Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Latest Google PageRank Update: I go from PR 0 to PR 5 in 3 months

How has Googles latest PageRank update worked for you?

Google has finally added some green to my page rank toolbar.  Since I started my blog about 4 months ago I must admit I have been checking my page rank at least six times a day to see if there was any change.

And what a surprise for me this morning to see my PageRank jump from PR 0 to PR 5!  This after only three months, which means I must be doing something right with my blog after all.

I suspect the PageRank upgrade took place sometime late yesterday (04/02/2013) because my PageRank was still ZERO yesterday morning.

But just what is PageRank?  PageRank is a Page Popularity Algorithm that tracks incoming links (backlinks) to your blog or site and when Googles robots crawl your pages they count the backlinks to your blog/site and also keeps track of outgoing links. Based on the quality (not the quantity) of these links, your PageRank is scaled between the value of 0 to 10. These links work as "votes" for the blog or site in question.  It is important to remember that links are much more valuable for your site if they come from sites/blogs that have high PageRank.

Each time a site/blog links to another site/blog, they are in effect casting votes. Votes from sites or blogs with a higher PageRank have more weight. The more votes your site/blog receives, the higher Google will place you in their search results. This is not the only factor Google uses to rank pages or search results, but I have learned that it is an important one.

PageRank is applied to pages and not to a whole site/blog, which means your web site will collectively have multiple PageRank scores. Most people are interested in the PR of their home page (mine is 5).

So how did your blog/site do in this most recent Google PageRank update?  Whether it was an increase or decrease, do not worry as this is all part of SEO and you just need to concentrate on providing high quality of back links and quality content for your web pages to get a higher google page rank.

Feel free to post your comments about this recent Google PageRank update and how it has affected your blog/site and lets all discuss how we can collectively improve the performance of our sites/blogs. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Using Google Image Search to get free traffic to your blog

Google Image Search will get you free traffic

Google Image Search works very well for free traffic especially when you have content that relies heavily on images, clip art and vectors.

The trick is to name your images in a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly way to ensure your images show up on on page one in search results.

The most important SEO tricks to implement include:

    1.    Name your images properly.
    2.    Be sure to add an "alt tag" to your image.
    3.    Add a title attribute to your image.

Just a quick byte I picked up along the way, reading up on how to optimize my blog.

Search engines love images, so always try to use images in your blog posts, and name them appropriately.

Like this trick?

Let me know and leave your email address and I will send you more tips and tricks I am picking up from the experts on SEO.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Top 20 Free Blog Directories

List of top 20 PR 5+ free blog directories with no registration required

The easiest and most effective way to maximize exposure of your blog is to list it in popular directories. Listing your blog in popular directories is important if you want to gain more exposure and increase your targeted traffic, as long as you have fresh and quality content. It also increases the number of backlinks to your blog, more so from these directories themselves.

Personally I do not submit my blog to any directory that requires me to pay, and I do not recommend that anyone should pay to submit their blogs to a directory. There are very many good directories on the www that accept your blog and give you good mileage for your listing - free of cost.

It is however, advisable to select directories with a good PR, preferably PR 5 and above as this improves the chances of your blog and its content showing up high on search engine reports.

The directories listed below are classified first by Google PageRank, then Alexa Ranking. These directories do not need registration but in some cases you may be required to submit your blog to a category or give a reciprocal link. I have indicated "yes" or "no" for these options.

