There is soooo much to learn about all things blogging. TONS! I am a firm believer in making friends with people who know a lot more than I do… it comes in handy sometimes! I recently met Dan Morris when I attended the Blog Workshop’s online conference, He is a fountain of knowledge and has been kind enough to share some Page Rank, Keywords and Alexa wisdom with us all!
Misinformation is bane of us all, isn’t it? Ever do something for someone only to be told “that’s not what I wanted”. Arghhhhh!!!! Just tell me what you want and I’ll do it. But it happens all the time. We get bad information and then spend time and money chasing it only to realize we were chasing nothing.
As a blog revenue coach I am privileged to work with extremely bright people who just want to know how to make more money with their efforts. And none of them are stupid. It’s just that none of us went to school to become bloggers. So we sometimes end up chasing things that just aren’t important. And most of that we learn online from others that are learning it and those that are “teaching” it.
And as Abraham Lincoln famously said “everything you learn online is true”.
Which means lots of people learn bad things. . . . and often times from good people. So I’d like to address the top three myths of blogging that people needlessly chase.
1. Let’s start with Page Rank. Holy moly shoot me in the head every time I get questioned about improving Page Rank. While it does have a place, most of us never need to think about it. In fact, 99.9% of your readers don’t care what your Page Rank is. I’ve read a few thousand testimonials in my time but never have I come across one like this one:
The tips you gave me on pruning my tomato plant were fabulous. We enjoyed the biggest harvest ever and are now learning to can (thanks to you). I can’t wait to buy your ebook. I’m not sure what I would do without your high Page Rank. Thanks again, Marylou”
or this on Facebook:
“Anybody know of a good pediatrician in Bloomington? The one we’re going to is great with kids in the chair, but they’ve got nothing in the waiting room. Going there with more than one kid tests me. P.S. No recommendations with a low Page Rank, please. ”
You see those all the time, don’t you?
Do you know what Page Rank is? It is a number that only Google knows. (Other websites will estimate it but only Google knows.) It’s really just n indication of the number of links coming into your site, weighted by how powerful the site is that is linking to you.
Given the same content, Google wants to know who is more influential or powerful. Page Rank is a shallow, objective indication of that. But it doesn’t mean that your site is smarter, makes more money, has better content or is a better resource to readers. When you create a great community, great content or great social interaction your Page Rank will ultimately reflect that because people will link to it, reference it, rely on it, use it.
But But But But But But But. . . . every second that you’re chasing Page Rank your readers are finding other sites to tempt their fancy. Every moment you decide that you need to improve your Page Rank is a moment in time that you’re not improving it at all.
Be awesome. Create awesome content. And be so proud of it you’re willing to shout it and share it with the world. Don’t wait for the world to find it. If it is an awesome discussion on Dyslexia, don’t fail to write the United States Dyslexia Foundation and invite them to read it and share it. If it is about economics, don’t fail to address an envelope to the top economics minds in the country at every university and in politics. If it is about Dogs, don’t forget to tell PetSmart about it. Don’t forget to write the American Kennel Club about it.
Don’t wait. If you want to improve your Page Rank, be awesome and people will link to you (after they know you exist).
Yes, some of you are screaming at me because every Sponsor application you fill out has Page Rank on it. Well if it is low, don’t lie. But then tell them what makes you awesome. Tell them how you’re an influencer with their target market. Show them that you get great traffic from the same keywords they get traffic for. Just make the point. CNN.com might have a high page rank and lots of traffic, but a seamstress-for-hire might find a much better audience at a small quilting site. Show them how you”ll benefit them.
Don’t let Sponsors pigeon-hole you. Prove you rock.
And if your site doesn’t rock. Only worry about that till it does.
2. Here’s a big one. . . the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. If you’ve been told this is an SEO tool, you’ve been lied to. The only thing the Adwords tool can tell you is if the keyword you’re researching is a commercial or informational term. For more information on that, I wrote a short blog post explaining it.
Every time I say this, one person comes out of the woodwork. That person is going to tell us about the success they’ve had with the tool. I bow to them. I applaud them. I envy their luck. But the tool isn’t designed for that and doesn’t give any information to support that. Don’t use it. It’s not what you think it is.
3. Finally, Alexa Rank. If I have heard “how do I improve my Alexa Rank” once I’ve heard it 1,000 times. But just like in our discussion about Page Rank, Alexa doesn’t serve your readers. And it doesn’t mean anything. I know your Sponsors want to know it, but that’s because most of the time they don’t understand it either.
So what is Alexa Rank? Alexa is a company that has attempted to estimate traffic to certain websites. They’ve got a few different things in their calculation but one of them is the most important. Alexa tracks the people who have the Alexa Toolbar installed on their browser. With that toolbar they can see all the sites you visit. Put that data together with all the other Alexa toolbar owners and they can see where everyone spends their time on the web. So if no one comes to your site with that tool bar installed, you get a really low estimate.
If you want to improve your score, convince your readers to install the toolbar. That’s it.
But every second you’re doing that self-serving activity, someone else is providing your readers with great content. I say it over and over again. . . Be the biggest small dog you can be. Be so awesome to your readers that they would have trouble believing it’s just you. The sites with the highest Page Rank are the ones that never worry about it.
Dan R Morris is founder of LettersFromDan.com, a website dedicated to improving your revenue stream from online efforts. Dan is an infomercial producer, niche website owner, product developer, author and Mastermind leader. Dan actively encourages marketers to take that extra step so that “Hope” doesn’t become the marketing plan.
Dan coaches small and large businesses alike how to turn their marketing activities into revenue generation tools. He also helps individuals with their online marketing efforts through his forum at http://facebook.com/groups/freeweeklymastermind and in private environments.