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PageRank Secrets and the Google Toolbar May 25, 2010

Posted by Arlington SEO in Technical Articles.
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Now, many of you reading this have already heard about PageRank. You also know how you can use the Google Toolbar to view your (and other people’s) web page’s PageRank. (If not, you can download the Toolbar here. You also need to turn-on the PageRank feature, note that there are also some privacy implications for doing so)

But here are a few things that you may NOT know about PageRank and the Google Toolbar – secrets that can help you optimize your site in Google!

Here we go! -

#1) You know that value labeled “PageRank” that is displayed in the Google Toolbar? That is NOT really your actual PageRank!

Huh???

Your actual PageRank is a precise value calculated and stored internally by Google. It is NOT that # you see on the Toolbar, but this secret, internal value which is what is actually used by Google to help determine your web site’s rankings in searches!

The value displayed on the Google Toolbar is only a rough approximation of your actual PageRank, re-calculated to fit on the Toolbar’s 0-10 scale.

#2) Compared to your actual PageRank, the real  values represented by the Google Toolbar PR  increase exponentially for each level. That is why each PageRank # is substantially harder to reach than the one below it. This is also why, when you try to estimate PageRank values using the PageRank formulas, the resulting numbers don’t seem to make any sense!

#3) The actual PageRank value is MUCH more precise that what is displayed on the Toolbar. And because the values in the Toolbar go up exponentially, a given PR number can represent a pretty wide range of actual PageRank values. This is what people mean when they are talking about things like “a high PR 4″ vs. “a low PR 5″.

TIP: By looking at a site’s navigational structure, and how quickly the displayed PageRank values drop, it is often possible to tell if the site’s actual PageRank is in the middle, on the high end, or on the low end of the range covered by the displayed PageRank values.

#4) The PageRank values displayed by the Toolbar are stored in a separate database at Google than where your actual PageRank is saved. This Toolbar Displayed PR database is also updated infrequently (typically only a few times a year, but not on a standard schedule, it’s totally up to Google’s discretion when to update it next).

As a result, the PageRank displayed by the Google Toolbar LAGS BEHIND REALITY.

This is an important concept to grasp – the Google Toolbar does not show you the current PageRank, instead it displays a “snapshot” of what your PageRank was at the time of the last Toolbar database update.

#5) Due to these infrequent updates, the PageRank displayed by the Toolbar also tends to change in a sporadic and sometimes dramatic fashion, which can be the cause of much confusion among webmasters.

For example -

“What happened to cause my sudden huge drop (or jump) in PageRank?”

Reality: Oftentimes, there WAS no sudden change in your actual PageRank – the change was actually a gradual one over the last several months. You are simply seeing, all at once, the accumulated changes to your PageRank since the previous Toolbar database update happened!

The long periods between updates can also cause the opposite problem -

“I have been adding lots of quality inbound links the last few months, but no matter WHAT I do, my low PageRank STILL won’t budge!!!”

Reality: While Google may have already spotted many of your new inbound links (and your site may already be receiving credit from them – see below), the extra PageRank from these links will not be visible in the Toolbar, until after the next Toolbar database update happens!

#6) Your actual PageRank is updated much more frequently than the Toolbar PageRank is. As a result, the PageRank displayed by the Google Toolbar not only lags behind reality, it also lags behind the actual PageRank values that are currently being used by Google to help determine your site’s rankings in searches!

This fact is the cause of much confusion and misinformation, even among some professional SEOs.

Some common examples -

“How can a PR0 site come up above mine in a highly competitive search?!”

Reality: The site may have recently gotten some good links, but their current (higher) PageRank just isn’t showing-up in the Toolbar yet! (This situation can often occur when a new web site is involved)

“I added links from some high-PR sites a while back, and while my rankings improved, my PageRank didn’t go up at ALL! PageRank doesn’t care about good inbound links any more?”

Reality: The links did already increase their actual PageRank – the Google Toolbar Display just hasn’t caught-up with the new PageRank yet!

“I lost a link from a major web site last month, but I’m still showing the same PageRank as before, so apparently it didn’t hurt my PageRank that much!”

Reality: Actually, it DID cause a big drop in PageRank – the Google Toolbar just hasn’t updated to display their new, lower PR yet.

“My rankings recently nose-dived, but I KNOW it’s not my PageRank – it’s still the same as it was before – so something else must have caused it!”

Reality: Many countless hours have been wasted by folks trying to locate / fix non-existent SEO issues due to this common mistake! Their site did recently loose some links and PageRank, which was in fact the cause of the corresponding drop in their rankings. The Toolbar display just hadn’t caught-up with the change yet!

“My PageRank just went way down (or up), but my rankings didn’t change any – PageRank must not matter anymore!”

Reality: This is another very common misconception. The change to their actual PageRank (and any resultant changes in rankings) may have already happened MONTHS AGO. What they are actually seeing is just the Google Toolbar catching-up with reality.

#7) Coincidental events that *happen* to coincide in timing with a Google Toolbar database update can also often lead to erroneous conclusions, even among SEO professionals. For example -

“My PageRank just jumped up – but I haven’t added any new inbound links in months! In fact, the ONLY recent change to the web site was when I changed the color from blue to green early last week. So having a green web site must improve your PageRank!”

Now, before you all go turning your web sites green

Reality: That jump in displayed PageRank was actually the result of a decent inbound link they got 3 months ago! The Toolbar Database update at Google just happened to occur around the same time as an unrelated change to their own web site, which they then misinterpreted to be the cause of the increase.

Less ridiculous versions of the example above (along with some of the others listed) are, in fact, the source of many of the incorrect myths being circulated about PageRank today!

Well, that’s enough secrets for now!

