Monday, May 4, 2009

Your page may be rank

A lot of people care about PageRank, apparently. Ettarose the saint slash comedienne is obsessed with PageRank. Even my delusional friend Gavin Fukwitski over at pwn greenland is concerned about PageRank. Always has been, although he would probably not admit it in public. That would not be cool. Right now he is mostly irritated that people in India who speak broken English and and have no PageRank are trying to be his friends on BlogCatalog. But I am drifting off subject.

What is PageRank?

A lot of people are under the impression PageRank has something to do with Google's rating of your blog slash website. Those people are correct. My point here, however, is to give you more information than that. Perhaps even some USEFUL information. You never know.

First piece of information is that you need to have a tool in your browser's toolbar to find out what the PageRank is of the page you are visiting. If you have Google's toolbar, then you already have it, of course. There is also one (a better one) on Safari for Mac, but I am not going to tell you where to get that tool because you have all, at one time or another, scorned me for using a Mac in the first place. So I guess none of you need to know. Except Canucklehead who also uses a Mac but who won't read down this far in the post so never mind him.

The next thing you need to know is, once you have that tool to tool around with, is what the number means. PageRank goes 0 through 10 but one is low and 9 is high. So if you have a 4 like most of us, you are not that great but pretty cool. I am only saying this because some of you aspire to have a 1 PageRank and I thought I would clue you in that that is not a worthy goal.

Then.... well, you don't REALLY need to know this but PageRank is named after the inventor of the algorithm and his name is Larry Page. So that is where the name came from, not because you are having a "page" on your blog ranked. Well, you are, but.... never mind.

PageRank is a trademark. Page gave the trademark rights to Stanford University where he was going to school when he was inventing ranking algorithms and devising innovative search engine techniques. Page and his friend Sergey Brin, another Stanford student went on to perfect their little algorithm ranking thing and also their search engine which the boys gave the outrageous name of "Google" to. What a dumb name. But then they went public with their little company recently and cashed in for billions of dollars each, so I guess I shouldn't belittle them.

Although there have been many innovations which make the original concept more sophisticated, PageRank continues to be the basis for all of Google's web-search tools.

What you REALLY want to know is what PageRank really is, what it represents, and, perhaps, how to make your own PageRank higher than it is right now.

Because of all your snotty comments about how long my posts are, I should make you wait until tomorrow to tell you that. I have a notoriously short attention span though, so I will just tell you what I found out right here and now.

First, since PageRank is based (mainly, at least) on how popular you are (doh) it stands to reason that your number is related to how many incoming links there are to your site. Your page, I mean. And if you have links coming in to you from "important" sites (like this one), you get more brownie points in the algorithm. So if the linking website has a high PageRank, you get more "credits" under the algorithm parameters. (An algorithm is just a fancy name for a "system" for getting some job done, in which you include all the variables you can think of to be taken into consideration, so your conclusion is more valid. The dictionary may have a better definition than the one I just gave you off the top of my head, but only losers look at dictionaries, right?)

So... how do you raise your page rank? First you send Larry Page some money. Kidding. He sold out. What you do is make a donation to Stanford. Or Sanford and Son. Kidding again. No, what you do is you (ta DAH!) try to induce people to link to you, and also do things yourself, proactively, which cause links to be placed from other sites to YOUR site.

Jesus, Ettarose, you still have that blank look on your face.

Stuff like commenting on forums, and posting a lot on your blog. Getting on many bloglists (those count as incoming links, and so do those new Google "follower" widgets now.)

Write articles and guest posts on other sites and make sure you put a link to your site in the guest posts. Be nice to others as well: when I get done with this post, as I nearly am, I intend to go back and create links to Ettarose and even Canucklehead. [If you have a blogspot blog, then make a lot of comments on other blogs, because you leave behind a link that takes interested people to your blogger profile. I guess you should make a lot of comments on ALL blogs, not just Blogspot blogs. Sorry.]

