Who knew? Sacrifice dead goats for your blog. I always heard the best way to get a PR6 was to accidentally step on horse dung while blogging. Haven’t figured out how to do it yet.
Mary McKnight, of RSS Peices set off on a mission to improve the PR of several of her clients by starting PR5 Club:
“The club, which meets once a week for the 5 weeks following a PageRank Update focuses heavily on high level SEO strategies that WILL ensure that these bloggers hit a PR5 within the next two PageRank updates.”
With one reset down, they’re all in need of a strong finish. I don’t pretend to be an expert on improving PR, but I do like to watch.
Here are some observations concerning my blogs:
Blog Fiesta maintained it’s rank. I don’t even try to promote this blog. Frankly, I’m surprised it ranks as well as it does.
Brainious went from 0-2. I’m happy it made some progress, I’m just now getting around to focusing on this blog. Podcasts are coming in the next week!
Denver Modern is still a 4 & Lenderama is still a 5. They both made some progress though. Both sites are now displaying “Site Links” in limited circumstances. Dave is extremely jealous (see comments), so I guess that’s progress.
The Secret Diary of Greg Swann is still a 4. You might remember, Fake Greg Swann attained a PR4 in less than one month. That’s insanely fast. Much of the conjecture was that Google took a snapshot of FGS during all the commotion it stirred. Here’s the interesting thing though, the blog has been dead since the last reset. It’s still a 4.
So what does it all mean? I don’t know, but I’m happy to guess. I think Google’s trust in a domain name is more important for PR than all the little things that bloggers attempt in trying to boost it. I think lenderama, Blog Fiesta and Denver Modern are benefiting from the Google’s trust of mariah.com. Fake Gregg is getting the same traction from wordpress.com. I think there’s an opportunity here for new bloggers to jump start their PR. Here’s what I’d do if I was starting a real estate blog from scratch.
1. Start with a free WordPress.com blog. It think FGS has proven that Google trusts wordpress.com as a URL.
2. At the very same time, register your domain name for at least a few years.
3. Set up your domain name to forward to your WordPress blog. Go Daddy calls this Domain Forwarding. It’s like call forwarding. Now you can use the new domain name for your cards and stuff, but the blog’s true address is still yourblog.wordpress.com. For an example, try lenderama.com.
4. Blog your heart out. The great thing about this is that your total cost is just a few bucks for the domain name registration. Obviously, all the things you will want to do here are not covered in this post. Here’s a list to help you with that.
5. Once your PR hits 3 or 4, map your domain name to your blog. This is a guess on my part, but I think you’ll maintain your PR. I did something similar for Loan Bark before I sold it, and the PR was maintained. Domain Mapping only costs ten bucks a year.
6. After everything is all up and running, you could then consider leaving WordPress.com for more flexibility.
Will it work? I don’t know. Mary ensured her methods would work. So if your looking for guaranties, PR5 Club might be a better bet.
I’ll offer no argument to impute the genius of Seth Godin. But I make it a point to steer clear of his blog. Why? Because it seems like everyone I know in blogopolis reads it. What’s worse, they take his comments as gospel. Seth could be right of everything he says. But when everyone follows lockstep, then everyone does pretty much the same thing.
My other problem with reading Seth is that he’s just one guy. No offense, to him, but there are a tremendous number of professionals, in and out of the real estate industry that come up with ideas every bit as good (and better implemented).
There’s no word of god when it comes to marketing on the net. That’s why this blog features as much advice from my peers, as it does from me.
Take this recent post from Seth’s blog for example. I don’t subscribe, but many of the RE bloggers I respect must. Greg Swann, Dustin Luther, Mariana Wagner, Jeff Brown, and Joel Burslem all mention the post. Jeff even went so far as to call the post an endorsement of what he was talking about months ago.
I think you’re wrong Jeff. I think it’s an illustration of how no one human can be counted on to be the last word on anything. I don’t need Seth’s endorsement (months later) to know you were correct at the time. Oh, and the idea to blog about high school sports? I came up with that idea about a year ago (see comments). Someone else could have easily come up with it before me.
Seth’s advice in that post is sooo 2007. It’s good advice, but I’d hate to be the one who’s just now getting it because they paid too much attention to one guru, and not enough to the professionals around them who were already making this work.
To me, “Being Remarkable” can’t happen if you spend the bulk of your time taking advice from others, or giving too much weight to one superstar’s ideas. For me, blogging has always been about taking what works for me off line, and figuring out ways to harness that success more effectively on the web. Sure, it’s great to listen to others, but look to yourself as well. Original ideas have only one origin.
When it comes to Google’s Page Rank, a typical blogger goes through the following progression of thought.
What’s Page Rank?
How do I improve my Page Rank?
Page Rank is irrelevant.
I think step three is too clever by half. Sure, from a purely Googlerific point of view, the Live Page Rank indicator available for Firefox or included in the Google Toolbar isn’t a lead pipe lock when it comes to where you will rank for a particular search term. On top of that, blogging primarily for SEO isn’t the most effective endeavor either. But Page Rank still matters, and as more and more potential readers become quasi-page rank literate, it matters more than most SEO experts ever bothered to consider.
Fair or not, blogs are often judged by their Page Rank. You can either try to convince your readers why it doesn’t, or leverage it to your advantage.
Forget about blogs for a minute. I cut my teeth in this industry by earning and asking for referrals. As a loan officer, my referral base was real estate agents. An agent’s referral base largely comes from their sphere of influence. All referrals work basically the same. The best way to grow your sphere of influence is to help your sphere members grow their own sphere.
So, if a real estate agent can help their dry cleaner by promoting their business on a hyper-local real estate blog, the dry cleaner will be more likely to recommend you to their own client base. This is why Page Rank matters more than ever. Sure, directly marketing to consumers is the primary reason to blog, but I’m not too Web2.0-proud to accept a good ole’ fashioned word of mouth referral.
Your blog is a very powerful viral marketing tool. There will be times when some link love will be the most effective way to win the hearts of your potential referral base. Many of them have yet to come to the stage three assumption that Page Rank doesn’t matter. Goggle made you beautiful, there’s no sense in being modest here.