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Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites

Search Engine OptimizationYou might have heard about it this June, but I thought it bore repeating. The secret is out on much of what Google uses to rank your website on their search engine. To read the actual patent information released to the public, see Google’s patent for their search engine ranking technique from 2005 on evaluating historical documents and the latest patent release from 2007 which includes the new TrustRank.


Links have always played an important role in determining citation value. Incoming links help judge the value of a document. The more citations, or links, the more important and valuable it must be. But Google adds some criteria to those citations.

In the past, the number of incoming links scored high, but a judgment on quality of the incoming link source was added to the mix. If the linking page and site had a high page rank value itself, then clearly, it knew a good thing when it linked to it. Still, this link quality aspect became harder to define as so many sites were joining the web and the quality became diluted.

Historical factors now play an important roll in addition to the number and quality of the incoming links. It seems Google’s method includes counting the moment a new site is discovered and applying an “aging process” to the site. Google monitors the link as it changes over time, the speed at which the site adds incoming links, and the life span of the link. It isn’t about having thousands of sites that link to yours, but about building those thousands of links over time.

The “aging process” that monitors the history of the links and site helps to combat spam sites. Spam sites tend to come and go very quickly, building links fast through their spamming techniques, then closing down and moving on. Thus, the older the site and the links coming into it, the more “points” the site may get. The shorter the life of the site domain, no matter how many millions of links are coming in, the less Google is interested.

Google monitors the historical value and the slow building of value of incoming links, and they also monitor the changes in the link anchor text over time and throughout the site.

Consistent link anchor text scores low. This is considered “Anchor Spam”. What this means is that if you use the same text in a link, such as <a href="link.php">perfume sales</a> consistently through your site, then it won’t score very high. If you vary the link anchor text, especially over time not just within the same page, your odds will increase as Google monitors the changes in links over time. Generally, it is recommended to change the keywords in your anchor text around the top 5-10 keywords, to maintain consistency with keyword rankings and link rankings.

So the perfume sales might include link text such as:

  • cologne market
  • perfume market
  • cologne sales
  • fragrance sales
  • sales of fragrance

This changes the whole landscape. The idea of link exchanges and link spam as a method to attract Google’s search engine bots just doesn’t work. Age before linkage.

WordPress Blogroll Tip
The WordPress Links Manager allows you to set your blogroll links to change randomly with each page view. If you have a huge list of links in your blogroll, consider setting this to random so the links will change, appearing less like link exchange spam. Check out the other options in Links Manager for only showing updated links and other features.

Google also states very clearly that exchanging and buying links won’t work. They know the tricks and techniques. Also, getting links from documents that have no content, just links, also won’t work. Links without content won’t score high.

Now, does this mean that if you link to a page and they link back to you, your scores will go down and it might be considered link spam? No. The other criteria goes into effect to help offset this normal linking techniques. But it does impact the concept of the Blogrolls, which are sometimes considered link exchange lists. So choose your link exchanges wisely and avoid hundreds of links from your site to others, or being on a list of hundreds of links.

Domain Age

One of the other criteria is the age of the domain. Again, driven by spam sites which pop up and die off quickly, the age of the domain is usually a clue they tend to be in for the long haul.

This causes some problems. If you change your domain name, then are you back at the bottom of the barrel? Well, maybe not. If the rest of the criteria stays the same and your content maintains consistency, as does your traffic and incoming links, then this might just be a temporary drop and the rise will happen again soon.

Many hosts offer special rates for long term hosting and domain registration. Consider registering your domain for at least two years, five is better. This means you need to make sure that the domain name you choose is one you can live with for two to five years. You can change hosts, but the domain registration needs to stay the same, and stay in your name over the long haul to score points with Google.

Click Through Rates

The click through rate (CTR) of your site may play an important roll in adding up good points on your Google Search Engine score card. The CTR is the rate that people click “through” to your site. Referrer statistics are the numbers and methods visitors use to visit your site. This information tells the site administrator, and Google, from where did you arrive from to land on this site. Did you click through from a search engine (which one), directly, from another site (which site), or, as revealed in the patent, from the cache, temporary files, bookmarks, or favorites of your Internet browser.

The click through rate is also based on the CTR of the advertising on your site. The more ads which are clicked, the higher your score.

The CTR is also monitored for fresh or stale content – in other words, are they visiting new content on your site or old posts or articles? Trends and seasons are also taken into account as certain subject matter gains precedence with the time of the year and the current fad.

Trends, Fads, and Seasons

Built into the Google page ranking technique is the ability to track current and historical trends, fads and seasons. If your site deals with beach wear, the odds are that it will have more traffic during the beach wear season of summer than it will into the fall and winter. This seasonal traffic is taken into account and you may not lose rank when the traffic dies down seasonally.

It also tracks whatever is hot in trends and fads. Right now, everything to do with Hurricane Katrina is hot, hot, hot, but a couple years ago, everything and anything to do with protecting you and your home from biological terrorism was top of the list. Paris Hilton was top of the charts for a long time, doing battle with Britney Spears, but now, both of them are old news.

This is an interesting aspect of page ranking. If your site continues to push keywords long past the fad’s life span, then this could be seen as keyword spamming. Yet, using trends and fads keywords as they come and go could attract attention. Luckily, the rest of the criteria in the page ranking evaluation can help to clear out abusers of keywords related to the current fad or current event.

Posting Frequency

How often you update your pages and add content is monitored over time. It isn’t just how much but when. If you update or add hundreds of articles within a very short time, this is suspicious, but if you rarely update your site or add content over time, then your ranking will probably drop. Finding a happy medium is still a hit and miss angle, but the information seems to point to consistency not just random spurts of energy.

If you consistently add content once a week, and it stays steady, then it is seen as stable. If you add content consistently every day, and then it drops to nothing, then this change indicates an instability. If you do hit and miss content updating and additions over time, and then suddenly post a ton of activity, this can also be seen as instability and suspicious. Steady and consistent, no matter how frequently, adds weight to the score.

Many researchers say that frequent new or updated content carries more weight than infrequent changes to the site. I could find nothing in the patent that lent proof to that theory, but showing consistent activity does work.

A “stale” page is one that is old and rarely attracts interest. A “fresh” page is one that is new, and will be watched to see what kind of interest it may attract. By updating a stale page on your site, you may attract new interest by rewriting or structuring the information and keywords to attract more attention, breathing life back into the page. Google monitors this “refreshing” of pages to show activity and an increase in interest, scoring high.

Not all “old” pages on your site need updating. If it is still attracting decent traffic, then leave it alone. It is working for you.

The patent also reveals that stable pages that are working which suddenly attract a “spike” in the number of incoming links or click throughs may be an indication of a change of site ownership or spamming. Google evaluates not only the content but the historical changes in the content of the page and the site and if the changes are dramatic and sudden, then the site will rank lower. Stability over time scores higher.

Keywords Still Play a Roll

Keywords and keyword density still play an important roll in evaluating the content and content history. Putting keywords in titles, links, headings, tags, and throughout the page is still critical to the success of your site’s page ranking and keyword ranking results.

Changes to keywords, by arrangement, closeness, and inside of links, titles and headings are also monitored, much like link anchor text. Consider reviewing and updating your keywords and checking their density and use throughout your site on a regular basis, if search engine page ranking is important to you.

In upcoming posts, we’ll discuss how to maximize your keyword density in your blog posts.

Rank by Traffic, User Behavior, and You

Like other comparative search engines, Google’s patent also tells of how page rankings are compared across the board and monitored over time. The traffic is recorded and monitored. How much traffic each page gets as well as the overall site.

User behavior is checked. Google keeps track of how long visitors stay on your site and from what pages they exit your site. You also get points for bookmarking or adding to favorites.

Keyword search results are constantly monitored. What keywords brought the visitor to your site and what keywords they used to search once on your site.

But “you” also play a roll in determining the page ranking with Google. The domain registration information is checked and compared to the information on the site to make sure the two match. The address of the domain owner may help localize search results to that specific geographic area.

How you have your site hosted also is among the other administrative items checked off. Shared IP host addresses run a risk since they are shared. If someone else is using that server for spamming or other evils, you could also be punished. Dedicated hosting is very expensive, so make sure you choose a reputable host who is publicly and actively stopping spamming sites if you choose shared hosting.

