Sunday afternoon, on the eve of their 10 year birthday, search engine giant Google started what has come to be known as the “Google Dance”.

A birthday party? No.

Tango competition with Argentenian dancers? Nope.

Break dancing competition in the Bronx? Nah.

The infamous Google Dance is when their numerous data centers (places with tons of computers that go out and visit websites non-stop to collect information for their directories) around the country stop for a little while and sync all their data together.

In our industry with search engine optimization (SEO) and website development this is an important time. We get to see how Google views and rates our web pages and where they stand in search results and for what keywords.

The Google Dance also updates at this time (and known to have not updated at the same time in history) the Google PageRank Toolbar.

You may have noticed it on your Fire Fox browser, or on (God help you) your Internet Explorer browser. Its a little Green bar that shows Google’s ranking of a website page on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best score.

Google PageRank has been debated on for some time now.  People are curious what it really means and want to know how their website can have a better PageRank.  Since the Google toolbar has been made available for anyone to download, it has let anyone look at the PageRanks of any webpage online.

When talking about PageRank it means the toolbar that shows PageRank, not Google’s internal page rank.

How is PageRank of “website x” determined? It will depend on the number of sites that are linked to site x; the more sites that are linked to it, the higher the ranking will be.

There are some stipulations to this:

  • Sites with higher PageRanks that link to site x, will have a more positive effect on site x than ones that link with lower page ranks.
  • No matter what the PageRank is for the link, an inbound, one way link is better than reciprocal links.
  • PageRank is just one of the many aspects that determine a site’s organic ranking.

The first stipulation is pretty clear.  A site that Google considers as more important or more popular will effect site x’s PageRanking more positively than one that isn’t as popular with a lower PageRanking.

The second stipulation has to do with reciprocal linking.  It may sound like a good idea, but Google is aware people just agree to link to each other’s site only based on getting a higher PageRank.  Because of this, reciprocal links really don’t hold much water anymore.  Sometimes reciprocal links can do more bad than good to a website.  One instance of this is if you linked to a site with problems or that had search engine spamming methods.

The folks at Google will not hesitate to punish sites that violate their terms, manipulate their way up the search engine rankings, or link to sites that do these things.  It’s important to not attempt to outsmart Google; they have most likely seen every tactic out there to try and increase PageRankings.

An inbound link from a relevant site will always be a good way to improve your site’s relevancy and PageRank.  What can be done to get one way links that are inbound?  So far, the best way to get them is by using a weblog with an outbound RSS or XML site feed and article supply.

Weblogs will assist you in writing content and adding it to your site often.  Blogs should be written about something you know a lot about, like the area you work in or your favorite hobby.  Blogger.com is owned by Google, so if you were to start a successful blog on there it would probably rank well.  By using a weblog, you can produce and add new content all the time.  Many search engines like Google, will rank a blog site higher than a site that hardly ever changes because the information is updated more.  If you apply an outbound RSS or XML feed along with content syndication, your blogs will show up on third party websites that subscribe to your feed.  Whenever your site is updated, their site is updated with the same content.  When this content shows up on the third party site it will always produce an anchor text link to your site, and you don’t reciprocate this.  You will receive the one way, inbound link, and the other site uses your content.  With this type of technology you can get many inbound links in a short amount of time.  If you need help, you can have a SEO specialist install your software, optimize your site, and then teach you how to post the articles and syndicate content.

Links to your site, article distribution, social bookmarking icons, and syndication sites can also give you more linking clout.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t consider yourself an amazing writer.  It’s important that you write about something you know a lot about.  If you are good at it, you will attract many people, and have the article linked to across the web or republished.

For the third stipulation; it is good to try and raise your PageRank but that isn’t the essential factor to having a successful website.  Search results are often not listed correctly by PageRank.  Instead of concentrating on PageRank, concentrate on increasing traffic.

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