Wednesday, October 22, 2008

TrustRank outranks PageRank

Unlike Pagerank, TrustRank is a secret number that there has been a lot of talk about in the SEO realm lately. And in fact it seems to be of growing importance. But no one except the guys at Google and Yahoo! knows exactly how it works. Since the web is all about it being precisely a web, incoming and outgoing links will definitely have an impact. The old saying you are the company you keep is probably the best way to describe how TrustRank works. But if there are any on-page factors that can increase the trust rank, it would be extremely useful to know exactly which what are. Below is a guess list.
Probable On-Page TrustRank Factors
  • Get an old domain, preferably com or .org
  • Make sure the domain whois data is correct and proper
  • Show business address and phone numbers on the website
  • Privacy policy page
  • TOS/Terms page
  • Help/FAQ page
  • Contact us page
  • About us page
  • SSL for sensitive data (guessing)
  • Own IP on a dedicated server
  • Outgoing links to authoritative websites
  • Seals like Hacker Safe, VeriSign, Bizrate etc.
  • Support for several languages
  • Good enough quality to get listed in DMOZ etc.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Google PageRank Still Going Strong

Recently it has been a popular view to bash people that focus on PageRank. Supposedly PageRank is for newbies that thinks that PageRank automatically leads to a great search listing for anything in Google.

They definitively have a point in that PageRank is not everything. The last few years, Google has been striving to reward things like age, relevancy and relevant inlinks. It is possible to debate whether or not this is actually included in the reported 1-10 PageRank value that is most commonly presented by the Google toolbar. If reading what Google themselves say, it seems so (Pages that we believe are important pages receive a higher PageRank and are more likely to appear at the top of the search results.). And if that's true, maybe the biggest argument against the importance of PageRank vanishes.

Another reason as to why PageRank is not considered powerful is that it's just a simple number, 1-10. But it really is a logaritmic number with an estimated factor of six. This means that if it takes 10 inlinks to get PageRank 1, it will take 10*6*6*6*6=12960 inlinks to get PageRank 5. In reality it most often is fewer but more powerful inlinks giving a page a high PageRank.

To find exaples of the mathematics behind this, you don't need to look
further than checking out PageRank at Wikipedia.

It may be mathematically "obvious" but what strikes me in the image above is how high PageRank page C has, thanks to its link from page B. Page B may have been working with directory submissions, link baits or paid links, while page C has almost as high PageRank. You can also tell that if there was no back link from page C to page B, page C would have had the highest PageRank in the whole net.

But in which way is this relevant for webmasters?

For starters, a high PageRank signals a lot of authority. Way more than the litte PageRank digit implies. It is also extremely powerful to get one way links from other pages with high PageRank. So what you can do is that by getting a link from an established website, you can get a lot of its authority passed on.

If you have a website that you want to promote, you might aswell submit another website of yours to web directories and link from that site to the site that you want to promote. This gives you the advantage of choosing exactly what the inlink will look like, and you can make the website it's coming from much more relevant to the anchor text. This one-way link will have the same power as all the directory submissions.

This is exactly what some people claim gives fast and powerful results in the Google rankings. For example SEO Nitro is completely built around buying old aged and trusted websites with at least pagerank 3, and the linking from them to to their customers. Another phenomenon is that hackers started to break into big websites, not in order to deface or bring them down, but to place a sometimes hidden backlink there.

But how to use all this to get results?

One way is to create a quality blog, like this one, about something that interests you enough to write at least once or twice a month. Get a decent top domain for it (I know I didn't on this one) since that looks more serious and may give you more authority and directories are more likely to accept your link. This will give you one site with authority to link from.