The validity of the site’s code and structure plays a small part, but is still part of the criteria. Make sure your site’s code is validated, checked for errors, and friendly to search engines. Any errors in your page structure or code can easily thwart a search engine’s process through your site. Table designed sites rank low while CSS based designs are much more search engine friendly.

Spelling is still important. Not that Google’s patented page ranking process includes a spell checker – words that are not recognized get dumped. If misspelled keywords are among your missed spellings, then your site will be hurt in the rankings.

More Information Google’s New Patent

For more information on Google’s new patent information and how this information will impact your site and how you can use it to improve your site, here are some helpful articles.

Related Articles

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.


  1. Posted September 22, 2005 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Generally, it seems that the changes will bode well for non-spammers. Also, in terms of a domain’s longevity, simply purchasing/registering for a longer period is not going to guarantee higher rankings.

    Overall, it seems promising, and its seeming like when one does a search, one is likely to actually get the sites one wants to see. Its been a bit of pot luck in the past.

  2. Posted September 23, 2005 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    Very good description on google patent. then how about those criteria against our domain name? and our blogs?

  3. Posted September 23, 2005 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Against the domain name? I don’t see it impacting it at all.

    Now, the information that is MOST critical to know, that we still don’t know, is how much importance and points are given to each element. Is domain age 1% of your total score or 20%? Is link text changing only worth 5 out of 100 points or 25 out of 100 points. We just don’t know.

    We only know that these are the things that influence page rank. By knowing, we can learn how to do it “right”, and realize that all the energy put into spamming and conning search engines is just a waste of time.

  4. Posted September 24, 2005 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    In regards to domain age, does it use actual internic registration records, or just the earliest sign of the domain being accessed by a search engine? If somebody picks up a domain with or after it expires, will they still get the domain’s pagerank?

  5. Posted September 24, 2005 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    For specifics, read the patent. As I understand it, if the owner of a domain changes, then Google has a way of detecting the change and scores accordingly. Page Rank is not maintained.

    According to what I’ve been able to determine, it looks at the records as well as the age, and compares historical information it has on file. The point seems to be that spammers rarely keep a domain for long and some domain name buyers are just waiting for the windfall from the sale of a site name, so Google considers those in its score keeping. Which makes it more interesting when people claim page rank as influence to determine the price for selling a domain and site. The change of ownership impacts the page rank after the sale.

    Again, what I do not know is how many points are awarded to which aspect. The whole issue of domain name could be a tiny fraction of the whole consideration or it could play a very big roll.

  6. jesus
    Posted September 27, 2005 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    may I translate this post to spanish and post it?? I mean, is it protected with copyright or something like??…

    great post..

  7. Posted September 27, 2005 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    You cannot translate and post this article as it is protected by copyright. You can ask nicely, though. 😉

    For you, Jesus, as long as it stays on your site with full links to this article and site and credit to “me”, including a little bio, I give permission, but it isn’t given lightly.

    With the ease of translation of web pages, the need to translate is becoming less and less. A friend of mine is working on a translation program for viewing all web pages in almost any languages, and I look forward to one click translations of all web pages.

  8. Posted September 30, 2005 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle, I enjoyed your article very much. I usually rank very highly in Google, and have done so for a long time. However, I just added a new page, and am not doing so well there. Does it take a couple of weeks for a new page to move up to where the others are located in the ranking?

    In terms of translation to Spanish, the accuracy of translation programs is really bad. It helps me as a Spanish speaker, to speed up the translation by 20 to 40%, but if you do not have a Spanish speaker review the translation, then you can end up with some horrors. My favorite translation horror is a sign in Yosemite: In English it warns of the danger of the waterfall, and suggests that a person throw a leaf and see how fast the current takes it. In Spanish, the same sign reads, “Through yourself into the water, as a leaf.” But of course, that sign was there before most of us had even heard of the Web.

    Thanks again, Lorelle.


  9. Posted September 30, 2005 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    My favorite translation was also in Spanish. The news story was about freezing funds of a terrorist organization and it translated via the web as “froze his bottom”.

    It isn’t perfect, but it’s improving with time and use.

    As for waiting for a new page to rise in Google, remember, part of your “score” is how many qualified links there are to a specific post and your site in general. Have you checked to see how many links you have to the post?

    Page rank can be given to specific posts and sites, so it’s a confusing issue. I have some posts that put me at the top of the field, which the site might actually be lower in the ranking. It isn’t an easy thing to figure out.

  10. Posted October 27, 2005 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Hi Guys,

    This has been a most interesting article, opens you eyes to some new issues and clears up others. However the issue i have currently has not really been addressed, so i would love some advice and feedback, so here goes…

    I am a web designer, and have just aquired a new client. The client has had the domain for some time now and the domain is parked.

    The site has been ranked by google as a 6!! this makes me smile ofcourse, however as the site is not hosted, I shall be hosting it for the client.

    What I want to know is when I move the site from being parked with 123-reg to the new host will the site lose its google ranking of 6?

    please help….. Rahim

  11. Posted October 27, 2005 at 10:32 am | Permalink


    I am also interested in this issue…. does google look at the ip of the host as its address or just the actual name… thus are pages on a site attached to the domain name or the host address of those pages….

    answers on a post card pls….

  12. Posted October 27, 2005 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    From what I’ve been able to determine, a change in domain status, and that means just about any part of the domain, is an indicator to Google that something has “changed”. They still hold the cards in what they determine worthy of point loss as a penalty for the change, whatever the change is.

    Now, reality is, even if there is a change in your domain, from a switch in IP to domain name change and everything else, time heals all wounds.

    Page rank is NOT the end all and be all, and it does return. Focusing on page rank is like focusing on the stock market and making decisions on a minute by minute basis. In the end, you might win but you will do better to look at the longer term shifts and balances rather than the play-by-play.

    Last fall, I made a huge change in my main site’s name to a totally different one. I also took the opportunity to switch to a new IP since I hated the new owners’ business practices and customer lack-of-support. I also switched from static HTML design to PHP/WordPress driven design. I had a very high page ranking but decided the changes I made were long overdue and worth the risk.

    Not only did my page rankings dip for two months after, but they soared even higher than before after the change. I almost doubled my page rank and popularity. Sure, a lot of that is due to WordPress’ built-in SEO functions and tagging, but the point is that with all those changes, my page rank improved in the long run.

    If your site deserves to be in the high page ranks, no matter what changes you do to the domain issue (unless determined to be fraud), you will recover. Make sure content matters, keywords, links, and the rest of the criteria is high, and your page rank dip will be temporary, I’m sure.

  13. Posted November 2, 2005 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Question. How to go from a Page Rank of 4 to 6 after going from 0 to 4 in your first PR? Keep up the momentum. I have no traffic and no one cares about my sites but me but I care.

  14. Posted December 1, 2005 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the article. There is some information i would never thought of. How did you get from 0 to 4 if you do not have visitors? And why would you care if no one else does?

  15. Posted December 1, 2005 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    If you don’t have visitors, then you either have a website that doesn’t interest anyone, or you have done nothing to get your site into the search engines so no one has found it.

    And it all boils down to this: If you don’t care, who will?

    You have to care about what you right and feel it is worthy of being noticed by others and read. The key is to write content that others will want to read and link to. Worthy content is worth finding.

  16. Posted January 21, 2006 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Google also uses as a weight factor. Dmoz is a human edited directory. If you can get your domain in there (and it may take months or years, if you can get in it at all), you have a great shot of getting listed much higher. Beware the obnoxious and extremely rude behavior of the editors. How Google let’s them get away with that is beyond everyone.

  17. Posted January 31, 2006 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    For those who scroll down this far, check out Google Ranking Factors, a horribly designed web page but it seems to have some specific information gathered from around the web about how Google ranks and scores web pages. They have a disclaimer that says that this material may or may not be totally accurate, but it does offer some interesting information.

  18. Posted April 29, 2006 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    I am wanting to change wordpress into a website but not necessarily a blog site. I love the ease of use or appearance. I want to turn wordpress into my website but make it look like one and not look like a blog page. How would I do this?

    Can someone help me? Im looking for something easy to edit and modify such as this, but make it my personal website and not a BLOGpage.

