By Bob Speyer – Web Success Team
Google PageRank has been a gold standard for SEO. Website owners and marketers are obsessed with it because it is one of the most visible ranking factors in measuring the effectiveness of their SEO efforts.
However, with over 200 ranking factors, Google has stated that webmasters should concentrate more on creating relevant content and improving conversion rates for best PageRank results.
Is Google Changing the PageRank Formula?
Google is now ranking documents based on user behavior and / or feature data. What this means is that previously each link on a page was given the same about of link juice or target page authority. However, now every link is being weighted by behavioral action of how likely a surfer would click on that link. Thus link visibility (placement and appearance) and link relevance will be of primary importance.
The “old school” methods of link building will not be as effective. Submitting your blog and multiple articles to several directories, or submitting links to several social bookmarking sites will not significantly impact PageRank. We believe this is a result of a change in the PageRank formula.
How to Achieve Better PageRank Results
Because Google is now trying to follow user behavior and real traffic patterns, you should take a page from their playbook and adjust your link building efforts. Focus on live visitors by following Google’s lead. By doing so, you will also decrease your dependency on Google by building great click-thru traffic with natural linking. Here are a few link-building methods to de-emphasize:
- Blogging – Forum posting and commenting
- Social Bookmarking – good benefits, but don’t expect it to greatly influence PageRank
- Article Submission – best to submit to top directories, quality not quantity
- Bulk Directory Submission – forget about it!
- Bulk Link Exchange – this will get you banned
Of course you can keep doing what you have been doing, as itemized above — just don’t expect it to greatly influence PageRank. However, there are some quality link-building strategies that will give you a boost:
- Guest Blogging – gives you quality content links from recognized, relevant sources
- Link Baiting – hard to bait the hook, but you may catch a big one
- Press Releases – may be picked up by larger media outlets and then receive quality links
- Joint Ventures – always good to partner and share links
- Building Social Communities – become a focal point that attracts a targeted community to get their links
The goal is to achieve quality links through bloggers and social activities that are relevant to your industry. In the final analysis, start weaning yourself off the importance of PageRank and pay more attention to relevant content, traffic sources and conversions. By incorporating these suggestions into your link building strategy will bring you more traffic and help you achieve web success.