What’s Your Google PageRank: Lessons from American Idol (In plain English)
Guest post by Patricia Redsicker
A lot of small businesses are so busy trying to compete that they don’t realize how close they are to getting fried! Typically small businesses struggle with limited resources to expand their marketing budget. Therefore it should be their top priority to invest heavily in internet marketing, a platform that has enormous potential and is practically free of charge!
Why is this important?
Well if your prospects are online, then it goes without saying that ‘online’ is where you’ll find them and – more importantly – where they’ll find you. But finding you is not that easy. In the midst of tens of millions of similar competitors scattered around the world you’re not likely to be found unless you’re in-front of the line!
So how in the world do you get in-front of the line?
Well, that’s where Google PageRank comes in. You need to make it easy for Google to find your website and push you further and further up the line until you’re at the top – where the big boys and girls are!
This effort to get in-front of the line is called ‘optimizing your website’. It’s like being on ‘American Idol’ with tens of thousands of other idol wannabes. You have to get the judges’ attention!
Throughout the ruthless elimination process of ‘Idol’ your job is to figure out how to stay in the game, get noticed and finally get Simon to like you. Because if Simon doesn’t like you, you aren’t going anywhere (no disrespect to Randy and whoever…). Simon is Google PageRank and your job is to get his attention. Because if he likes you, you’re going to Hollywood baby! It’s that simple.
Now there are two ways to get ahead with Google:
- Pay them: Paid advertising like Google Ads, pay-per-click etc.
- Impress them: Organic (free) search
If you’re like me, you probably don’t want to part with your money not knowing what you may or may not get for it. So let’s talk about the second option.
Supposing you’re a commercial business writer whose specialization is writing white paper for IT companies. You decide to test and identify a number of search phrases that your prospects might use to find you on Google. You determine that prospects might use the search term ‘white paper writer for IT industry’ (this is highly specific and not likely to be used by many prospects) or they might use the search term ‘white paper writers’ (this is a more common search term and might be used by more prospects).
You want to make sure that your website pages contain many references to the search term that your prospects are most likely to use (Use Google AdWords to play around with different terms and find out which ones are more popular).
Either way, Google has a formula that figures out which websites should be displayed (in order of rank) on the results page. Your goal is to make sure that you rank highly on these results.
The formula is simply: SearchRank = Relevance X PageRank
Relevance means how closely content in your website pages matches the search phrase that the user entered (how you bond with the crowd). PageRank is Google’s (Simon’s) personal impression of your web page in terms of quality, integrity and authority. Google randomly gives you a rank ranging from 0 – 10. If both you and your competitor have equal relevance, then the one who will be first in line is the one with a higher PageRank. So it goes without saying that what you really want to focus on is your PageRank!
How do you get a high PageRank? PageRank is determined by how many other websites link to yours! As far as Google is concerned these links are a vote of confidence in your favor. However, it helps if the websites that are linking to yours have authority and credibility in their own right.
How do you figure out your PageRank? By installing and using Google Toolbar.
Let’s review. Unless you want to pay Google to get in-front of the line, try to get higher ranking for your website by:
- Posting relevant content (relevant to the search terms that your prospects might use to find you)
- Try to get as many in-coming links from credible websites as possible (not easy but worth a ton of gold!)
To read more details on this subject, go here.
Patricia Redsicker is owner and principal of WordView Editing, a commercial writing business in Baltimore. Her job is to help entrepreneurs to write more compelling business documents and to sharpen their communication skills. She authors a blog called the ‘Content Cheerleader’ a platform that is highly resourceful in business writing and communication advice. Please visit her blog space for more resourceful articles.