  19. Posted April 30, 2006 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Well, this post isn’t the ideal place to answer this. Please see Why I Choose WordPress as My CMS, A Blogging Tool is Not Much More than a Content Management System in Disguise, A Blog By Any Other Name is Still a Website, and What I Needed to Learn About WordPress, but the only difference between a website and a blog is what you do with it and how you make it work for you. A website is a blog and a blog is website. A CMS can be both. I think you want to use WordPress as a CMS (Content Management System).

  20. Posted May 22, 2006 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Well… It’s nice article to know how google rank sites…

  21. Posted July 17, 2006 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Google’s methods have, for the most part, been known for quite some time now. They themselves have a page on search engine optimization, and the field is bustling. It’s nice to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, but these things are pretty much commonly known in SEO.

  22. Damnz!
    Posted August 25, 2006 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Just got to read this blog entry,, talk about good content :D. Don’t know why but many people tend to just make you feel SEOing is harder than suiciding 😀

  23. Posted September 12, 2006 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Great great article thanks… but wondering what the source is? how will i know if everything you say is true?

  24. Posted September 12, 2006 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Read the patents yourself.

  25. Posted September 21, 2006 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Very eye-opening. Maybe now I can finally make some things happen at a little more rapid pace. Thank you for your insight.

  26. Posted October 6, 2006 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks for spelling it all out in plain English. Like others, I’ve read similair articles/blogs before, but not found something quite so digestable. I use my blog for both personal and business reasons right now, though I must admit the Personal and Kazakhstan tagged entries have dipped down a bit recently. Still not seen my PR rise above 0 yet – how long after starting a blog would you expect some sort of score? I’m linked to in a few places, but more in MSN than Google…

  27. Posted October 6, 2006 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    If you don’t have enough links in Google, how can you expect your page rank in Google to rise? Check to see how many pages of your blog are listed with Google. If not enough, you will need to fix that first.

    Your page rank is dependent upon who is searching for what when. If you are doing everything right, have been around for 3-12 months, have pings to the search engines or have submitted your site to search engines, have keyword rich original content, then your page rank is also dependent upon those searching for your content.

    A lot of people who just start out are totally focused with the popularity contest of page rank. Focus on delivering the best content you can, on generating the business and readership your audience demands, and page rank will take of itself.

    As for how long, it all depends. For some sites, it takes a month. For others, years. You are competing with millions of websites and blogs. How is your competition doing?

    It’s a complex issue. I’ve given up tracking every little twinge in the page rank scores. Focus on your audience’s needs. Getting them and keeping them. That’s most important.

  28. Posted January 7, 2007 at 2:05 am | Permalink

    Very informative content. I have been following alot of this advice with no results. Does anybody know when the next page rank update will be?

  29. Posted January 7, 2007 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    You will have to ask Google and Page Rank fluctuates daily, as far as I know. I’ve never heard of an official page rank update date. Have patience. It takes a while for “everything” to work. Concentrate on content not page rank and it will happen by itself.

    The chase for page rank is old school thinking. The chase for steady, return customers and readers, which slowly builds a solid audience, is the modern thinking.

  30. gail
    Posted January 24, 2007 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Wow, very insightful Google info. I learned alot from your post. thanks!

  31. Freddy
    Posted March 28, 2007 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Great Article

  32. Posted March 29, 2007 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Hello, Can somebody tell me about approx date of next page rank update ?

  33. Posted April 2, 2007 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Hello Lorelle,

    Thanks a lot for visiting my blog and your comment.
    I have a few questions that I’d like to ask you..

    1. What are the facts about penalizing for outgoing link??

    Suppose: I have a lot of friends who are running non-english blog. (eg: burmese) If I link to one of their post, my blog may get penalized since Google might not know the language (eg: Burmese ) and might think that I’m linking to a post that doesn’t has proper content.
    Is it possible to happen like that??

    2. What is the ranking system for non-english??

    3. What would Google do if SEO guy do some contents mixed with links for promoting a particular site or blog?? a link list without content may get penalized. right? so, what if SEO guy put some contents (maybe. random paragraph or something) and link together?


  34. Posted April 2, 2007 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    I will be releasing information on the new Google Blog PageRank system. That will answer a lot of your questions.

    As for languages, Google is international and understands language issues. There are a lot of bloggers who link to non-their-language stuff.

    As for those who want to game Google using whatever slick methods they want to come up with, the folks at Google are often a step or two ahead, and occasionally a step behind, but they are constantly analyzing all of the gaming techniques. By the time you’ve heard of them, they’ve already figured them out.

    Honestly, write with strong keywords if you want to get found. If you don’t, just blog. If you play any games, like scraping content or not using any original content, you will get penalized. If you feel uncomfortable doing it, it’s probably the wrong thing to do. So don’t do it. Blog best by being you and letting the world get to know you, the blogger.

  35. Posted April 4, 2007 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your answer and your wish for my blog. I didn’t see both my comment and your comment since i was looking at the end of long trackback links..
    Thanks again for your answer. I will be waiting your new post for Google Blog PageRank system.

  36. Posted April 25, 2007 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Thanks for posting this, there’s a lot of useful information in this post, i’m going to spend some time in the next few days reading through the rest of your articles.

  37. Posted July 7, 2007 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    WOW – that was a nice read – A lot has changed I must add.
    I’m about to release a new ebook on How I achieved a PR6 in under 30 days with a new domain. I actually stumbled on the whole idea and technique by mistake.

  38. stella
    Posted July 8, 2007 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    google pr base on popularity backlink i think… but is that true at all

  39. Posted July 8, 2007 at 8:56 am | Permalink


    If you really read through the new PageRank patent, you will find that things have not changed much. In fact, these things have improved. There is now TrustRank and content matching, and link lists are now downgraded if there isn’t the text to explain the links, but for the most part, this still holds true but is emphasized more.

    More than every it is about content not just about who is linking to you and if your post title is forwards or backwards in relationship to your blog title. It’s about what you write and how you write.

    As for “another” writing on “how I broke the PageRank game to success”, it’s been done so many times and proven wrong…it’s really easy to get PageRank success. Very. But many think they have the secret formula.

    Good luck with yours.

  40. seoz
    Posted July 12, 2007 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    hey how do you add these things in your side bar. dont allow you to ise such things i try my best to find but fail
    please tell me how you do it

  41. Posted July 12, 2007 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    This is a blog and other than the paid option for styling the overall look of the WordPress Theme, I have done nothing special here that you can’t learn how to do in Blog Bling: Blogroll and Sidebar Bling.

  42. Posted July 14, 2007 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    This is one of the more accurate articles on Google ranking I have read. From my experience it comes down to two basic factors 1) quality inbound links and quality on-page content to match those links. Everything else is secondary.

  43. Posted July 18, 2007 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Its a shame i didn’t find this excellent articl 6 months when i started my website. But better late than never! A quick question for the article writer if possible: Its a startegy i thought that has been done and may work for me. What do you think about the usuage of Blogs? Its becoming increasingly popular too. What if i make a blog for my site and link back to it? Bear in mind i am not tech Savvy! Far from it actually! 🙂

  44. Posted July 18, 2007 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    One link from anywhere to anywhere doesn’t do anything. Many links from somewhere to a spot does something.

    Yes, any link from one source to another helps. Having a blog that links to your website helps, but the reason you have the blog must be more important than the link juice. That game has been played and it’s very old.

    Make the blog matter and the link matter and don’t play any games. That’s the best way this whole thing works.

  45. vpalmu
    Posted July 19, 2007 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Great article, Thanks !

  46. Posted July 31, 2007 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    i want to known more about the search of things from the internet, apart using google search, is there any web for searching out thing from the net, i wish to know as many as possible for me to know.
    And which one is best searching web in the internet.

  47. Posted July 31, 2007 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    very good read.. =)

  48. Posted August 3, 2007 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    Great article. Honestly, I wish i could write like you. We have so much to say, about database programming, but like our programs we tend to make it shorter and more compact, loosing in the process the narrative style.

  49. Review
    Posted August 20, 2007 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    thats all very nice information, thank you for that!!!

  50. Posted August 24, 2007 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    I saw that first comments dated Sept 2005, do you have an updated version of this awesome article?