We hope you found this article useful & informative. We plan on having more articles on PageRank & other interesting SEO topics in the future. Stay tuned!

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What is SEO? July 13, 2009

Posted by Arlington SEO in SEO Basics.
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What is SEO?

One definition might be…

“SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the art and science of altering various on and off-site criteria in order to increase a site’s ranking in the SERPs for relevant search terms.”

Huh???

In plain English, it’s doing things to get your web site to come up at or near the top, when someone goes into Google and searches for the types of things your web site or business has to offer!

What Are The Benefits of SEO?

What good is having a great web site, if no one can find it? If the only people that know about your web site, are people you already know?

Having a nice web site is only half the battle. You still need to get it out there were people will see it.

As you know, search engines are the main way people look for things on the Internet nowadays. And SEO is a great way to get your site out there where tons of new people can find you!

SEO is especially beneficial for businesses, where it can bring-in lots of new customers and business to your company’s web site!

Can I Do It Myself?

Yes, you can! However, you have to realize that your success (or failure) at doing so will depend heavily on both your skill level, and especially, on how competitive the search you are going after is. This is because in order to succeed in SEO, you basically have to “out-gun” everyone else who is trying to come up for that same search!

As a result, for business-related or other highly competitive searches (where you may be going up against SEO professionals with many years experience), your chances of success as a amateur may prove non-existent.

Beginner SEOs may thus find they have better luck starting-out with personal, hobbyist, or other fairly non-competitive searches.

Can I Get Myself Into Trouble?

Unfortunately, the answer to this one is also yes. Much of the SEO advice and information that is out there on the Internet (or in books) is either dangerously out-of-date, or flat-out WRONG! Using out-of-date or bad SEO advice, the best-case scenario is that you waste time doing something that (no longer) provides you with any real benefit; the worse-case scenario is you get your web site banned from Google for search engine spamming - Ouch!

One of the goals of this site is to help educate the “Do-It-Yourselfer” on some of these pitfalls to avoid.

This Sounds Like Too Much Work To Me, Can’t I Just Hire Someone Else to Do It?

Yes, you can! There are SEO companies that specialize in providing such services (the creator of this web site is one of them). However, while pretty much any kind of web site can be optimized, hiring a professional SEO may make more sense for a business than for a personal web site.

Are All SEO Experts the Same?

No. Sadly, many of the people out there that are offering SEO services today don’t know what the heck they are doing! Often, some web designer or other person will read some bad SEO information from an out-of-date book or the Internet, and suddenly think they’re now an “SEO expert”! Or sometimes, it’s just flat-out scam artists looking to make a fast buck! Some will toss around confusing SEO jargon such as “meta tags” or “re-submission service” to make you think that they actually know what they are doing. So how can you tell the difference between a qualified SEO expert and the rest?

One of the main purposes of this site is to dispel some of the common SEO misconceptions and “myths”, as well as to educate people about some of the “warning signs” to watch out for when shopping for a qualified SEO firm, to help you be able to tell the difference for yourself.

In fact, by the time you get done reading all of the articles we will be posting here, you will know more than most of the so-called “experts” out there!

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Welcome to the Arlington SEO blog! February 28, 2008

Posted by Arlington SEO in Uncategorized.
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Welcome to the Arlington SEO blog! Here you will find useful and informative articles by some of the world’s leading experts in SEO technology; including – Getting a Small Business Web Site #1 in Google, What to Watch Out for when looking for a Qualified SEO, Do’s and Don’ts when Optimizing Your Own Site, What is Search Engine Spamming and How to Avoid It, Search Engine News and Views, and much, much more!

If you are a web site or business owner who is interested in learning more about how you can get your OWN web site to show up at the top in Google, Yahoo, or MSN, then you’ve come to the right place! We will also be taking select questions from our readers, and posting the answers here, so if you have a SEO question you want answere, just ask us!

You can also read more about our firm, and contact us if you are interested in learning more about how we can help get your own web site to #1!

So what are we waiting for, let’s get on with the show!

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SEO Basics – Intro February 28, 2008

Posted by Arlington SEO in SEO Basics.
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This category will include introductory-level SEO articles which are not overly technical in nature, and designed more for the SEO beginner, layperson and business/web site owners.

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SEO News & Views – Intro February 28, 2008

Posted by Arlington SEO in SEO News & Views.
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This category will cover “hot” Search Engine Industry topics and SEO news, as well as our views and opinions on these and other topics.

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SEO Q & A – Intro February 28, 2008

Posted by Arlington SEO in SEO Q & A.
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This category will cover answers to common SEO-related questions, as well as post answers to select questions posed by our readers. If you have any questions about SEO, please let us know! We’ll do our best to answer it for you, and who knows, you might become famous!

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Watch Out! – Intro February 28, 2008

Posted by Arlington SEO in Watch Out!.
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This section will cover things to “Watch Out” for with SEO, including “Do’s and Don’ts” when optimizing your own site, as well as the “Danger Signs” to watch out for when looking for a reputable and knowledgeable SEO company.

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Technical Articles – Intro February 28, 2008

Posted by Arlington SEO in Technical Articles.
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This category will cover advanced SEO topics, along with other articles of a more technical nature. While everyone is encouraged to read anything they find of interest here, beginners are forewarned that they may find some of the articles in this section more than a “bit” complex!

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Company News – Intro February 28, 2008

Posted by Arlington SEO in Company News.
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This category will cover interesting news and events regarding our company.

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SEO Spamming – Intro February 28, 2008

Posted by Arlington SEO in SEO Spamming.
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This category will cover articles related to search engine spamming, including what it is, why some disreputable SEO’s do it, and why you should avoid it at all costs!

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