Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Monitoring Your Ranking

Although the focus of this book is on how to get top rankings on Google, what you
are really after is lots of traffic to your site that you can turn into sales. Google is one
way (albeit an important way) of getting traffic. Don’t get too hung up on your
rankings - if you are in the top 10, you will do fine. Some people obsess over getting
a #1 ranking to the exclusion of all else, when what is really important in the end are
conversions and sales. Keep this in mind.

There are two ways to check your ranking on Google for a particular keyword phrase
– check it manually by simply counting your position in a search results pages (this
works OK if you are in the top 20 or so), or by using software.

The premiere software program for checking ranking is WebPosition. This is a
powerful, full-featured tool designed for the professional. It contains several modules,
but only one is really recommended for use – the Reporter module.

Some of WebPosition’s features have gotten people in trouble with search engines in
the past. Before you use this tool, make sure your read the online manual and
understand how it works. For more information, go to

WebPosition (and other programs like it) should be used during off-peak hours and
only when really needed. Google, along with other search engines, have a dislike for
the chronic use of such tools as they impact the performance of their servers. Google
has been known to block access to their site from computers that carelessly and
frequently run such tools.

Google changes their ranking algorithm all the time, and ranking changes you may
see on your site are more likely due to algorithm changes and not because of small
changes you may have recently made to your pages. With that said, you should wait
a few months after initial optimization before changing anything.

Even though your server logs may indicate that GoogleBot visited your site recently,
it takes time before Google indexes the information and synchronizes it across all its
datacenters, and can months after that for a stable ranking of your pages to stop
bouncing around.

If your site is kicked out of the index for a spam penalty it will usually
come back after 60 days if the factor(s) that triggered the spam penalty have been
removed. To be proactive, send an email to after you have
cleaned up your website, explaining in detail what you did to fix the issue and
promising not to do it again. If you are still having problems after emailing them, give
them a call at 650-330-0100.

However, before assuming that Google has penalized your site, make sure your Web
host hasn't implemented a process to block search engine spiders from visiting their
hosted sites in order to save bandwidth. This has been documented to happen with
some of the lower-end hosting companies.

Important: If you have a new site, or an existing site that has been redesigned to
the extent that page filenames have changed, your site will likely be placed in the
“Google Sandbox”. In this case, it can take 12-18 months to get a decent ranking for
your most important keywords, especially for competitive terms.

Monitoring Your PageRank

You can see an approximation of the actual PageRank that Google uses by
downloading and installing the Google Toolbar at

Some people have turned the monitoring of PageRank (PR) into an obsession. Don’t
waste your time being one of them. PR is but a single factor that influences ranking.
PR displayed in the Toolbar can also be inaccurate, but it is better than nothing.

The Toolbar PageRank (PR) scale goes from 0 to 10. Bear in mind that there are
vast gulfs between ranges at the upper end, due to the logarithmic nature of actual
PageRank. Also bear in mind that sometimes the PR value shown for a new page
may not be real and is only a guess.

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