    Or these rules are still effective?
    (sorry if my question is stupid, but I’m new to all this)

  51. Posted August 24, 2007 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    The information is not only still valid, it is “more” valid than ever before. Who you link to, and who links to you, carry tremendous weight. How old your site/domain is, the owners and any changes in ownership, and similar things are very important.

    If anything, keywords and search terms usage in content is especially important.

    This is also why using keywords in your comment form is considered bad form and bad manners, and makes an enemy of many bloggers. Don’t do it. Why risk your good reputation by playing old and silly games. It’s the blogger’s keywords that matter, not yours.

    Using keywords and search terms instead of a name or blog title in comments can quickly get your comment deleted, or worse, marked as spam.

  52. Posted September 18, 2007 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Thank for the information i sure will be using it on my Africa safari blog. It hasn’t been indexed yet but i know it’s just a matter of time.

  53. matt
    Posted September 27, 2007 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Here is another great article about ranking factors.

  54. Posted October 28, 2007 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    I have seen many blogs and read many articles on Google Page rank. Yes you all talk about keywords, outbound-inbound links but if you are as new as I am to blogging, no one talks about a kind of step by step guide for newbies for doing that. wihc are the haigh ranking blogs, which are high ranking keywords what if you are a blogger member. May be you could have done it better. I liked your blog’s presentation and your writing style but the content you talk about has been explained many times by many, something different would be a welcome.

  55. Posted October 28, 2007 at 6:18 am | Permalink


    If you notice the date of the article, it was written before “everyone” was talking about Google PageRank. Glad you finally got around to mine. 😀

    Knowing which keywords are “high ranking” only applies to your blog topic. You use the words people use to search for that subject. A top keyword or search phrase like “Paris Hilton” won’t get you traffic if you blog about knitting. Well, let’s say that those hunting for Paris Hilton won’t like finding your knitting blog in their search results, unless you’ve come up with a pattern to knit a Paris Hilton doll. 😀

    Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization Guide is a step by step article that might help you. One article should not answer ALL your questions, but thank you for being an inquiring mind.

  56. Posted November 14, 2007 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    2 years old but still informational.

  57. rayray7
    Posted November 18, 2007 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for a great article. As a blogger the ever elusive google is always changing the rules.Your well researched piece reveals known and unknown tactics employed by big brother google. Thanks for a fantastic post!

  58. Posted January 26, 2008 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Nice, didn’t know about anchor spam. Glad I read this it may help me out.

  59. Rytis
    Posted February 14, 2008 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Good article overall. It always amazes me how fast we are to label others as spammers. Let’s be honest, all SEO are SE spammers period. Wonder how “it is recommended to change the keywords in your anchor text around the top 5-10 keywords” is less spammy than other ways to manipulate (spam) Google 😉

  60. Posted March 2, 2008 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    […] engines now have patented algorithms to guess at what I’m really searching for better than I know myself. The sites at the top of […]

  61. Posted March 6, 2008 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Nice information about Keywords. This article is really very helpful for SEO learners.

  62. Posted March 21, 2008 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    Your article contribute a lot of information for SEO Community

  63. Posted March 24, 2008 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    I’m new to WordPress and blogging, but I love your blog! Wow, I could spend forever here reading all your goodies! Thanks so much for developing such an interesting and useful site. I can see that there is a lot to learn about blogging and how to make one’s blog more visible.

    Keep up the good work and thanks again!

  64. Posted April 10, 2008 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, this is a very good article

  65. Moin
    Posted April 18, 2008 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    A very neat and detailed post.It is 2008 but still this post is finding in top position in google search,so theres no need to say any word about the post.But still i went in to the post to find the post any interesting.Though i found the same ways but the way of presentation has attracted me to go through the post comlpetely.Thanks dear for posting a very good post.Please do continue to post these kind of good posts.

  66. Posted April 23, 2008 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I was just wondering if you know why google lists so few of the actual links to a site on theier query ( Of the thousands of links to my site only a handful are shown? How do they choose what links they list? Why don’t they list all of them? Is there any rhyme or reason to which ones are included and not? Is that about age, relevance, content or quality of the linking site? If they are not listed does taht mean that google does not recognize them and that they are not given any weight? Thanks.

  67. Posted April 23, 2008 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    @ Fred:

    You will have to ask Google. There is a lot that goes into their algorithm, and it changes frequently enough that even I can’t keep track. I gave up a couple years ago worrying about this. Look at the search results and you will often see a link to see “more” links that they omitted, considered duplicates and such. Try other sites to see what they report, and compare them. Maybe you don’t have as many incoming links as you think. I don’t know. Much of this is a mystery to me.

    What I do know is not a mystery is: write for your readers and for those searching for your content, and let the rest of it go. Google isn’t the only search engine in town.

  68. omarabid
    Posted May 15, 2008 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    hi lorelle can you explain how I get a PR of 5 within 2 months??

  69. Posted May 15, 2008 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    @ omarabid:

    I can explain anything. What I can also explain to you is that PageRank is broken. More and more companies that relied upon PageRank as a quality score card are turning away because it isn’t working and isn’t a fair consideration of a site’s value due to politics and poor business practices by Google.

  70. Gadgets
    Posted May 16, 2008 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Trustrank is a big issue with google. I find that it takes anything from 6-8 months for google to completely trust and start ranking any site properly. I have discovered that adding regular content tends to speed up the process.

  71. Posted May 20, 2008 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Nice SEO tips , it would help me optimize my blog . Hope i get to the front page of search result soon .. thanx tc .

  72. Posted May 29, 2008 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    CTR seems to be very easy to manipulate, keystroke automation can simulate user clicks and change IP, if CTR is been considered, how can google protect against manipulation?

  73. Posted June 1, 2008 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    @ site5000:

    Google PageRank experts are experts for a reason. You’ll have to ask Google these questions.

  74. jme
    Posted June 1, 2008 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    This is great info. It helps a starting blogger like me. A fiend of mine who just started her blog told me the key was to have a lot of links in your site…to exchange links with others. Good thing I came across your article. 🙂 It made more sense.

  75. Posted June 2, 2008 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    @ jme:

    Link exchanges don’t work. Sincere links from other sites recommending your site works much better. Give people a reason to link, don’t beg for links.

    And find a better definition of success. A successful blog is one that attracts like-minded readers willing to return for more and tell their friends. That may mean traffic levels of a couple hundred visitors a day or thousands of visitors a day. It’s all relative and you need to determine what success means for you.

  76. Posted July 2, 2008 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    thnks for article ..

    realy basic and usefull techniqs ..but i i think google change their algo , it rank sites by trustrank !! .. what is trustrank , anybody have any informatin about it ?

  77. Posted July 15, 2008 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    nice article

  78. Posted July 15, 2008 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    Very good…

  79. jeannea
    Posted July 21, 2008 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Hi, i have a website right now and its rank in google is no.2 or no.3. This website is just more than a month now. I wanted to make it in rank 1 what do you think i should do when the current rank 1 site is years older than my site. please help…

  80. Posted July 21, 2008 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    @ jeannea:

    Nothing. Actually, something. Stop focusing on Google. Google is not the only search engine in the world and others are actually gaining stride from the time to time. Have you researched how your blog scores in Yahoo and if you are also writing for Yahoo and MSN to attract the most traffic from them?

    Stop watching Google and start focusing on content. Content content content. It drives traffic, encourages returning customers, and a lot of linking if you are generating linkable content.

    I expect the whole methodology of ranking and scoring web pages and blog to completely change in the next year or two. It has to. So while waiting, put your energy into the known positive areas that work. Building a strong readership.

  81. Posted August 10, 2008 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Lorelle, I have a question regarding CTR and the traffic exchange sites that many Internet Marketers are using to promote their businesses. Is this type of promotion (traffic generation) truly beneficial for their sites? I often wonder if they are generating enough unique visitors and if the encapsulated environment is like framing?

  82. Posted August 10, 2008 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    @ Pittsburgh SEO Lady:

    Define “beneficial” and I might give you an answer.

    So far, blog promotion on other blogs works and doesn’t work, depending upon their site, the ad, the blog they are advertising on, and the demographics exposed to the ad. Traffic/Link exchanged died a couple years ago. I’d put my money elsewhere, like in content and organic marketing and social networking rather than traditional ad programs like this.