There are MANY more things you can do to cause more links to be coming in to your blog or other site. Study up on it. And try to suck up to the very popular sites (like this one) because those sites are weighted more in the algorithm. Stay away from worthless sites like Pwn Greenland or Canucklehead. Some sites are worth paying them money to link to you (like this one.) Kidding. NO site is worth paying to link to you.

[You know what? It just occurred to me that Entrecard could help you (which I just quit), not because of the widget (nobody, including Google, cares about how much 2-second worthless traffic Entrecard gives you), but because several other members might have you on a "drop list" and that is usually a list of links they click on. Hmmmmm. Too late now.]

Of course, there are still those who say the algorithm can be manipulated. Go figure.

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soubriquet said...

Hello Max! That contained a lot of stuff I was unaware of, though it touches on something I have had in draft for a while, abandoned. Here it is:-
"PageRank.... Of supreme disimport to me. Although a source of interest. There are many out there who live to manipulate pagerank, all those blogs that twitter in the pr-twitter take-over of the word "twitter" sense, about search engine optimisation, seo, and how to write a perfect blog.
Of course, in blog world, anyone can write a post telling us how to write a perfect blog post, even me. Even though I am, and they are, no better qualified than the reader.
But why? Pagerank and S.E.O.?
Because to them it's about "driving traffic to your blog". I like living on a quiet road, so traffic and numbers are of little import.
And why would traffic be good?
Because the blog itself is just bait to get people to read advertising banners and links, like google adsense. Now, guys, it may be that you have these things all over your pages, but I view them in Firefox, with Adblock Plus enabled. Which means your ad widgets are disabled, they do not even load on my page. Therefore it loads faster and I'm not annoyed by tacky pop-ups and flashing gifs.
If your posts are thinly veiled advertising for a product, be sure I will not read them, and I will never click on a link therein.
As I do not see your ads, I'm unlikely to think of you with the venom I would deploy if I knew you were an ad-pusher."

I was going to ad a rant about comment spam, but hey, I did that a while ago, and about twelve people read it.
I do use a site meter, which amuses me as to wherefrom my visitors come, and how few return, though it is flawed, and I know it does not record some visits, I love stuff like the Australian police checking me out after I wrote about the "Gnomesville Massacre" (of garden gnomes)..............

Stephanie B said...

I also am pretty much uninterested in that I don't have advertising so traffic doesn't matter and that I prefer quality readers to the boring ones that zip through.

Still, it was nice of you to backlink, given how powerful you are. Me, I just want to write a good blog or two and let the chips or pagerank fall where it may.

frostygirl said...

It probably is only really important if you monetize your blog, but from my own experience I hardly ever read adverts I am more interested in the posts.

ettarose said...

Well I guess I should say thank you for the links you put in this most awesome indenture. I do thank you. Now I know my page rank should skyrocket and all the many ads I have covering my site will rake in all kinds of loot. Now why does the link in the midst of the others not work? That just cost me, assbasket!
The Saint

Lidian said...

Many thanks for the link, or backlink, or whatever the technical term is - I am plugged into the virtual Zeitgeist only halfway, really. I know about PageRank mainly because I do occasionally sneak off and check mine. Because it's there, that's why! And I must know!

And no, I am not telling :)

A. said...

My page rank went shooting up when I was translating Papillon, I suppose not surprisingly. She was the flavour of the month for several months and I suppose many of those links still exsit. Well I know they do because I am a stats freak and I notice these things. But because of Papillon, it's important to me that the relevant people find what they want on my blog, so I need those inward links. And I think I may need to watch my SEO stuff, but I haven't addressed that.

So here I am, briefly coming back from my holidays specially to say thank you, dear Max, for the link. I do appreciate it, very much. Behind that gruff exterior must lurk.... somthing. :)

Debbie said...


"Behind that gruff exterior must lurk.... somthing. :)"

Aww jeez, you make a comment like that and he will become so difficult again. There is nothing there maxie, don't believe A for a moment!

Angelika said...


OMLY, all this time I just assumed you were normal and had a PC.


I feel betrayed.

Descartes said...

I used to really care about this kind of stuff-I had mad plans of blog dominance and quitting my day job and the South of France was not far from my thoughts.

