Bad Neighborhood

With all the decrease in bloggers’ page rank, you might be wondering why?  Here is a tool that could help you determine the cause – Bad Neighborhood – Tools for the Uncommon Webmaster.  The have a text link checker tool that will determine if links on your blog my cause problems.

Each link is checked and three areas are checked.  First, the checker determines if the link is Blog Spam.  If the link directs to a page where a lot of the incoming links are from blogs, the Blog Spam icon will occur.   Some commercial website tend to increase their page rank by blog comment spamming, so be sure to check the comments on the post.

The check then determines the Link Density.  A page that has more than 100 links is sometimes considered a link farm or it could be a blog with a lot of comment spam.

The last item is if the link passes the “family friendly” test or if the page is not found.  Links to online gambling, adult entertainment, etc. will get flagged and will pages with redirects or the link is no longer valid.

I ran this tool on one of my blogs and found a number of links where the page did not exist anymore.  I will try and clean these up.  Some of the links were paid posts and thus not changeable.  However, even correcting a few items could bode well the next time Google does a Page Rank revision.

NoFollow and DoFollow

No Follow is a link attribute.  In 2005, Google decided that any link with the tag “rel=”nofollow” would not receive any credit when the website was ranked by Google.  It was originally intended to reduce spam comments.   This does not mean that you can not click on the link and be taken to the website.  The link is still “live.”

Some bloggers found that having nofollow automatically added to post comments, reduced the amount of comments the post received.  To encourage comments, many bloggers implemented a plugin called “DoFollow” which removed the “rel=nofollow” tag from links in comments.

To decrease spam comments, bloggers should install a spam filter (such as Akismet, which comes with WordPress) and/or moderate their comments.  I have found that the spam filter does not always catch all the spam, so I choose to moderate my comments.

Recently, Google has decided that paid links will also not be given ranking credit.  Unfortunately for all of us bloggers, there is no REAL way that Google can determine a paid link versus an unpaid link.  I have four other blogs.  Only one blog retained its full page rank.  The other three blogs dipped down in rank.  One of the blogs has very little paid links and yet it saw a dip in page rank.

It seems, as a blogger, you will have to make a decision if page rank matters or not.  If it does, remove all your paid links and do not participate in paid linking programs.  If it doesn’t – business as usual!

Blog of The Week – Geeky Speaky

My favorite pick this week is Geeky SpeakyGeeky Speaky is the brainchild of Colleen.  She owns a few other blogs as well, but this one focuses on all things geeky.  She covers electronics, blogs, websites, plugins, software and much more.  She also has a forum attached to her blog.  The forum has a section devoted to paid blogging, so if you are interested in that aspect be sure to participate in the forum and you will learn loads!

Another feature of her blog is the Directory.  You can submit your link for free with a reciprocal link on your site.   Add Geeky Speaky to your feed reader, you won’t be disappointed.

What is Page Rank?

Page rank is important, but what is it?

Page rank is a system for ranking web pages and was developed by Google.  Page Rank relies on linking to determine a web page’s value.  Let’s say your web page has a link on it to Amazon.com.  This link would get Amazon.com one vote.  But this isn’t the end.  Google also analyzes your web page.  If it finds your web page to be important, the vote is weighted heavier.

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. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at considerably more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; for example, it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important.” Using these and other factors, Google provides its views on pages’ relative importance.

All links are not created equal.  Having an incoming link from a link farm could penalize you.  Recently, Google has taken steps to penalize paid text links as well.  Although I have no idea how they can determine what is a paid text link and what is not.

To create more inbound links to your page, try exchanging links with other relevant sites.