    It’s a whole new would out there for marketing and promoting your site, and a lot of very savvy web users who aren’t swayed by old thinking. It’s time for experimenting with new ideas and concepts.

    If you haven’t played with Woopra, stay tuned. For web analytics, I think it is going to change the whole way we view the numbers, including CTR. We’re now able to gather more “human” data and analyze that rather than just the numbers. We’re learning that the few can make you more money over time than the many, and that giving things away for free can make you a multi-millionaire. It’s a strange world and I’m loving it.

  83. Posted August 28, 2008 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    EDaniel, why don’t you use a CMS platform ?

  84. Posted September 12, 2008 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Very good tip about the rotating links. Didnt know they could do this. Thanks

  85. cathy
    Posted September 14, 2008 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I found this information very helpful. Seems the secret is to add content, lots! The search engines love it, so maybe one day I’ll see my rank climbing towards the top if I keep on keeping at it. I have a long way to go as there’s quite a bit of competition in the website development arena.

  86. Posted October 9, 2008 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    I was wondering why my blog page rank was down ? Few month ago I got rank4 but now decrease to 3!

  87. Posted October 25, 2008 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Hi, thanks for this nic3e article. I’m wondering why my page isn’t ranked by Google but it has been indexed. Is it because it’s just one month in operation? Thanks.

  88. Posted October 29, 2008 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    does google have a prefferencr in terms of ranking depending on the blogging platform? i.e. wordpress vs. blogger?

  89. Posted October 29, 2008 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    @ nico:

    WordPress tends to score higher and faster, but Google makes money from Blogger splogs and spam blogs, so you’ll have to ask them if they are picky and unbiased. But WordPress really scores very well which is why it is so popular with businesses.

  90. Posted December 27, 2008 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Hi lorelle,
    Is our outbond link also affect our blog rank? is using nofollow will resolve it?

    • Posted December 27, 2008 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      First of all, Google indexes ALL links. If they are still giving nofollow any credit, any link with nofollow in the link anchor tag will not get “credit” towards page rank. But if you type in the specific keyword on that page with that link with a nofollow attribute, it will still be found. No other search engine acknowledges nofollow, so for all intents and purposes, nofollow doesn’t work.

      The issue of outbound links is important, though, more so than nofollow which changes little. Google (and Google alone) puts incoming and outgoing links through a secret sauce mix to generate a page ranking for your site.

      Also, page ranking with Google is pretty much dead and of no account in the past year or so. They’ve messed around with page ranking so it has little impact on the average person. Advertisers are still taking it into account, but they know it’s dead, too. We’re waiting for the next profiling technique in search methods to come into being.

  91. Posted January 31, 2009 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Great post! As usual you supply useful information to your readers. This is something I am going to try to use in the future.
    Tons of useful information on how to improve your page rank. Thank you!

  92. Posted February 24, 2009 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I have 2 questions: The page rank has obviously nothing to do with the listing. Does this mean that the PR is only valuable to an outgoing link of the page having this PR?
    Question 2: There are examples where not a single keyword is present in a page that lists on top. This means google maintains an entire data bank on every page that it ranks?
    Does anybody know how, and to what extent google evaluates the content? Can google really determine if the sentences and the whole content “make sense”, or is it just guessing based on automated queries? Would it downgrade something like this: Consider there are 40000 Queries/month for women shoes compared to 1000 for women shoe- If I use the following phrase in the content, will google downgrade it?
    >A width f women shoes is best for you.<
    Happy googeling!

    • Posted February 24, 2009 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Page Rank has lost all credibility since I wrote this article. Those who live and die by it lose unless Google can get their act together and bring back its integrity. However, the points made within this article still hold true, in service to Google and other search engines, but more importantly, for your readers who depend upon these things themselves.

      Google and other search engines used to only store the first 1/3-1/2 of a page, but now that storage is cheaper and the technical ability to gather information has dramatically improved, they store the whole page, which someday will bite them as that is a copyright violation that people ignore. However, the most importantly “judged” content is still the closest to the post title, near the top. The idea is that if it takes you that long to get to the point, then something isn’t right with the content.

      For the rest of your questions beyond the two you original requested, Google is not the end all and be all of the web, and if you are producing content only for them, you are missing the big picture. Google has worked on developing the algorithm that evaluates your content on an ongoing basis to do profiling, content matching, link to content ratio evaluations, and so on. If you are replacing content with Flash and other non-contextual content, you are also losing points as web crawlers are just beginning to figure out how to find content where there is none.

      I recommend you stop writing for search engines and start writing for audience. Honestly. Search engines will love you even more if you do. They honor sites with the new Trust Rank that is slowly gaining credibility over Page Rank.

  93. Brad West
    Posted March 4, 2009 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    I just found your blog Lorelle, totally cool. Kind of like an all in one. I think I’m getting information overload with all the referances.

    Just got to say thanks
    Brad West ~ onomoney

  94. Posted May 11, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    saya kan mencobanya.. semoga berguna.. kayak masi perlu di translate lewat google ni.. Tq

  95. Posted May 11, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Amat sangat berguna, Tq sudah berbagi informasinya..

  96. Stewart Engelman
    Posted August 2, 2009 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    An excellent and well thought out article. Google, more so than other search engines, is concerned with quality over quantity. Not that number of backlinks and traffic are unimportant, but the nature of these elements is more important than their sheer quantity to Google.

    Although I personally can find little difference in the relevance of Google searches vs. MSN and Yahoo, others I have spoken with say they can. Of the three big engines, Yahoo appears to be the most concerned with quanitity (links, traffic, or perhaps both), and MSN seems to be in the middle.

    Your comments about building content and links in a stable manner is probably the single most important thing about building your Google ranking. Google tends to be very wary of any kind of spamming technique. Slow and steady is the key.

    The only comment I’d add to your fine article is that it helps to build backlinks from sites that are relevant to your own. This is another example of Google’s efforts to prevent spamming techniques.

  97. Posted September 6, 2009 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    This article is four years old. Is the information still relevant? Or, since most of it seems pretty much in line with how things stand today (as best as I can tell and considering, too, that I am a newbie), maybe it would be best to ask if any points discussed need to be updated.

    Thank you for writing on this subject; there is very little ‘out there’ about this most important subject, and this thorough coverage is most welcome.

    • Posted September 6, 2009 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Yes. This information is relevant. The article has been updated over the years.

      In other words, never judge an article by it’s publish date. 😀

  98. Stewart Engelman
    Posted September 6, 2009 at 5:51 am | Permalink


    In response to Jo de Jong’s September 6, 2009 2:19 am post, I think the thread author did a good job of explaining Google’s ranking logic. My personal belief is that the information provided by Lorelle is timely and accurate, to the extent that anyone outside of Google can opine on. The great difficulty with Google is that they are very secretive about their SERP logic, and they make periodic changes to it as well. There is thus no means of obtaining a complete, ideal set of rules for optimizing your pages for Google.

    The best way of keeping pace with Google’s ever changing SERP formula is to retain the services of an SEO expert, who obviously works with Google on an everyday basis and thus can provide page code that is as optimized as possible, and recommend useful incoming links, as by working with Google on a regular basis will give such an expert clues as to which methods will work best at any given time. Admittedly, these services can be expensive (especially in regard to obtaining high value incoming links). But the effort will likely be more successful than going it alone.

    As mentioned in my August 2, 2009 7:51 am post, the only thing I would add to Lorelle’s fine article is that backlinks are more likely to be recognized for PR building purposes if the sites with the incoming link are topically related to your web site.

    Hope this helps,

    Stu Engelman

  99. Jo de Jong
    Posted September 6, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Mr. Engelman for your helpful comments.

    And thank you, Lorelle, for your prompt response to my question. I had accidentally come across a comment about the ‘sandbox’ and a site’s age and was specifically looking for more more about that. You provided it nicely, thank you, and a lot of other SEO information that beginners need. Kudos.

  100. Stewart Engelman
    Posted September 6, 2009 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    An excellent article, with all facts presented correctly. The most critical thing is to build high quality links over time, rather than quickly adding a large number of low quality links. Google likes the appearance (and by extension, the reality) of other sites naturally linking to your site because it has valuable information on it. Preparing good content, updating at reasonable intervals, and avoiding known paid incoming links are key.