I did a lot of SEO stuff, submitted my site to all kinds of directories, aggregators, and so on and so forth. I learned that Google like keywords and I stumbled, dugg, and tweeted my posts to all the world.

But really, the whole key to PageRank is talking about one thing, and preferable only one thing, on every page of your site. This is how Apple, Adobe, NASA, Mircosoft, and the like get pageranks of 9 or 10 and random thought blogs, well, not so much.

Thanks for the link btw.

Relax Max said...

@ Soubriquet - I know. I have been through similar experiences. Generally when I make a post on this blog (or past blogs for that matter), the post is an analysis of sorts of something I've decided I want to learn more about. Or share. Or, more accurately, something I want to sort out for myself and make sure I am clear about it.

And so it was with this thing called PageRank. My goal was to define it because I didn't really know what it was, and I had heard people talking about it. So I set out to learn for myself what it was. Turns out it is really only important if you are engaging in some sort of commerce on the internet. Nothing wrong with that, of course, just not for me and you. You have followed several of my blogs as much as anyone, so you can testify to the almost complete absence of ads on any of the blogs. In fact, the only ads, at least for the past many months, have been for charities or to promote the blogs of my friends. I took the Google advert widget down a long time ago.

I am not alone. Most of these comment so far have been observations about how people find advertising (or at least a lot of it), distasteful. Some of us, me included, have tried it for a time when we first started out, but quickly learned the things one needed to do to be "successful" at "monetizing" one's site were a little beyond what one was blogging for in the first place. I don't blog to get people's interest so they will see adverts on my blog and click on them. I blog to annoy people.

That's a joke.

Relax Max said...

@Soubriquet - Yeah, there is a whole big industry out there geared to presumably help people "optimize" their websites, and another industry that tells them how they are doing- Alexa, Technorati and what have you.

I think I will do a post on the possible reasons people blog. What would YOUR analysis of that be? Three come to mind, but there are probably 10 reasons.

Relax Max said...

@Soubriquet - Christ, I just remembered that time you tore the balls off that spammer. :)

Relax Max said...

@Stephanie. I agree. Too bad about the lack of quality readers though. :)

Kidding. You have plenty of quality readers. Enough to balance me out.

And don't get sarcastic about how little power my blog has. :)

But our little group is doing okay. We don't have to be concerned with PageRank. If it is interesting, people will come. Jeez I sound like that kid in that Kevin Costner movie about the baseball field in Iowa. People will come. Ha.

Relax Max said...

@Frostygirl - Me too. I tend to feel like they are trying to manipulate me with all those flashing ads. And I hate to be manipulated. Hey, that's ANOTHER idea for a post: you tell a salesman NO and he keeps talking. He is trying to manipulate me.

I hope I remember all these ideas!

And thank you for sticking through the long American History posts. If you did a few history posts about SA, I would read them. Just a few in addition to current events.

Sorry. Didn't mean to butt into your blog. I do that... :)

Relax Max said...

@Ettarose - it doesn't work because you already get too much traffic. Besides, I have no real desire to see you succeed.

Okay, I fixed it. Take care.

Relax Max said...

@Lidian - Virtual Zeitgeist, huh? Hmmm. You have been hanging around old museums too long. :)

I guess I care about PageRank too. I mean, I have an ego. But not for selling stuff.

You don't have to tell. We know. :)

Relax Max said...

@A. - A stats freak? Hmmmm.

I know you care. And you are doing a good job. For her. For yourself too.

I liked the music. Soothing. Funny-sounding words, though. :)

No gruff exterior. Not for you. And nothing substantial behind it. Sigh.

Relax Max said...

How do you have 467 people on Twitter and 0 followers? That breaks my heart. I just got an email that that person was following me. I think I will follow her. That's a lot of rejections. Jesus.

Not talking about you, A. Just a Twitter automated email I just received that someone else was following me.

Another subject for a future post. Write that down.

Relax Max said...

@Debbie - Hi Debbie. If A. says there is something there, then there's something there. Probably something of substance, I'll bet. You just wait and see. You people can't just go on abusing me like this. You should know that. :)

Relax Max said...

