As I was searching for a gift late one evening using Google, I came to a shocking realization. For all the work eBlox has done over the years in organic search – optimizing websites and links so that pages come up high in Google’s rankings – I’ve been won over by the “other” side of Google’s search results page. That’s right: I click on ads. Specifically, the “pay-per-click” ads that run down the right side and top of Google’s search results page. For me, those “Sponsored Links” have become a more reliable way to find many of the things I’m looking for. And if my behavior has changed, you can bet that other users’ habits are changing too.
Why on earth would I click an advertisement for “imprinted ceramic mugs” when Google has invested billions of dollars in technology to show me the absolute best, top-notch, high-quality, popular web site for ceramic mugs right there in the middle of the page? Quite a few reasons, actually, but the most salient one may be that Google has quite a few more billions riding on the accuracy and effectiveness of those ads that surround the natural results than the results themselves. Google’s stated mission is to organize the world’s information, but their balance sheet tells the real story: Google is an advertising company. That’s not to suggest Google neglects their organic search results; quite the opposite. Google’s search results are probably the best they can possibly be given the volume of information they have to process.
Continued from the previous post. This post is excerpted from an upcoming issue of Identity Marketing magazine
PageRank is critical to understand (or at least know how to find) because it affects the quality judgment of inbound links. If a site with a very high PageRank links to yours, it can have a positive effect on your ranking; PageRank is “passed on”, to a degree, to the site that receives the inbound link. Conversely, a site with very low PageRank offers little value to your ranking. This is why trading links with your buddy’s nifty new website won’t accomplish much (most such “link-swapping” tactics are completely ineffective); you’re both passing on nothing of much value to each other. So, the goal in building inbound links is to get those links from sites with higher PageRank than your own.
Even this can be problematic, because Google is on the lookout for anything that might pass PageRank inappropriately – that is, without actually reflecting quality. That means that a lot of sites that you might consider as possible venues for building inbound links will actually not help you. For instance, advertisements, blog comments and many other commonly used tactics for building inbound links no longer pass PageRank to the target site. Google has even removed many common directories from its page ranking algorithm.
This post is excerpted from an upcoming issue of Identity Marketing magazine
If there is anything approaching a “secret sauce” to search engine success, most experts would probably agree that it is the inbound link. An inbound link is simply a link from some other site to your site. On the surface, it would seem simple to acquire these – trade links with friends, get a link on your brother’s blog, get listed in a local directory, etc. And it is superficially simple to build inbound links to your site (and even simpler, though often expensive, to pay someone to build them for you).
Building and acquiring good inbound links – that is, ones that actually benefit your search engine rankings – is an entirely more difficult proposition. There are a number of reasons for this, but first, let’s review what we’re trying to accomplish in the first place.