  101. Richard
    Posted October 12, 2009 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Do we have any specific duration for new sites to start geeting traffic on google first ten pages

  102. Stewart Engelman
    Posted October 12, 2009 at 5:36 am | Permalink


    Getting a top ten rating in Google is very hard at first unless you focus initially on META keywords with a high KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index). This means that the ratio of people are searching for the term is high in relation to the number of sites that have that term as a META keyword.

    Over time, by getting hits from the high KEI keywords, your Alexa traffic will improve, and you’ll get backlinks from social bookmarking sites (the latter especially so if you add links to Deliciious, StumbleUpon, etc.). This will raise your Google PR, and then you can go for the lower KEI keywords in your META tags (which tend to have alot more searches). This will in turn allow you to get high SERP in the keywords you really covet, which in turn will drive your traffic and PR even more. Basically, the idea is to move slowly so you ultimately get on the positive side of the “virtuous cycle”.

  103. Posted January 24, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle, thank you for a VERY informative article. This is great information and comes at a time when I am working on developing my own site and learning about the great mystery of SEO. I have a couple of questions if you’ll indulge me. A few articles I’ve read suggest that Google ignores the Keyword meta tag. Your article suggests that this meta tag is still relevant. I’ve noticed some sites use this meta tag and some (that rank highly) don’t use it at all. What do you think is the value of the keyword meta tag?

    Secondly, I originally registered my domain a while ago. My site is not live yet, but will be soon. With my host, I am able to transfer my registration for free for one year. I was planning to do this when my registration is due to expire to save a little $$. However, if I understand your article, this change would be perceived as a new registration to Google and would affect my ranking. Should I change my registration now before my site is live instead of waiting until the registration is due to expire/renew?

    Many thanks for your insight!

    • Posted January 29, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      This is an old article, but most of the information in it is still valid.

      Google ignores meta tags. Others don’t. Most do. Check with individual search engines for their specific interests.

      With registration, do whatever you need to do based upon your needs, not SEO. It’s more important that you serve your own needs and that of your readers than paying attention to the needs of search engines. Write for humans, not bots. Seriously. That’s what you need to know the most. 😀

  104. Sean
    Posted May 11, 2010 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Lorelle, you have a wonderful style of writing. I personally find it very difficult keeping myself inspired and also keeping the momenteum going with my own blog. Could you please give me some tips on how you keep up to date with the latest information and what keeps you from the dreaded writers block?

  105. Brad Frank
    Posted May 18, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Good advice! Good to know that link exchanges aren’t necessary. What a pain.

  106. Christine
    Posted June 17, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Thank you ! Most time I would click on an article on how to improve my SEO they were long rants and the information was hard to access. Your page is set up perfect! I am also reading your page: Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization Guide.

    Thank you so much!

  107. kevin
    Posted September 14, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    After a year of intense work on a new website that has a controversial adult theme, I have finally launched the site and I am now in the process of promotion in a highly competitive environment. I’ve done some blogging, paid for some banner advertising, etc., and am monitoring my incoming links on a link popularity program. I have noticed that Alta Vista and Yahoo were the first to acknowledge those links, followed by All the Web, then Bing and Google. After three weeks, Google has not acknowledged a single back link, Bing has acknowledged 2, while the others are very active, showing links in the thousands. I suspect the time element is the main reason. I think Google is very discriminative for a whole variety of factors, but time seems to be one of them that you can’t do anything about. So, that more or less forces a new website to advertise on more mature sites in order to channel traffic. Also, I suspect that Google may discriminate against adult websites because of the subject material. That seems to be apparent as I view my competition who show very low Google approved links while tons of links with the other search engines are being recognized. Of course, pansy sites offering apple pie recipes don’t seem to suffer the same fate. It’s as if Google is practicing some censoring in it’s algorithm. What do you think?

    • Posted September 14, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      As this very old, but still relevant article states, there is a lot more that goes into the mix on Google’s algorithm than we can possibly figure out in a single blog post.

      Google has built-in “safe” filters that few ever turn off. This would block your site if they have deemed it accordingly. Google now works with TrustRank, which is a part machine-part human process of establishing trustworthy sites based upon who links to them. The more incoming links a site has from trustworthy sites, the more relevant and trusted the linked to site is. With so little time on the planet, your site hasn’t built up much trust.

      Google has killed their PageRank because it was never trustworthy to begin with. If you are looking at some program that evaluates page rank with Google, I’d doubt its overall ranking. Google also now uses profiling to deliver search results. If you are searching for yourself, the results are designed to match your needs, not everyone’s, so it might not reflect Google’s true ranking for your site.

      I’d concentrate on organically building traffic and attracting interest and enthusiasm and stop chasing Google juice and rank games. There are better metrics to help you understand if you are properly serving your audience and reaching them.

  108. Bjo
    Posted January 5, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the helpful tips. Your articles bring me the insights I am needing very much to work on my website. I have worked on the site for a couple of months, however, I have not been able to locate my site in the top 25 pages of Google search results.

    The most difficult factor for me is to have links, and links with decent weights to my site.

    • Posted January 5, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      Sorry to be snarky, but you asked. It’s clear that you haven’t done the real work you need to do on your site. It looks like a static site set up as a billboard, a virtual yellow pages ad, and hasn’t been touched in years. While this is an article written a long time ago, much of the information within it is still valid. Your site is static, not dynamic, a penalty against it. There are only a few pages, all static, and it looks like it hasn’t been updated in ages, especially with so little content. The keywords and SEO work on it is not consistent. The site’s code and design also doesn’t match web standards for accessibility, which can also be a strike against it. There is no feed, no social media links, no community features or tools, and no interactivity. There is no content worth linking to, so how can people have any incentive to link.

      Looks like it’s time for a major overhaul that has little to do with SEO tricks and a lot to do with really offering quality, linkable content.

  109. kavinsharma
    Posted June 14, 2011 at 4:12 am | Permalink

    As this very old, but still relevant article states, there is a lot more that goes into the mix on Google’s algorithm than we can possibly figure out in a single blog post.

    Google has built-in “safe” filters that few ever turn off. This would block your site if they have deemed it accordingly. Google now works with TrustRank, which is a part machine-part human process of establishing trustworthy sites based upon who links to them. The more incoming links a site has from trustworthy sites, the more relevant and trusted the linked to site is. With so little time on the planet, your site hasn’t built up much trust.

    Google has killed their PageRank because it was never trustworthy to begin with. If you are looking at some program that evaluates page rank with Google, I’d doubt its overall ranking. Google also now uses profiling to deliver search results. If you are searching for yourself, the results are designed to match your needs, not everyone’s, so it might not reflect Google’s true ranking for your site.

    I’d concentrate on organically building traffic and attracting interest and enthusiasm and stop chasing Google juice and rank games. There are better metrics to help you understand if you are properly serving your audience and reaching them.

    • Posted June 14, 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Yes, this is an “old” post, but I’ve updated it from time to time. For the most part, the information still applies and TrustRank continues to grow in usage and integrity, as does profiling. What you call “safe” filters only protect people from porn and non-trustworthy and literally unsafe sites, they do not censor the sites. They act like security privacy guards. However, Google’s profiling does indeed filter out what you see based upon your search history which they analyze. Google’s Social Search is turned off automatically when you log out of Google applications, and you can customize it to some point through your Google Profile if you wish to have some of the social search results features. This is Google’s attempt to “help” even if you don’t want it, however it doesn’t impact overall Google ranking just brings search results to you based upon your search history and preferences. Highly different from PageRank, which was not trustworthy nor a viable way of ranking pages, though a good attempt in the early days of such efforts. We learned a lot about manipulating search results which led to more powerful analytics, SEO factors, and improved organic ranking.

      I have never claimed to promote black or even gray hat SEO. I’ve never pushed nor pulled traffic by means other than organic and have promoted this from day one. However, understanding the mechanisms behind how this all works is critical for a professional in web development, design, and publishing, which is the purpose behind this article. Know thy craft.

  110. Albert
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Very Good article. It should be good to know, how important is each od this factors and what is more important and what is less.

