Yahoo! Update: Earlier in the week on Tuesday, there was an interesting change with Yahoo! and their search result page. They listed ten ads down the right-hand column, in a very “Google AdWords-ish” look. But these ads were not from Google AdWords, rather they were from Overture. On Monday, Yahoo! extended their deal with Overture and it looks like they are serious about solidifying their relationship.
However, everything returned to “normalcy” on Wednesday and we haven’t seen this new look since. If this does occur in the near future, this would be a great move for Overture customers. Currently, the top three Overture bids appear at the top of the search results listings and the 4th and 5th results appear at the bottom of the listings. Since this would allow for the Top Ten bids to display, it makes more sense why Overture increased their minimum bid price to ten cents, as we reported to you earlier in the week. Generally, positions 6-10 are at the minimum, and since these bids will receive more exposure, Overture will be able to grab more revenue.
Google Update: The Google Dance has concluded, but the data center was not quite stable, so the results have been mixed in our testing last week. Following past trends, the data center was stable on Monday morning. Google tends to use the weekend and the reduction in use as a time to achieve this stability.
This update, while it was extensive, places the data center “in flux” just as it was last November. At this time, 38% of the sites we monitor had a drop in PageRank, even though their number of links increased. The same has happened with this update with 31% of our sites (they again suffered a one point drop in PageRank even though their link popularity increased). If this happened to your site, don’t be alarmed (as it happened to our corporate site). In the next update, you should be right back where you were before.
If you are worried about losing your search result rankings because of this drop in PageRank, don’t worry. In November we saw no decrease in rankings because of the point loss in PageRank. This is just another piece of evidence that the Google Toolbar in not always an accurate indicator of PageRank.
Tip: After the Dance concludes, you should manually check all of your external links to check if your link partners have been banned by Google. It has been proven in testing that we have performed that linking to a banned site (page) will result in a point penalty by Google. Any external site that has a PageRank of 0/10, remove the link immediately. If they are a link partner, advise them of your move and why. Inform them to recontact you once their PageRank reached 4/10.
Google’s Link Structure: A site has launched a free service to allow you to see a “Google View” of your linking structure. We just found out about this site last week and have been experimenting with it. It does require the installation of Java JRE 1.3+ – a 10MB download.
The benefit: It makes use of Google’s Similar Pages feature and graphically shows the interrelationships between connected sites. You will find sites that you were not aware of that connect with you. This could allow you to find relationships that you were not aware of and strengthen them to boos your overall PageRank.
Yahoo! Renewals: If you submitted your site to Yahoo! after December 28, 2001, you are subject to the $299.00 annual fee. Yahoo! automatically bills your credit card upon the renewal date. To find out when your site is up for renewal, simply go to the category where your site is listed and choose “Suggest A Site”, then choose Yahoo! Express. Enter your username and password. After you have logged in, click on “My Account.” This will take you to the Yahoo! Express Order Management page. If you have more than one domain submission, all of the domains you have registered will be listed here.
Should You Renew?: Even though many Internet Experts are stating that since Google is supplying Yahoo’s primary results it is a waste to submit or renew your Yahoo! listing, we disagree. Our stand is not because of PageRank alone, although it gives your site a significant PageRank boost. We turn to the Inktomi buyout, as there will be another major change with Yahoo! in the next 90 days.
We do not recommend a “wait and see” approach. Rather, it is vital for your site to be listed in the world’s most popular directory. Your Yahoo! listing will always carry some weight, no matter where Yahoo! pulls their search results from. Their revenue model will see to that.
The real reason is one that you may not have considered – link partners. Our clients see a huge increase in the number of link exchange requests after their site is posted in Yahoo!. For less than a dollar per day, a Yahoo! listing is well worth the fee.
Question: Why do some sites outrank others with a lower PageRank?
Answer: PageRank is vital, however, it is not the only criteria that Google looks at when ranking pages. We never recommend that you start optimizing your pages until your PageRank is at least a 5, preferably a 6. Anchor text, both internally and externally, is vital. When you are trading links, make sure your primary keyword phrase is part of the anchor text that you use in your exchange.
What Is PageRank?: Google employs a system for ranking pages according to importance. Their system is loosely based upon the number of other sites that are pointing links to a given page. While there are exceptions, the more external links the higher the PageRank.
The ranking is on a 0-to-10 scale and for example it is displayed as PageRank=7/10. We will often abbreviate this to read: PR7 or PR=7 in our commentary.
To read Google’s PageRank score you must download and install the Google Toolbar. It’s free and located at http://toolbar.google.com. It’s quick to download, simple to install, and attaches automatically to your IE Browser.
The higher the number the more important the page. PageRank can be used to determine Google’s opinion of any page. Of course, a low number means that (according to Google) the page is less significant. A totally “grey” or “white” toolbar means the page is unranked, banned, or Google doesn’t know about it.
Google uses a point system to score pages. Since each link to your site carries with it a point value, the more links, the more points. But remember, because of this grading system, no two links are equal. For example, if there are two sites you are considering linking to, each with page scores of 500, but one page has 9 outgoing links and the other has 49 outgoing links. Are they both equal? No. Linking to the first page would net you 50 points to your total (500/10 links = 50 points for each link). The second would net your site just 10 points (500/50 = 10 points for each link).
This is just an example, as due to the complex grading system, it is virtually impossible to know what your page’s point value is with Google, but when it is realized that you need 15,625 total points to achieve a PageRank of 6, you can see why it is vital to pick the right sites to link to.
Reminder: The easiest way to boost your PageRank in Google is to change your internal linking structure from relative to absolute. An example of a relative link is href=”../index.html> compared to an absolute link of href=”http://www.webmarketingnow.com/index.html. Google treats absolute links as links to your site and ignors relative links. This is how Apple reached a 10/10 PageRank … with a deep internal linking strategy.
What This Means For You: If you have a PageRank of 4/10 and a site with 100+ pages, changing your linking structure from relative to absolute will boost your site to 5/10 regardless of the number of links from other sites. Doing this will allow your site to begin what I like to call the “snowball effect”.
What is it?
Simply put, if you have a 100+ page site, without obtaining any external links, your point value will increase each month. How? As your site grows in content, the number of internal pages that are cross linked increases, thus increasing each page’s point value slightly. This slight increase is compounded throughout the site, increasing the point value of each page each month. Each update the increases begin to build more rapidly, and thus, the “snowball effect” occurs and instead of getting a small point increase for each page of 10-30 points, increases of several hundred points occurs. Over time, the increase jumps to the thousands.