Category Archives: Link Popularity

Optimizing PDFs for Search Engines

At pubcon I listened to a session by George Aspland about various techniques to optimize PDF files for search engines. Part of his ongoing research is to see whether links within a PDF file pass link juice. To test this, he asked if session members would download and republish one of his PDF files. So here it is. Good luck, it will be interesting to see the results of this test.

Optimizing PDFs for Search Engines (1.8MB PDF file)

Text Links For a Buck

I’m using Scratchback. You’ll probably see the widget on the right with the links that say Get In My Top Spots. Those are the text links that you can buy for just one dollar.

The last person to buy a text link automatically goes to the top of the list. Right now the widget is set to show five links, but if the inventory gets filled I can increase the number of links, up to a maximum of 20.

This widget displays prominently on all pages of this blog. Most of my visitors are webmasters and SEOs who are interested in Google Analytics and search engine optimization.

So now’s the time to dig behind the couch cushions, scrape those dimes and nickels together and buy a text link for $1.00.

Note that these links use nofollow so Google won’t drop my PageRank :D

Smashing Magazine Google PageRank Article Misleading

Through mybloglog, I came across the smashing magazine community and an article entitled Google PageRank: What Do We Know About It? The article does a very good job of explaining Google PageRank and has 15 points listed under how PageRank works and 13 factors impacting PageRank, but also does a good job of confusing content, quality and ranking factors with items that affect PageRank. I started writing a comment to the post, but quickly realized that it was going to be too long, so I decided to post my comments here:

Summary: How Does PageRank Work?
1. PageRank is only one of numerous methods Google uses to determine a pageís relevance or importance.Google uses over 200 signals to determine a page’s rank within the index. While PageRank is one of the signals, the PageRank calculation itself is not actually used to determine relevance or importance, that’s the job for other parts of the algorithm.

2. Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. Google looks not only at the sheer volume of votes; among 100 other aspects it also analyzes the page that casts the vote.In the PageRank calculation there aren’t 100 other aspects, the formula calculates links, that’s it.

3. PageRank is based on incoming links, but not just on the number of them – relevance and quality are important.Relevance and quality are not part of the PageRank calculation. You should try to obtain relevant, quality inbound links to your website, but judging relevance and quality is a content issue.

7. Bad incoming links donít have impact on Page Rank.The PageRank calculation does not understand what is good and bad, it just calculates a value.

8. Page Rank considers site age, backlink relevancy and backlink duration.Site age and relevancy are ranking factors, although backlink duration is a factor. Just as you can accrue PR through links, it can also be diminished when links are removed.

14. Google calculates pages PRs once every few months.Actually it’s calculated all the time, but what we see in the Google Toolbar (or other online PR tools) is a snapshot in time which is updated every 3 months or so.

Summary: Impact on Google PageRank
1. Frequent content updates donít improve Page Rank automatically.They don’t update them manually either. Content is not part of the PR calculation.

6. Wikipedia links donít improve PageRank automatically (update: but pages which extract information from Wikipedia might improve PageRank).Content has nothing to do with the PageRank calculation. Creating great content will earn you links, but referencing Wikipedia here is misleading.

8. Efficient internal onsite linking has an impact on PageRank.I think this needs to be explained further. When developing a website, you should strive to make it search engine friendly and especially Google-friendly by ensuring that your site does a good job of linking to its internal pages. This passes on PageRank from page to page which can help keep internal pages out of the supplemental index. This is important because those pages aren’t spidered anywhere near as frequently and are indexed slightly differently than pages in the main index. So good internal linking has an affect on the PageRank of pages deeper in your site.

9. Related high ranked web-sites count stronger.Ideally you want to acquire links from pages with a high PageRank, but again, the reference to related sites (in terms of topicality) does not have an impact on PageRank. A page with high pagerank may actually pass you less if it has more links, because it’s spread too thin. A page with a PR of 4 could feasibly pass on more PR than a PR8 page depending on the number of links that are on the page.

10. The anchor text of a link is often far more important than whether itís on a high PageRank pageThis is a ranking factor, not something specific to calculating PageRank. Again, the content or topicality has nothing to do with the PR calculation.

11. Links from and to high quality related sites have an impact on Page Rank.Topicality again, see previous comments.

Google PageRank update underway

Matt just posted that the latest Google PageRank update is now underway as well as updates for the link: and site: commands. PR values are fluctuating wildly during this time, but as with previous updates, should settle down in the next 48hrs.
He also reiterated about how Google is treating certain types of links and that the lack of link quality could be causing some pages to go into supplemental.

“If you used to have pages in our main web index and now theyíre in the supplemental results, a good hypothesis is that we might not be counting links to your pages with the same weight as we have in the past.”

The major determining factor of a page going into supplemental is its PageRank value. So if some pages are identified as being a bit spammy, they aren’t assigned any (or maybe only a tiny bit of) PageRank. This means that the PR calculation has a new dynamic element to it, which may be part of the dampening value in what we know as the standard PR formula.

MyBlogLog snapped up by Yahoo

Congrats to the Eric and the rest of the MyBlogLog guys! You can read more about this on their own blog.

I signed up for this not so long after I created this blog and I really like the functionality. It provides referrer and traffic information, but more importantly, it gives you a face roll widget that you see on the left column here. This is a much more fun way of seeing actually who is reading your stuff (as long as they’ve signed up to mybloglog).

I wonder what’s in store for those guys, once they move to their new snazzy apartments in San Fran. I wish them the best of luck and am looking forward to seeing what else they’re able to roll out with the big Y behind them.

Google warns again about the perils of selling text links

Google posted an item entitled building link-based popularity, which I found rather interesting for a few reasons. Here’s a key snippet:

“We’ve always taken a clear stance with respect to manipulating the PageRank algorithm in our Quality Guidelines. Despite these policies, the strategy of participating in link schemes might have previously paid off. But more recently, Google has tremendously refined its link-weighting algorithms. We have more people working on Google’s link-weighting for quality control and to correct issues we find. So nowadays, undermining the PageRank algorithm is likely to result in the loss of the ability of link-selling sites to pass on reputation via links to other sites.”

What I believe they’re saying is that websites buying the links will not be gaining PageRank or anchor text benefit, but more importantly people selling links may have their site’s trust devalued. I don’t know of any examples yet, but all of those high PR sites (like newspapers) that are currently selling text links should certainly take note.

Matt Cutts already warned us back in September 2005 with his post Text links and PageRank. One of the key parts to that post is:

“Reputable sites that sell links wonít have their search engine rankings or PageRank penalizedĖa search for [daily cal] would still return dailycal.org. However, link-selling sites can lose their ability to give reputation (e.g. PageRank and anchortext).”

So to all of you out there blatantly selling text links, the time’s up! Use a link condom or find another revenue stream!