    • Posted November 15, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      While this article is from several years ago, it still is valid. It also includes some descriptions of how much importance Google puts on many of the items. Trust Rank is now more important than ever, which means links have credibility.

  111. Charissa
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if
    you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my
    newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  112. Posted December 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you simply shared
    this useful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  1. […] bewertet. Technorati Tags: Google PageRank DomainAge Posting Frequency CTR Links | Permalink | Trackback-URL  […]

  2. […] Lorelle on WordPress have tips on how Google Rank websites. Check it out if you want to have your site rank better. […]

  3. […] I found this interesting article on how Google ranks pages. The cat’s out of the bag, folks! […]

  4. […] Lorelle hat sich ein schon etwas älteres Patent zur Suchtechnologie von Google ein wenig näher angeschaut und analysiert. Robert ist irgendwie darauf gestoßen und verweist in seinem Blog mit den Worten “wie Google eine Webseite bewertet” darauf. […]

  5. […] We recently wrote about how Google ranks websites, Google Blogsearch, and how to submit your sitemap and feeds to Google, but there is plenty of information on the web about what Google is doing, if you know where to look. […]

  6. […] Qu factores toma en cuenta Google para asignar el ranking a cada website. […]

  7. […] Set a schedule for deadlines on adding new pages, or changing the old, on your site. Each site should have a schedule unique to its user’s needs and your business. Google scores higher points for sites which add consistently changing and new content, resulting in higher page ranks. A static website that doesn’t change is fine for a single store front and a small business with limited resources and information and targetting a narrow audience. If you are actively seeking clients and want people to return to your site frequently, consider adding and updating content on a regular basis. Once a day or week might be too much, though for some it is too little. Only you can decide what the right schedule is for your site or blog. Keep your web pages fresh and invite people to return for more. […]

  8. Google 网站评估大?秘

    Google Pagerank的?题已?被??得让人厌烦了,?过?使如此,我们也?能掉以轻心,是??现在我们就?次?习一下这几个题目
    1 链接 Links?注?两点:[1] 在精?在多,并?多多益善哦。?…

  9. Google rankings explained

    Lorelle on WordPress explains how Google ranks websites.

  10. […] It’s quite strange I found something very unrelated when looking for WordPress plugin that can list my own private posts after logged in. Here it is, a nice summary on how Google ranked its pages. Of course, this is not news at all. […]

  11. Google and Page Ranking

    I found this interesting article on how Google ranks pages. The cat’s out of the bag, folks!

  12. […] This type of spamming tries to manipulate the search engines algorithm. As one of the seo element, webmasters will submit URL to the search engines for indexing. Then, basically search engine will send its bots/spider/crawler to crawl the website, read and collect the Meta keywords, description, title and contents. Found links will be followed and start a new information reading and collecting. The collected information will be indexed in their database to make it searchable. After the indexing is completed, the documents are ranked to determine their relevancy. In the hardware aspect, the search engine database is stored in thousand of servers (use clustering, load balancing and redundancy etc.) to ensure the user searching faster. Well, the main purpose of the spamdexing is to increase the chance to be placed close to the beginning of search engine results, for example page 1 in 10 listing per page of the serp. Search engines use a variety of algorithms to determine relevancy ranking. Some of these include determining whether the search term appears in the META keywords tag, others whether the search term appears in the body text of a web page. A variety of techniques are used to spamdex, including listing chosen keywords on a page in small-point font face the same colour as the page background (rendering it invisible to humans but not search engine web crawlers). Search engine spammers are generally aware that the content that they promote is not very useful or relevant to the ordinary internet surfer. They try to use methods that will make the website appear above more relevant websites in the search engine listings. Unfortunately all known technique has been recognized by the search engine. If you got caught (else, it is business as usual), your site or in the worse case the domain will be penalized and de-indexed. Major search engines’ features information can be found here. […]

  13. […] Secret Out: How Google Ranks Websites […]

  14. […] If you are not familiar with SEO and search engine page ranking, then check out my article on How Google Ranks Websites for a better understanding of how search engines work and how they evaluate your site. And for more information on how a search engine gathers information from your blog, read How Search Engines See, Search, and Visit Your Website. […]

  15. […] Secret Out: How Google Ranks Websites […]

  16. […] Lorelle, in here “Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites“, presents a thorough walk-through of Google’s ranking system, the patent made public last year. Rumors of how to fool the serch engine has run around the Internet for quite some time.Would a lot of keywords in metat tags do?What about homungous link lists, or lots of hidden text or random image scripts? […]

  17. […] Secret Out: How Google Ranks Websites […]

  18. […] Secret Out: How Google Ranks Websites […]

  19. […] Lorelle on WordPress » Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites […]

  20. […] I got a comment on my article about how Google ranks websites asking me: “How did you get from 0 to 4 if you do not have visitors? And why would you care if no one else does?” […]

  21. […] As a long time fan of accessibility in website design, A List Apart’s Andy Hagan’s article, “High Accessibility Is Effective Search Engine Optimization” is a splendid look at how the fight for the right for accessible web pages actually helps your SEO and search engine page rank. I have been a search engine optimizer for several years, but only recently have become infatuated with web accessibility. After reading for weeks and painstakingly editing my personal website to comply with most W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, I have come to a startling revelation: high accessibility overlaps heavily with effective white hat SEO…On further reflection, this overlap makes sense. The goal of accessibility is to make web content accessible to as many people as possible, including those who experience that content under technical, physical, or other constraints. It may be useful to think of search engines as users with substantial constraints: they can’t read text in images, can’t interpret JavaScript or applets, and can’t “view? many other kinds of multimedia content. These are the types of problems that accessibility is supposed to solve in the first place. […]

  22. […] Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites […]

  23. […] Found a very interesting read today: Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites. Now I’m wondering if all those language links on Blank Slate are such a good idea after all… […]

  24. […] I’ve written about this before, and in basic English, this statement, a part of the original 2000 dated submission, says that Google will monitor what you search and view and associate that information with you. Their efforts will lead to targeted search profiling, increasing the odds of generating search results based upon your history of searching. In other words, it’s like visiting a restaurant that “knows you” and only being served what they know you will like because you’ve established history and reputation with them. […]

  25. […] Qu factores toma en cuenta Google para asignar el ranking a cada website. Aprovechar el espacio (28/9/2005): […]

  26. […] Now, move ahead to “modern” web design and development techniques where such keyword spamming is recognized and punished by search engines, knowing a trick when they see one. The same pages are now filled with tags. The same type of article on buying ring tones for your cell phone might include a list of tags like this: […]

  27. […] David Breyer’s article on putting, Digg, Technorati and Slashdot buttons in your WordPress blog is brilliant and a must have if you are going for good SEO page ranking. It also makes it easy for users of, Technorati, Digg, and Slashdot to add your article to their tag service. […]

  28. […] >> Lorelle on WordPress » Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites […]

  29. […] The goal of splogs is two-fold. One is to attract the attention of search engines to drive traffic to their site. The other is to create a lot of links to their main marketing scheme sites. The more incoming links their main site has, typically the higher the page rank in search engines. Fortunately, search engines are getting smarter and the number of incoming links is just one of the factors in determining page rank, not the most important one. […]

  30. […] By recommending a site with a link, you are lending your site’s linking power and reputation to that link. Search engine’s have the ability to judge incoming and outgoing links as part of their page ranking analysis. If your site ranks high and you link to another site, their site scores better for that link than if a lessor site linked to them. Thus, your site is judged by its link popularity. To help you determine your own linking reputation, I wrote about how to test your site for its link popularity and page rank. […]

  31. […] Link popularity, the number of external sites which link to you, is still critical to successful search engine page ranking. But it isn’t a matter of how many but who links to you. Search engines know the difference between lots of links and quality linking. They evaluate who is linking to you and if their links and content matches your content. If they don’t, it’s ignored. If it does, it scores. […]

  32. […] Along with the linking theme here, you may want to read this one: Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites, by Lorelle on WordPress “.  May be old news for some (from 2005), but…  She explains in interesting and easy to read language the in’s and out’s of how Google manages to outwit the spammers. And she makes some more sense out of the queries in my 1st post. […]

