Search Engine Optimization :: Lyndsay Walker :: Toronto, Ontario

The Truth about Google PageRank

Whether you know a little or a lot about search engine optimization, chances are you know about Google PageRank. And, depending on how new you are, you probably use it as a real gauge for evaluating other sites.

PageRank indicates how Google views the importance of a page. It looks at the number and quality of links pointing to a certain page. Consider these “votes” to a page. The more votes, especially from pages that already have a high PageRank score. PageRank is scored on a scale of 0-10, 10 being the highest.

Canada's Web Shop's PageRankLearning your PageRank is as “easy” as installing the Google Toolbar and enabling the PageRank feature. Here’s the problem though. Google Toolbar PageRank (TBPR) is not an accurate representation of actual PageRank. While PR is updated on an ongoing basis, TBPR is only updated a couple of times per YEAR. This makes the number quite unreliable. There’s really no easy way to know if the number you see in the toolbar is a couple of days old or a couple of months old.

Despite this being very public information, many people still suffer from “green pixel envy”. It’s important to note that TBPR is not worth stressing over. Particularly for new sites – just like it can take several months to see any rankings, it can take several months to see any TBPR.

Be kind when looking at other sites. If the toolbar says the PR is 0, it’s probably not true. Take a few extra moments to look at the quality of the site itself.

Friday Afternoon

It’s 4:30 on Friday afternoon… about to close out a beautiful week of weather here in Winnipeg. Except that it’s pouring rain right now. I suppose we were due. Too bad though, I was hoping to try out my new roller blades this afternoon.

I’m posting on a new blog – The Tipping Glass. It’s a fun place of random posts with a few bursts of pure inspiration. Go check it out.

Another place I’m blogging regularly is at the Canada’s Web Shop Blog. No real surprise there since I’m the Director of Online Marketing.

My blogging schedule slipped as I haven’t written for Search Engine Journal in several weeks. I must get back to doing that.

It’s all so odd given that I’ve always emphasized that I’m NOT a writer – I’m a numbers girl. But that’s okay, I write these posts, encourage others to as well, and then I get to be all giddy over all the analytics.

I’m such a nerd. And that’s my Friday afternoon.

Critiquing Your Web Site

Remember in school when you tried to proofread your own essays and how hard that was? Seems like you always missed some of the biggest errors.

It’s very similar with critiquing your own web site. When you’ve poured blood sweat and tears (and maybe even a sprained ankle from kicking your computer) into your site, it’s hard to see some of the improvements that may be obvious to the objective visitor.

Still, it’s very important to take the time to take a fine-tooth comb to all aspects of your site. Some things to look at:

  • Navigation
  • Copy (spelling and grammar)
  • Clear call to actions
  • Proper search engine optimization techniques
  • Broken links

These are just some of the elements that should be looked at when auditing a site and as I mentioned, it’s very challenging trying to do your own.

A good online marketing company will have a team that covers all these areas. It’s not likely you’ll easily find one PERSON who can thoroughly audit all parts of a web site. For example, a team could be comprised of a designers, a developer, a usability specialist and a marketer. An even better team knows how to work together to make sure each of these pieces fit together well.

Don’t underestimate the value of an audit. Sometimes the smallest change can make the biggest impact.

Learning From the Best

This week, I had the pleasure of attending Search Marketing Expo’s Advanced conference in Seattle. I always enjoy meeting new people and catching up with old friends I’ve met over the years. Every time, I’m reminded how great it is to be in an industry with so many brilliant minds. Brilliant minds that I get to pick no less!

The sessions are always jam packed with fantastic information, but I really enjoy meeting the people face-to-face and talking about the issues. It’s important to hear other options and suggestions as it really challenges the way you yourself interpret things.

Speaking at conferences is a great way to communicate as well. Next week, I’ll be speaking on a site clinic panel at Search Engine Strategies in Toronto. I’m looking forward to seeing other other companies are doing with their web sites. I’m sure I’ll learn just as much as I recommend.

Search conferences aren’t always for everyone. But if you’re ever looking for an online marketing company, see how they participate in conferences. Do they attend? Great! Do they speak? Even better! Knowing that your agency participates in search conferences means knowing that the agency has an inside track to the most valuable information and resources.