September 24, 2007
Google’s PR rating – the page rank of your site – is one of the factors that Google uses for ranking most relevant items when it pulls up a search engine. Higher PR ratings are considered more relevant, and getting the highest PR for your site is one of the keys to doing traffic building.
Google generates its PR numbers by an arcane process that they don’t reveal, and they tweak the algorithms all the time, to avoid spamdexing and link farming. Three elements that go into the page ranking are keyword validity, the number of links that tie back to your page, and the PR rating of those back links.
We’re going to discuss how all three of those can be made to work for you, in the context of social networking sites.
First of all, we’re going to look at keyword validity. Because the presumption is that social indexing sites are rated by and voted on by real human beings, Google’s PR system trusts social networking sites to give keyword validation. This is in comparison to assorted search engine optimization plans that result in pages of near utter gibberish, designed to be read and indexed by web spiders, not human beings. Remember, it doesn’t do you any good to get on Google’s first search page results if doing so means that the person reads two sentences and hits their back button! We realize that’s a heretical position among internet marketers, but it’s the absolute truth.
The second component of PR is how many links feed back to your site; this gets a little dicey, because there are techniques to build huge arrays of meaningless back links to sites called spamdexing (an attempt to artificially boost your site’s rankings by using short term links on places like Digg to put lots of links back to your site) and link farming (where you join a network that automatically adds a link back to your site on everyone else’s). These are pretty easy to filter out, so these techniques (like badly over-SEO’d text) tend to only be used by cut rate marketers who havn’t kept their search engine knowledge up to date.
The real trick is to get links back to your site from high PR sites themselves. Since Google tends to give high PR ratings to pages on sites like Netscape.com, Digg, and del.icio.us, and they tend to have community voting, a good article with a link back to your site can generate a few hours at a high PR rating back link…or, for topics that don’t get a lot of churn in their discussion, you can get a whole day or so. The reason this is important is that those front pages of social networking sites have PR numbers of 8 or 9, and that, applied consistently, will give your site a PR of 4 or 5 right out the gate. Even their archives have high PR numbers, in the realm of 5 to 7 – and the links can persist in the archives for months.
This all ties back to getting multiple links and link relevance through keywords. If you’ve got good content linked to on those sites, the users get to vote if it’s relevant. The more positive votes you get, the longer you stay on that front page “news service” page, and the longer you take to drift out of the archives. Furthermore, the longer you stay there, the likelier it is that outside people will both follow the links to your site, and will link to your site of their own volition…but this gets back to the mantra that content is king.
It doesn’t matter how optimized your site it, it has to give people a good reason to come back. It’s got to build a sense of community and trust, and it’s got to give the readers valuable information. This is why we advocate things like a multi-part tutorial with the parts linked in on these sites every second day or so), and giving your readers blog posts and things like that to comment on. You don’t have to give away the whole farm, but you do have to make sure that you give enough out that the people who vote on these social networking sites don’t decide you’re a spider-bait website and vote you into oblivion. You also need to make sure that your site’s presence on these pages doesn’t come off as being too overly commercial. It’s far better to have someone link to your site and say “Woah, this is cool…”
Indeed, cultivating the “woah, this is cool!” referral is the height of internet marketing….and depending on where it happens (such as slashdot.org) it may shut your site down as you burn two months of bandwidth in six hours. So be aware of what can happen if this really takes off.
Author: Gary Fritts has been a full time internet business owner and online marketing trainer for 10 years and is the Senior Trainer at the Wealth Magnet System. A visit to his website will provide many more valuable tips from the vaults of the Wealth Magnet System