@Angelika (AKA Anjelika) Where have you been?? Why have you not been around??

No, I never claimed I was normal. Don't like a computer bossing me around. A PC is like a German general always giving orders. Too many talking boxes. ::shivers:: A Mac seems more laid back. It doesn't seem to give a shit what I do or how I do it. So we get along.

But you have been away far to long. Do three Hail Marys and go read the entire Hamilton post. Then I will absolve you.

Absolve. That reminds me, there is something I need to go yell at Stephanie about.

Take care Angjelikca. :)

Relax Max said...

@Descartes - Like I already told you, don't put Descarte before des horse. PageRank first, advertising second. Money, never. That's just how it works. :)

I'm glad you stopped by again. You are welcome for the link. I hope the rush of traffic doesn't crash your isp's server.

Yeah, I tried all that stuff. Well, I put up some ads once and paid some loser to seo my ass. But I was young and ignorant.

Live and learn. :)

Stephanie B said...

Yell at Stephanie? Yell at Stephanie???

Sorry, not a naughty teenager. Try a gentle suggestion.

Angelika said...

I have been here! I just hate history, always have. I cannot force myself to read those long posts when my back is hurting!

Janet said...

So I guess you were worrying so much over Ettarose's blank look that you missed me huddling in the corner, eyes glazed over, thumb in mouth.
Thank you for linking to me, but I haven't even looked at site meter in months, and I already have too little self-confidence to find my corner of the woods ranked at a 1.

But I would love to join you back in the world of Mac. I spent nearly 15 years with Macs, and I miss them.

Anonymous said...

I got bored with PageRank after about 5 minutes and have no idea what mine is,though I'm sure someone will tell me.

Thank you for the link though :))

soubriquet said...

Max, Reasons why people blog?
Of course, I can only answer for me, so... "Why does Soubriquet blog?"
There now follows a long silence, whilst I try to think of a convincing reply.

It came about in a strange way. In that I wanted to leave a comment on a blogger hosted blog, and being not very knowledgeable about the whole process, I think I misunderstood, and thought you had to have a blogger i.d. to do that, and as I already had a gmail address, it seemed not too big a step........

So, with no real idea what I was doing, or why, and no knowledge whatsoever of html, I launched the blog, with no charts to plot a course, no future plan, and only skimpy rations in the lifeboat.
Unlike any other publishing venture, there is almost no cost involved, writing a blog is a bit like leaving graffiti on a wall, people see it, but what does it mean to them? Is there any measure of success?
Only peer review, I suppose. A few people say nice things, `which is always gratifying.
I used to write a lot more, it was an attempt to see if I could, reviving dormant skills, but I'm not disciplined enough to persevere.
Here's my first post, showing my ongoing tendency to get sidetracked:

"An Inconspicuous Beginning.

Damn... What have I done? And why?

First of all who am I?
For most purposes, these days, I am Ersatz Soubriquet.

I have another name, several, in fact, but Ersatz has been taking over in leaps and bounds. He first came into existence... A long time ago, I won't disclose how long just now, but it was before the internet, when he worked with a quill pen.
Stop that!
Ersatz, you never had a quill pen.
I did!
Liar! You remember, you had a pen, like a wood stick, with replaceable nibs, that you used for carving the desk until Mr Dennis smacked you with a ruler. And then you had to ask Mr Dennis for a new nib and he was very cross.
And you had to dip the pen in an inkwell on the desk, full of Parker's patent Quink, blue-black, washable, for schools, refiller from the big bottle in the cupboard. And then you left a big blob of ink on your book, and then you blotted it with blotting paper, which was pink until it got blotty all over, and you always had blue fingers and..
What the hell is all this? What are you doing? ink and nibs indeed, you're supposed to be introducing yourself to the as yet, mythical reader.
But there isn't a reader, The reader is a myth, it's just me!
Look, this is the innertent, or as the rest of the world outside our fuddled head knows it, The Internet ! (ooh good! if you hit the keys harder the letters are bigger and blacker)(or whiter, in this case) and the innertent is full of shoals of aimless people who might happen along here and read this.
But why would they?
Stop asking questions, just trust me, they might, and if they did, they wouldn't want to read about your early school years.
They might.
Trust me, I'm your more sensible self, they don't.
So. You're me?
I am, only more sensible.
Oh. Do you remember Mr Dennis then?
Yes. He was very big, we were about eight years old, and he smelled of pee. And he had an old greeny coloured jacket and he could throw a piece of chalk so it hit you right between the eyes.
I remember that. He was very big on not day-dreaming, or looking out of the window, or bending nibs.
Bit of a tough task, then. me, us, never been good at focusing on the task in hand, the present, and so on.
Right. Lets try focus, get together in the same brain and get on with it, shall we?

