Like most webmasters, you face a constant uphill battle every day in your attempts to increase your Google PageRank. You see other websites with PageRanks of 5, 6, 7, and even more, and wonder why it’s such a struggle for your website. You are searching for a way to add those all important incoming links, to add those precious points of PageRank. If you are seeking a low-cost solution to the problem, perhaps a weblog (more commonly referred to as a blog) may be just what you are looking for to help.
Before you dismiss blogs as unimportant, take a closer look. They have come a long way from their early online diary days and have brought some strong PageRanks along with them. Now part of the mainstream, blogs are everywhere – from business websites to political campaigns. Blogs are becoming a powerful tool for strengthening a website’s Google PageRank.
What is Google PageRank?
Google PageRank (one word) is the measure of an Internet page based on the number and importance of a site’s incoming links. It is expressed as a numerical value, from PR0 to PR10, with PR10 being the highest possible PageRank (PR). Very few websites achieve that PR 10 level, of course.
Each level is more difficult to reach than one previous. The system is based on an exponential scale, similar to the earthquake Richter Scale. The only difficulty with the Google PageRank scale is no one is entirely certain how the numbers are calculated.
Incoming links for web pages are, in the opinion of Google, votes in favor of that page. On the other hand, Google considers some votes to be more important than others. The simple number of incoming links to a page is calculated by Google, but the relative importance of the “voting page” is given even more weight in the mathematical formula.
The pages that are considered to be more important votes, in turn increase the importance of the page they link. More important pages pass along more voting power. This is measured numerically as PageRank.
Note carefully, that PageRank is for each individual web page, not the entire web site as a whole. Every page in the Google data base has its own PageRank. Sites don’t have “rank”. Every separate page, however, on your website has its own PageRank.
Always keep in mind that PageRank is not the same thing as your site’s ranking on the search engine results pages (SERPs). They are entirely separate items. PR is the relative importance of a page on the web, expressed as a number. The SERPs are where your site appears on a search for your keywords.
Blogs tend to have very strong Google PageRanks. These high PageRanks are achieved through one of the hallmarks of the blogging technique. People who maintain blogs (called bloggers) are free and generous linkers. If gaining link exchanges was ever a problem for you in the past, you need to consider a starting a blog.
Incoming links are the determinant of PageRank. That is the strength of blogs. They attract both theme-based link exchanges and natural links from other blogs. There are also a number of special blog-only directories that supply an additional PageRank boost. That extra set of directories is not available to traditional websites unless they add a blog component. Blogs are also well represented in the important mainstream web directories, including The Open Directory Project and by extension the Google Directory, and the Yahoo! Directory as well. (For more on directories, see Hurlbert’s article Blogs and Internet Directories: The Same and Different.
Blogs attract links because of several important factors. One of those factors is fresh, constantly updated content. It’s an old adage already that good content will attract links. With blogs, it is a fact. By providing your readers with quality daily posts, other bloggers will link to them, and comment upon them in their own blogs.
That linking achieves two goals. First of all, it adds a strong natural link. Secondly, due to the discussion of your blog post, in the linking blog, your incoming link is quite possibly themed. Because the linking blog is probably in the same general topic area as your blog, the theme is consistent. If it’s not a related blog, the context of the linking post itself can help to theme the link. In either case, your blog benefits from a solid boost in PageRank.
Bloggers are generous linkers to other blogs they enjoy and posts they believe will be of interest to their readers. Google PageRank is an issue for very few bloggers. There is little concern in the blogging community (sometimes referred to as the “blogosphere”) about hoarding PageRank. It is simply not on the radar of a huge percentage of bloggers. Because of that lack of concern, some very highly PageRanked blogs will freely exchange links, or link to another blog, with a much lower PageRank.
A blog can easily be added to an existing website. Many off-the-shelf blogging tools can be imported directly to your site. They can be easily modified to suit your requirements. On the other hand, a blog can be coded from the ground up, to provide a unique tailored look for your site. A blog can be set up as a separate free standing site as well.
Because of the daily, or at minimum three times a week updates, your blog has constant fresh and interesting content for your readers. That content will attract natural and unreciprocated incoming links. They bring valuable PageRank transfer, along with fresh visitor traffic.
