link building strategy and he targeted for some of the main keywords. The result is that he outranks my high PageRank website for those keywords and his overall traffic is much higher compared to my site.

So which is important? PageRank or traffic?

To me Traffic to my website is more important. If I am getting good business why should I care about PageRank? I am sure that my PageRank will improve in the long run.

You might have seen in so many search results that low PageRank websites are above high PageRank sites. This is because of their proper link building.

Stop worrying about that little green bar and worry more about the visitors. Find solutions to improve traffic.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Google PageRank - Relevancy, Quality and Quantity

PageRank (PR) gives the importance of a page on the web. It is named after Larry Page, cofounder of Google. At first it was called Backrub. PageRank is associated only with Google. It is one among the many factors that determines a page’s ranking in the search results. PageRank has an important consideration in SEO.

Google defines PageRank as below (Google Technology)

“PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. Google's PageRank reflects the importance of web pages by considering more than 500 million variables and 2 billion terms. Pages that Google believe are important pages receive a higher PageRank and are more likely to appear at the top of the search results.

PageRank also considers the importance of each page that casts a vote, as votes from some pages are considered to have greater value, thus giving the linked page greater value. We have has always taken a pragmatic approach to help improve search quality and create useful products, and our technology uses the collective intelligence of the web to determine a page's importance."

Thus Google considers backlinks as votes.

According to Google, if one page A gives a link to page B, then page A is casting a vote for page B. If page B gets more number of votes from many different pages then the importance of page B will increase. The quality of the page A which casts the vote determines the quality of the vote.

There are two kinds of Google PageRank. One is Google Toolbar PageRank and the other is Google’s internal PageRank. Internal PageRank is updated every day. But it is not accessible. Toolbar PageRank can be seen by anyone. It is updated around two times a year. So clearly the toolbar shows outdated PageRank.

From my analysis there are a few factors that help to improve your PageRank.
  • Link Relevancy
  • Link Quality
  • Link Quantity

Link Relevancy:

Wikipedia defines Relevance as “In information science and information retrieval, relevance denotes how well a retrieved document or set of documents meets the information need of the user.”

This is the main idea behind every search engine algorithms. When a user types a query on the search box the search engines search the web for pages that contain the search query and tries to return the most relevant results at the top. Thus relevancy means the relationship between two quantities, here the search query and the search results.

To explain link relevancy we can try to answer some questions.

If I get a backlink from a PR 10 website will it improve my rankings?

Yes. But there are some things to be kept in mind. Google can analyze for which text I have given the hyperlink to my site, that means my anchor text. If I have a website for health insurance and I got a backlink from a high PR site with the anchor text “Visit my website” it won’t help in getting any boost in search rankings. I have to use my keywords as anchor text and in here “health insurance”.

Suppose my health insurance website has a PR of 10. Will it come in search results for every search query?

No. This is also because of anchor text. I targeted only for those keywords which people might use to reach my website. For those keywords my site will be the top result.

Now suppose I have a website selling flowers and I got a backlink from a high PR website which sells electronic circuit boards. Do you think it is relevant to get my backlink there?

Google knows that “flowers” is not any way related to “electronic circuit boards”. So regardless of the high PR backlink I got Google considers the relation (Relevance) between the two websites and it finds nothing and my backlink has no value.

As I have explained, Google will try to determine my website’s PageRank based on the high PR sites from where I get backlinks. It can also perform hyperlink text analysis to calculate how relevant my anchor text is. And most importantly how relevant is the page from where I got the backlink and my website.
I think now you have got an idea about Link Relevancy.

Link Quality:

Link quality means get your backlink from quality (high PR) websites. But with relevancy added to link quality we can redefine link quality as
“Getting backlinks using keywords of your website as anchor text from relevant sites with high PageRank”.

Link Quantity:

There is also link quantity to be considered. If your PageRank is 3 and you get backlinks from PR 2 or PR 1 websites it won’t reduce your PageRank. But it will help to optimize your anchor text. Even though backlinks from sites with low PR than your site will not improve your PR, it will help to bring more visitors to your site.

Not every backlink to your page is counted by Google. Google can filter links from link farms. Webmasters cannot control which sites link to their sites. So links coming to my site from a site penalized by Google won’t harm my site. But if I give an outbound link to such a site it may cause Google to penalize my site as well. So be careful in your link building campaign.

If you consider Google PageRank in your SEO campaign it will definitely help you rank better in search results.