I started my daddy blog about five months ago. Like most new sites, my site was placed in Google's sandbox. My page rank was zero for the first four months. Then just like that, my page rank went from zero to six at the end of September. Actually, my page rank alternates between zero and six because the new page rank has not propogated to all of Google's data centers.
I am happy with my new page rank, but I think it's strange it went from zero to six. What happened to one through five? It seems like my page rank should have been one after the first month, then two, then three, and so on to six. Why does it go directly from zero to six?
The answer is that my page rank didn't actually go directly from zero to six. The PageRank value you see in your Google toolbar is only a snap shot of the actual value. Google only updates their toolbar every few months. Internally, PageRank is computed continuously. Not only is the value computed continously, the value isn't limited to integers. For instance, my PageRank of 6 could actually be 5.64, 5.90, 6.12, or 6.4164.
If you want to read more about PageRank, take a look at Matt Cutts' blog.
Over on SEOmoz is an article on how to increase web traffic with Google News. At first I thought, "oh, another article about getting included into Google News." I figure it was the same stuff I've seen previously elsewhere. Then I saw something that caught my attention:
1. No links in titles
The Google News crawler can't handle links in titles. Run your titles in h tags and include a permalink on the page that the Google News bot can use.
Holy jumping up and down Martha, that can't be right. Can it? After all, on most WordPress themes, the title of each post is a link to itself. I thought for sure Brian, the author of the post, must be wrong so I checked on the Google News site and this is what I found:
…each article must link to a page dedicated solely to that article. When the headline on this page is an active link, however, we may have difficulty displaying it correctly. Making headlines regular text, not links, will increase the likelihood that our crawler will extract the correct headlines.
Good golly Miss Molly, Brian does know what he's writing about. This brings me full circle with a question I had when I first started using a blog platform (I have been using a blog platform for less than a year). One of the things I noticed after installing WordPress was that the title of each post links to itself. I thought it was very odd so I did some research. What I found out was that the title links to itself because it was convenient for the developer to copy the same code over and over. Otherwise, the developer would have to spend more time editing out the links on some pages/templates.
I didn't want the title linking to itself so I removed the link. Then I noticed that just about every blogger had titles linking to the same page. Doubt crept into my mind. I was thinking, "I'm a web 1.0 dinosaur, maybe these web 2.0 bloggers know something I don't know. Maybe having the title linking to itself was great for SEO." So, I went back and reinserted the links into the titles. Now, I have to go back and remove the title link on my newsy site. The chances of getting my news site included in Google News is very, very, very, very slim. But why make it more difficult?
It looks like Google has finally decided to support MSN Search's meta tag for not using Open Directory description in the search results for your site. MSN introduced the tag last May. Basically, by using the special meta tag, you're directing search engines that support the meta tag not to use ODP information for the page's description.
Here are the meta tags again:
<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOODP">
<META NAME="MSNBOT" CONTENT="NOODP">
<META NAME="GOOGLEBOT" CONTENT="NOODP">
The first tag tells all search engines that support the meta tag not to use ODP information. The second one is limted to just MSN Search and the last one limits it to Google.
It looks like Matt Cutts has created quite a stir with his Indexing timeline post. At the time of this writing, there were 156 comments.
In Matt's post, he outlines the timeline for Bigdaddy, Google's latest indexing/crawl algorithm. It appears a lot of people are upset because their pages were dropped from the index. After looking at the example sites given by webmasters, Matt concluded the primary reason was because Google's algorithms had very low trust in the inlinks or the outlinks of that site. Examples that might cause this include excessive reciprocal links, linking to spammy neighborhoods on the web, or link buying/selling.