To submit your blog simply click on the name link and it will open in a new page.
Directory Google PR Alexa Ranking Registration Category Link
www.blogs.com 7 1345 No No No
www.dmoz.org 7 7452 No Yes No
www.globeofblogs.com 7 42354 No Yes No
www.blogs.botw.org 7 4048 No Yes No
www.blogdigger.com 6 29545 No No No
www.blogpulse.com 6 17582 No No No
www.plazoo.com 6 26607 No Yes No
www.redtram.com 6 2040 No No No
www.weblogalot.com 6 63704 No No Yes
www.blogged.com 6 4550 No Yes No
www.ontoplist.com/blog-directory 6 17337 No Yes No
www.blo.gs 6 43497 No No No
www.blog-directory.org 6 59133 No No No
www.icerocket.com 6 61515 No No No
www.blogville.us 5 47888 No No No
www.addyourblog.com 5 858590 No Yes Yes
www.poweredbywp.com 5 264796 No Yes No
www.highclassblogs.com 5 440439 No Yes Yes
www.blogsrater.com 5 33365 No Yes Optional
www.blogdirs.com 5 163601 No Yes Yes
This list is a work in progress and I will continue to update it, as and when Google PR and Alexa rankings are updated. The list should eventually grow to about 100 directories, all of PR 5+.

Do you know any directories that we can add to this list? Send me your suggestions...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The secret of successful blogging

"Real niche" blogging

When you decide to start blogging, one of your biggest challenges will be whether to use your blog to promote your business or profession, make money from the blog or simply share thoughts on a subject that you love.

It may be worth noting that whereas anyone can start a blog, not everyone can write content that everyone (or anyone, for that matter) wants to read.  The most important part of any blog is what you say, how you say it and who you say it to.  Writing honestly and openly about subjects you are an authority on and have a passion for is what will get people who are interested in that subject matter coming back to your blog again and again.

Niche blogging is about focusing on a subject, concentrating on building a following and writing quality and relevant content for advertisers and other bloggers to get attracted to your content.  Personally I would break down niche blogging into three different categories (there could be more) including:
  • Niche business blogs -  These are determined by the present business of the blogger and are also used to supplement the business,
  • Niche website blogs -  In my opinion these are low quality blogs with little to offer their readership apart from referring services, even though they do generate a lot of income for these, 
  • "Real niche" blogs - These type of blogs are determined by your skill or interests. Business blogs can also fall into this category, but "real niche" blogs are normally independent from any other site or service. They can be run as a business within themselves or they can just be personal blogs uses to share thoughts on subjects of high interest and knowledge to the blog owner. 
"Real niche" blogging establishes you as an expert on a specific subject and people will be more likely to visit your blog for the specific information you can provide meaning that with time you will see the traffic to your blog increase steadily based on how much work you are willing to put into promoting your blog. Your "real niche" blog will begin to build followers who will be like-minded people eager to share their thoughts, opinions and ask you questions based on your area of expertise or authority.  "Real niche" blogs are a medium that can be used to bring people with similar interests together to discuss their favorite topic and interact with you and your readers.   Take the online shopping niche for example.  If you write blog posts reviewing online shopping, the pros & cons, the opportunities and the deals on offer, chances are you will develop a good following of people looking to find free coupons, discounts and other deals online. People want to feel part of a community, and by "real niche" blogging, you are helping them achieve this and they will keep coming back for new updates or questions on the topics of your specific skill or knowledge. 

As your "real niche" blog develops you will find that you do not spend as much time writing for your blog as you might have initially thought. You soon realize that most of your blogging time is taken up by reading and responding to comments from your followers and posting comments on other more popular blogs. This is in fact one of the secrets to blogging success and it will help you to:
  • develop new blog post ideas, 
  • learn new techniques to enhance your blog,
  • improve your writing skills,  
  • get your blog noticed within the community you are building, 
  • connect with and build relationships with other bloggers and,
  • improve your blog traffic.
While its possible to rank well in search engines with general blogs, it's much easier to get a higher ranking when you have a focused topic you blog about regularly.  Search engines tend to focus their indexing more on blogs that have authoritative, focused and quality content on a regular basis.  In my opinion niche blogging will always be better than general blogging, especially if you want to establish yourself as a credible expert in the community and potentially create a source of revenue from your blog.

The first step in your quest for a "real niche" blog is to figure out your purpose, establish your message and if you plan to take your blog to the top of the list, find an untapped niche. Choose an interesting topic you are passionate about and put a few authoritative twists on it. Once you find your niche and dedicate your time to dominating it, you will end up with a highly successful blog.

Want to blog effectively and successfully? Build yourself a "real niche" blog.