If your content is sufficiently interesting and informative, two types of blog links will occur. One is the home page permanent link. The other is the themed link from a blog post. That themed link will slide off the home page, but will bring PageRank from an internal page. Bloggers routinely read other blogs and link to their selected posts, passing along valuable PageRank as a matter of course.
Bloggers like to make link exchanges and often they have no idea or concerns about Google PageRank. Many have never even heard of the concept. Some very good PR5 and PR6 home page blogs are blissfully unaware of that fact. They care about exchanges for traffic and interest to their readership, and will readily swap with blogs they or their readers might enjoy.
Google is thought to be discounting reciprocal links on many static websites, especially link exchange pages. On blogs, that discounting does not appear to be evident. Because blog links are heavily reciprocated, any penalties would show up quickly in a reduction of blog backlinks. That does not appear to be the case.
A quick glance at any number of blog backlinks will display many reciprocated links. One reason for that may be the fact that blog links are almost universally placed on the home page. Another is bloggers, in general, make link trades with other bloggers who write about the same theme. The on page text usually contains similar content, and often the same keywords, in both exchanging blogs.
The blog section of your website will add PageRank very quickly, often achieving a PR4 or PR5 within only a couple of months of existence. You can link that page, to any pages of your existing website, and provide that page with a PageRank boost. This is especially helpful if you are in a highly competitive keyword area.
Everything is not perfect with blogs, but then nothing is ever without some flaws. Blogs have some shotcomings too.
One major problem to address with blogs, especially if you are utilizing a preset blog template supplied by one of the major blog platforms, is internal PageRank transfer. Blog PageRanks are heavily skewed to the home page. Many of the blog templates are not written with strong internal linkage. Because of that weakness, many internal pages in the archives, do not possess strong PageRanks.
To correct the internal link and PageRank distribution problem, the blog will often require some major changes in the sitemap structure. Since most bloggers have their most recent posts scroll off the front page, and into the archives, many bloggers are not concerned with the problem. That is a concern, however, if you are attempting to maximize PageRank. Some system of categorizing and highlighting, important and heavily searched blog posts, is needed.
Another area of concern are the incoming links themselves. If the link comes from a blog post, that has slipped off the home page, it may take the PageRank boost with it. That is another result of some blogs’ weak internal linking structure. The power of blog links is skewed heavily toward top page links. On the other hand, blogs with strong PageRanks will have some natural PageRank transfer to the internal pages, despite the blog template limitations.
Long term, there may be some potential for concern, about the heavy use of reciprocal linking between blogs. Any possibility of penalties, for excessive reciprocal links should be seriously considered. Adding more natural links and directory links could certainly help in that regard. Over dependency on link exchanges should be avoided. Some degree of balance is needed to maintain a solid ratio of incoming and outgoing links.
Blogs are a powerful tool for developing Google PageRank. They can be utilized as part of an existing website, or as a free standing independent entity. In either case, PageRank accruing to the blog pages can be transferred to any other website pages that need an influx of PageRank. Transfer can be accomplished through internal linkage, if the blog is part of the existing website. PageRank can flow from a free standing blog by standard linking practices from another website.
Blogs receive strong Google PageRanks because they gain many powerful incoming links, in a surprisingly short period of time. PR4 and PR4 rankings within the first two to three months of a blog’s existence are commonplace.
Bloggers are free and generous linkers, who happily link to other blogs they enjoy, or as a service to their own readership. Along with those links comes a healthy boost of PageRank. The constantly updated postings to blogs will add many natural and unreciprocated links as well. The fresh content and high PageRanks get many blogs crawled by internet spiders on a daily basis.
The current concern with reciprocal links being downplayed by Google and the other search engines doesn’t appear to be evident with blogs. Because link exchanges among blogs tend to be between blogs with similar themes, the reciprocal links are not a problem at this point. That could change, however, so diligence in gaining natural and unreciprocated links is still necessary.
To give your website a much need PageRank shot in the arm, try adding a blog.
It could be the biggest boost to your site’s Page Rank yet.