  33. […] Not all search engines use Meta Tags, but some do. WordPress sites do not have meta tags for keywords out of the box, but you can add them manually to your template files or use a keyword plugin. They are not required today for search engine inclusion, but it also doesn’t hurt. […]

  34. […] Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites […]

  35. How Google Ranks Websites

    An analysis of the Google PR algorithm

  36. […] “Google monitors this ‘refreshing’ of pages to show activity and an increase in interest, scoring high. The patent also reveals that stable pages that are working which suddenly attract a “spike” in the number of incoming links or click throughs may be an indication of a change of site ownership or spamming. Google evaluates not only the content but the historical changes in the content of the page and the site and if the changes are dramatic and sudden, then the site will rank lower. Stability over time scores higher.” -Secret Out […]

  37. […] In my popular article, “How Google Ranks Websites”, I wrote about the various elements used in form of score card that Google and other search engines use to judge your site in order to determine its rankings. As a reminder, here are some of the items evaluated on your site: […]

  38. […] She also has a lot of other useful and well written entries, so next time you’ve finished reading here, check out her site Click the relevant icon above to share this page with othersThese icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  39. […] Many of us are still trying to figure out how Google’s Page Rank works, but at least we have a better clue now on how Technorati ranking works through a good explanation by Brian Pinkerton in “Making Sense of Technorati Link Counts”. We display four count-related numbers in just this little part of the page. Here’s what they mean: […]

  40. […] Lorelle on WordPress » Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites […]

  41. […] Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites […]

  42. […] Today, I was reading Lorelle VanFossen’s WordPress blog specifically her article title ‘Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites. […]

  43. […] that use a form of link exchange to try to enhance their search engine ranking.  After reading this article by Lorelle on WordPress, I’ve decided that she has written a good piece (most of her writing […]

  44. […] engines now have patented algorithms to guess at what I’m really searching for better than I know myself. The sites at the top of […]

  45. […] Ja ir interese, var palasīt Wikipēdijas rakstu par PageRank: [PageRank] Labs skaidrojums ir arī šeit: [Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites] […]

  46. […] engines now have patented algorithms to guess at what I’m really searching for better than I know myself. The sites at the top of […]

  47. […] במנועי החיפוש. הפטנט של מנוע החיפוש של גוגל כבר פורסם ונחקר. מנועי החיפוש של יאהו ו-MSN, אינן שונים בצורה […]

  48. […] on who you are linking to as well as who is linking to you to add to the mishmash they call their page rank algorithm to determine how popular your blog is and where it should rank in the search […]

  49. […] When I read Lorelle’s explanation on how Google ranks the websites (You can read here “Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites” ) , I come to know that it’s better to stop playing “link exchange” […]

  50. […] Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites […]

  51. […] How (the hell) did my blog rank 5th in Google? Filed under: blogging, google — mahendrap @ 11:17 am Regarding Google page ranking, it is well-known that: […]

  52. […] Secret Out: How Google Ranks Websites […]

  53. […] Hier […]

  54. […] little publicized SEO factor with Google’s PageRank is the issue of updating old […]

  55. […] new PageRank algorithm now investigates and considers links and content in many ways. It’s about keyword matching […]

  56. […] Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites is still valid amost two years later. Google recently improved their algorithm, but the improvements improve what is discussed in this article, with a few new features such as TrustRank. […]

  57. […] it’s been abandoned for a long time already. So I researched this site and found this post, Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites. If you are interested in improving your rank, head over there and read it. I would have made a […]

  58. […] has been rumored in recent years that Google is putting more weight on the age of a domain when determining search rankings.  This is especially true with commercial sites versus those in […]

  59. […] 谷歌现在使用新的PageRank超连接计算对链接和内容从多个角度进行考量,是针对关键字及其相关的链接内容而言。 […]

  60. […] link is made to the original article, giving you credit points in the determination of Google’s Page Rank, which counts outgoing and incoming links, and lending a hand to the original author’s Page […]

  61. […] this from Lorelle’s Secret Out- How Google Ranks Websites: There is now TrustRank and content matching, and link lists are now downgraded if there isn’t […]

  62. […] blogs. They are also known as referrals or incoming links. In the world of Google PageRank™, links to your blog count. The more incoming links the better, […]

  63. […] submit, ping, or socialize it. I rely upon the natural workings of WordPress, and my knowledge of how search engines work, and how people search, and let them do their work while I do mine. I respond when the response is […]

  64. […] Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites […]

  65. […] that use a form of link exchange to try to enhance their search engine ranking. After reading this article by Lorelle on WordPress, I’ve decided that she has written a good piece (most of her writing […]

  66. […] PageRank and a lot of the mysteries surrounding how you get included and how high your posts rate within Google and other search engines is a mix of good keyword usage, popularity of incoming links, and how much you are willing to pay. There are a few more ingredients to the mix, and it’s not much of a secret any more, nor does PageRank rule the web as it once did. It’s been tarnished a lot lately. […]

  67. […] Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites […]

  68. […] game Google.” Clearly, playing the Google Game won’t work if you put all your focus on interpreting what Google wants and then serving only that. It’s like asking for carrot cake and getting serviced a bowl of […]

  69. […] She also has a lot of other useful and well written entries, so next time you’ve finished reading here, check out her site […]

  70. […] which users can then search through. The search results they create make links to web pages, but search engines like Google use page ranking algorithms to determine the value of a site, and much of that score card is filled with points based upon how […]

  71. […] How Does Google Aggregate Search Results? You can start by reading here: Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites Lorelle on WordPress __________________ Kjell Gunnar Bleivik:: Financial information at your fingertips Learn object […]

  72. […] its packed full of stuff. And to top it off I think that its by one of our own Netponders ……ranks-websites/ Read more at: Tags: great, readstrong, seo, […]

  73. […] This is an article I found today on Lorelle’s amazing WordPress blog. It’s the perfect answer to that ever-popular question, “How do I get my site to rank high in Google?” I wish there was a “silver bullet answer” to this question too, but it’s a not so much a magic formula as it is a carefully planned campaign. Lorelle does a great job of explaining the various factors, but in a nutshell, Google bases it’s page ranking system on a combination of the following factors: […]

  74. […] order to reach anyone, they have to be on that web page. So businesses started paying attention to how search engines were ranking them, studying their algorithms and methodology like a science. “If we do X then our scores will […]

  75. […] you are not familiar with SEO and search engine page ranking, then check out my article on How Google Ranks Websites for a better understanding of how search engines work and how they evaluate your site. And for more […]

  76. […] like what Lorelle VanFossen says about PageRank in a comment she made on her blog post “How Google Ranks Websites.” (A must […]

  77. […] thank you to Lorelle for her post “Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites.” It really does pay to read through bloggers […]

  78. […] is because search engines use an algorithm with percentages in it. Here is an example of how that percentage affects your content being found: […]

  79. […] little publicized SEO factor with Google’s PageRank is the issue of updating old […]

  80. […] and making trust a little more important. They’ve improved the implementation of their Trust Rank section of their search algorithm. Sites scoring high on the trust meter, with consistent quality content and links to quality […]

  81. […] blog and perhaps provide you with some new readers. This may also help your credit ranking with Google’s Page Rank, which counts outgoing and incoming links. You also need to make sure that you credit the images […]

  82. […] news or trending topic is critical to your business, make sure that your site takes advantage of search engine optimization techniques by keyword […]

  83. […] news or trending topic is critical to your business, make sure that your site takes advantage of search engine optimization techniques by keyword […]

  84. […] engine optimization techniques improve your blog’s ranking in search engine results. If the search engine can move easily through your blog without interruption or error, you have a […]

  85. […] Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites […]

  86. […] Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites […]

  87. […] Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites […]

  88. […] Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites […]

  89. […] Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites […]

  90. […] Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites […]

  91. […] How Google Ranks Websites […]

  92. […] do not increase traffic. Tags do not help search engines add you to their databases. Tags do not help your page ranking. Tags do not cause readers to be impressed with what you write. Tags do not help you with social […]

  93. […] Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites […]

  94. […] Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites […]

  95. […] without image quality loss, and determining how far to go is part of the preparation process. In Google’s SEO secret sauce algorithm is a check for website speeds and access times. Slow load times maybe […]

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