Welcome to the Gen Plus Blog

It's a backstage pass to info on jobs and life at 50+. Gen Plus, headed by Janet Wendy Spiegel, is dedicated to baby boomers and the plus generation of age 50 and older. Read up and speak out on issues affecting your future: jobs, income, life and respect.

About Me

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Northridge, California, United States
Successful businesswoman, consultant, entrepreneur. I operate two businesses -- social media consulting, AND premium pet care services in the West San Fernando Valley. Love what I do, love life.

Gen Plus has relocated to www.GenPlusUSA.com

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What is Page Rank Anyway?

You may hear about Page Rank from time to time and wonder what it is and if it is important. I decided to write about it today because many Boomers and 50 Plussers don't understand many of the technical benchmarks on the web, so it is always nice to learn something new!

As a blogger, Page Rank holds a level of importance. Page Rank is a system developed by Google to determine the importance or relevance of a page or website in terms of reader interest. What keywords the page attracts, subject matter, content interest, reader interaction...you name it. Basically it lets you know if what you are writing about is of interest to others. If your page rank is low, does that mean a site is bad? No. Not at all. It just means that that particular page, website or blog hasn't received as much traffic, interest or is deemed as content relevant as another page among the billions of pages on the web.

I got interested in Page Rank when I started getting more involved in the technical aspects of blogging. As most bloggers do, I began as a blogger...well...by writing. As my interests evolved and my blogging became more natural, my own curiousity drove me to find out more about this brave new world. And the two giants in the world of search are google and yahoo.

For bloggers, Page Rank became the holy grail. And once the really tech savvy webmasters figured out how page ranking worked, way back when (2 or 3 years ago), they would design their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to maximize their page rankings. I, of course, as a non-tech blogger, knew none of this. However, I managed to gain a Page Rank of 7/10, which was phenomenal. And it was due solely to my content (I think!...because I didn't do anything to manipulate my placement.)

Then Google, irritated at being played by the SEO experts, changed their ranking algorithms. And their top secret formula threw many rankings topsy turvy. My Page Rank of 7 fell to a 5 overnight. The coveted rank that I'd never paid attention to before, now stunned me. So I gave up on trying to understand the ranking system and continued to do what mattered to me...writing about relevant issues affecting Boomers and 50 Plussers. My Page Rank is back up to a 6, although I don't know why (but that's pretty good and I'm happy about it.) If you go to my main webpage and have a google toolbar, you'll see page rank: http://genplus.blogspot.com/ (6 on this page), however individual pages, might have NO page rank at all (don't want to delve into too much technical mumbo-jumbo, but you can get page rank by setting up different landing pages for your keyword searches...stopping now, I know...TMI): http://genplus.blogspot.com/2006/11/so-much-to-do-and-so-little-time.html. In any case, if you want to assess the rank of a website, make sure to click on their main page to see their ranking, rather than an individual post page.

The value of the internet is in the communication reach, the free exchange of ideas and the freedom and accessibility of information right around the world. If Page Rank plays into it, fine. It is an important number for advertisers and the commercial strength of a website. But it doesn't change the heart of a blogger.


Walter Akana said...

Great post, Wendy, and definitely of interest to us bloggers. Of course, another great measure is overall Google results. There are several strategies for people who want up their web presence to advance their careers or manage a career transition. These include creating accounts at LinkedIn or Facebook, setting up profiles at sites like zoominfo and naymz, writing book reviews at Amazon or B&N, and even commenting on blogs. Of course, the trick is to be professional and on-brand!

Janet Wendy, founder, Gen Plus said...

I agree, Walter. The greatest measure is overall Google results -- especially to anyone looking to find out information about you. All the sites you point out are incredibly important to personal brand. For anyone who wants to find out what their web presence is (blogger or not!) all they have to do is google themselves (and also a good idea to do a search on Yahoo) and they'll know where they come up on the web. For e.g. if I google myself (Janet Wendy Spiegel) I'll find, not only my blogging presence, but my LinkedIn, Facebook, Zoominfo, etc. profiles as well as directory presence (like at IMDB from when I used to work in film). A good ongoing exercise. Thanks for the good contribution.

MoneyEnergy said...

OK, I'm still new to blogging so I don't really understand where to check my page rank.

Do I need a Google Toolbar to do this?

How important is page rank if not everyone has a Google Toolbar and/or bothers to check the page rank of each website? I thought PR referred to where your site showed up in Google search listings when you typed in its main keywords.

Janet Wendy, founder, Gen Plus said...

Hi Moneyenergy. You do need a Google Toolbar to check your page rank, which is simple to download from Google. Because Google is such a powerful entity, their ranking of pages is kind of the "holy grail" of the tecchie world. Page Rank is important to advertisers and for monetizing your site (Google Ads, for e.g.) because the higher your rank, the more interesting you are to companies who want to spend money tapping into your unique readership. It literally is how important Google thinks your page is. The other thing is that no one knows the top secret formula that Google uses to determine page rank. There are many factors that are taken into consideration...traffic, content, search engine optimization (SEO), and relevence (and I'm sure many other factors.)

On the other hand, where you show up through searches is based solely on the relevence of your content. If you search on Google or Yahoo "jobs for 50 Plus", Gen Plus will always show up in the top ten and often in the #1 or #2 spot solely due to the amount of content I've created over years of blogging on this particular subject. When you show up in the top "sponsored" searches, that will be because you are paying for keywords...those are paid ads.

Excellent question. There is a fantastic site filled with incredible information on blogging and monetization, written by a young writer and given freely. High marks for www.doshdosh.com.

Hope that helps...it's very challenging to understand this "other" blogging world at the outset!