You’re the greatest real estate agent in the world. Will you be my Google valentine? :p
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.
Wade published a great post on the SEO value of commenting on other blogs. His advice is spot on if your primary goal is improving your relevance in Google. I offer “Do Follow” links on my blogs for the express purpose of encouraging people like Wade to contribute to the conversation.
I’m a prolific commenter myself. I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of comments I’ve left on other blogs in the last three years number well into the thousands. I’ve always taken the time to leave an appropriate link back, but it was never for the benefit of Google. I believe in the social value of commenting.
It’s so very hard as a blogger, to know if your ideas are resonating. Comments, any comments are welcome feedback. When I decided to post on other people’s blogs, it’s because I wanted them to know I was listening. I wanted to engage them in conversation. I wanted to forge a relationship with them.
During my stint as Fake Greg Swann, I wrote about how I love to argue. I try to keep that in check while commenting on other people’s blogs, but it doesn’t always work out. Sometimes, my strong opinions lead to a comment of mine being deleted for no other reason than the blog author disagrees with it. That’s unfortunate, because, like I said, the whole idea was to forge a relationship in the first place.
On the other hand, comments are a two way street. It’s ridiculous to me to solicit comments, and only publish the ones who agree with your point. When one of my comments is deleted, I think, “who else is being silenced?” I also question if this is a blog worth commenting on. Who wants to spend the time to comment if nothing was ever to come from it? This happened to me today, on a pretty big RE.net blog. I doubt I’ll spend as much time there.
If anything can be taken from this, I would just say that comments are the 2.0 in Web 2.0. It’s important to treat comments like they are a face to face conversation. Don’t try get over on anyone, or BS them, or silence them, and you’ll be good to go.
This is not advice. I’d like to take credit for this, but I don’t really know what happened here. The Secret Diary of Greg Swann is less than one month old, and has attained a Google Page Rank of 4. I don’t know if it will last, so I took a screen-shot of it. I also verified the PR4 though a couple of those “what’s my page rank” sites. Blogs can go months without getting to a PR4. Some have gone years. There’s some lightning here, and I’d love to know how to bottle it.
I started looking around the net, and see that Google updated their PR numbers around the 11th of January. I haven’t paid much attention to FGS’s page rank because the blog is basically done. I noticed last night while writing linkation, location, libation. It’s entirely possible that FGS earned a PR4 less than three weeks after it was created.
Here’s my WAG as to what happened.
It’s entirely possible that Google thinks the blog is about Greg Swann. Greg’s a swell fellow, but like any name, “greg swann” is not exactly the most fought after search term queried. There is no doubt the the undisputed owner of said query is Greg’s BloodhoundBlog. Greg linked to FGS on the second day it was live. I also created two or three track-back links that showed up on BHB. The top ranked “greg swann” blog linking to this newcomer couldn’t have hurt.
Jeff Corbett, Andy Kaufman, and Dustin Luther all posted about FGS. Again mentioning Greg in their posts. A few people like Teresa Boardman put FGS in their blog roll as “Fake Greg Swann”. Just about every reference to the blog was more about Greg then about RE.net (as I intended). I think Google views FGS as an authority on Greg Swann.
Could it really be that simple? I’d love some opinions here.
Some additional observations.
FGS sits on a wordpress.com sub-domain. Is WordPress.com a trusted URL? The 90 day Google trust box did not apply to FGS.
FGS was apparently not penalized by having a really long blog roll.
FGS got where it did with relatively few back links. Maybe quality over quantity?
I never asked anyone to link back to FGS
Einstein would have made an excellent SEO coach – As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it.