Last year, I got a rude awaking. On a day that most webmasters cherish, I was sulking. Google had updated their Page Ranks, and mine had dropped to 1. Just 24 hours earlier I as enjoying a Page Rank of 3, and it had been knocked down. What made me even more upset was that I was seeing record traffic over the previous months, I was ranking in the top 5 for dozens of keywords that were high traffic, and everything was going great. And while nothing changed in terms of traffic, webmasters know that Page Rank does affect advertising dollars. My website was set to lose hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars in potential advertising. All because of Google!
Well, if you’ve read any of me past posts, you know that I’m not inclined to sit back and just accept that. I’m always looking for solutions, and this is what I did to get my site’s Page Rank back. And here I am, one year later, back at a Page Rank 3 for the site in question. Check out the strategies I followed below to help me get my Page Rank back!
Too Many Outbound Links
Part of my early searching helped me discover that too many outbound links can pose a problem. You’ve always heard inbound links are a good thing, but outbound links can actually hurt you. Here is the original Google Page Rank Equation from when Page Rank was first being developed:
PR(A) = (1-d) + d(PR(t1)/C(t1) + … + PR(tn)/C(tn))
Basically, it means the Page Rank of Site A equals the Sum of Each Page Rank of Linking Sites Divided by The Number of Outbound Links on the Site.
Theoretically, for an inbound link to a site, it can mean that a PR4 site with only 5 outbound links has the same weight as a PR8 site with 100 links.
From this, you can derive your Page Rank. That is why everyone has always preached “get more backlinks”. And while that is true, you also lose from having too many outbound links that essentially drain your Page Rank.
Where can you easily remove links? Try these common blog link juice thieves:
- Recent Discussion
- Top Commentors
Sometimes you just can’t remove a link for whatever reason. Keep reading to find out what to do next!
No Follow Links Versus Do Follow Links
If you can’t just remove a link for whatever reason, Google understands, and gives and option. You can have links classified as both “No Follow” and “Do Follow”. No follow links essentially tell the webcrawler that this link is NOT recommended by the host website. Whereas, a Do Follow link is recommended by the host website.
There are many types of links that you should consider “No Follow” if you really can’t remove them:
- Social Media Links (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- Advertising Links (Banners, widgets, etc.)
- Affiliate Links
Prevent Duplicate Content
Everyone has heard of Google Panda. It was the update that really cracked down on content farms. Basically, you could suffer if you have duplicate content floating around the internet. The best way to prevent this is to be proactive from the start. There are a lot of “scrapers” and blog plagiarizers out there that are stealing content everyday.
If you haven’t read my post about What To Do When Someone Steals Your Content, I highly suggest it. But here are some key ways to prevent it from happening to start with:
- Get an RSS Footer that includes a link to your site, your Twitter, or other social media
- Use Google Alerts to setup alerts for your website name and main content areas
Improve Your Inbound Links
As I mentioned at the start, inbound links are just a big a key feature of Page Rank as outbound links. While you try to minimize your unneeded outbound links, you should also continue to beef up your inbound links. There are several great ways for bloggers to do this:
- Comment on other websites
- Offer guest posts
- Submit to Blog Carnivals
- Post on relevant forums
Watch Your Advertising
Finally, you need to watch your advertising. If you sell advertising on your website, including text advertising, don’t be surprised if Google blacklists your site because of the links. It seems obvious that Google will keep records of companies that purchase links – they do this by monitoring the linking domains, looking for know IPs, and most likely other proprietary methods. Google hates selling links because it ruins their Page Rank metrics, so they will punish known offenders by giving a low Page Rank to not skew other site’s results.
I used these strategies and I was able to get my Page Rank back. I think that most sites can follow this list, but realize it will take time for Google to raise your PR back up. You can still make money though while you wait – check out how you can get advertisers for your website.
Readers, what other tips or tricks do you know about getting back into Google’s good graces? Have you ever experienced anything like this?