I've just signed up for this bloggery and I've no idea how it works or who the hell wants to know what I think about anything.
Will I persist? who knows. time will tell. I'd better learn how to do it now, so don't hold your breath, unknown first reader, because it might take months to figure out... Like what happened there? fonts changing size? and there's no teacher in the room. Maybe if I pull out the computer's plug it will fix itself... shall I buy a new keyboard?

That's it, I'm intimidated now by the empty space, I'll just go read someone else's blog and pretend I'm clever enough to do it.

Now what? Preview button..... post... Labels?

Anyway, mythical first reader, If you do happen by, please leave a comment. Try not to wound me too much."

Mythical first reader is the poet whose blog I sought to comment upon.
And I fell in love with her.
She's crossing the atlantic again in eight weeks time for us to be together for a month.

Skip Sister L said...

Oh Soubriquet! Do you mean the Skip Sisters are out of the running? I know, one is already taken but I was so sure.....

Relax Max said...

@Stephanie - No. Not yell. Would not do that. I meant "give a yell" as in "give Stephanie a shout out." Never REALLY yell at Stephanie.

But since you are here you save me the trip of telling you that there is no need for anyone to absolve a soldier doing his lawful duty, since there had been no wrongdoing to absolve. Morally or otherly.

But you somehow seem to think otherwise. That killing is never right and necessary, for example. Your train of thought that brought you to that conclusion was rather hazy and arbitrary in places. Perhaps you would do me the honer of...

Oh, never mind. We are too far apart on this one. I shall simply console myself in the knowledge that I am obviously right...

I am SO glad I have sworn off labels. :)

Relax Max said...

@Angelika - Please don't hate history. It is not history's fault that a lot of must acedemics have made history books boring. History is wonderful! History teaches you things!

I know. I will continue with occasional history and bio posts, but I will not call them that. I will call them... I don't know... Peppermint Posts.

No, my Peppermint Posts are for something else entirely. I forgot, quirky one. :)

Cantalope Posts. Of course.

And you will NEVER have to think of boring History Posts ever again. Promise.

I am sorry your back is hurting. :( Please take something an go lie down. It will be okay. Think good thoughts. I will come and visit you.

Relax Max said...

@Janet the actress who knew? - Well, yes. PageRank is not up there on my all time best posts. But Ettarose kept bugging me about it, and so I tried to learn. You see, she has staked her retirement (sadly) on people clicking on things on her blog. She HAS (happily) also held onto her day job. Barely. And so the post was mostly for her.

But will she heed? Of course not. Her star is hitched to Humorbloggers. What can you do?

Frankly I DID see you in the corner sucking your thumb, but I thought it was just brain burnout from the Alexander Hamilton thing.

You don't care about PageRank. Nobody will admit to wanting others to come read their blog. Pshaw! Better to blog free and unbeholden to outside opinion than to be bogged down by actual readers. Everybody knows THAT.


Relax Max said...

@Allison - yes I know what your PageRank is. But since you don't really care... :)

You are no better nor worse than the rest of this motley crowd you have fallen in with. Don't give it a second thought. I like reading your blog and - let's be honest here - that's all that really counts, eh?

No, I'm not done yet. Soon. Very soon. :)

Relax Max said...

@Soubriquet - Yes, I thought that was it.

Relax Max said...

@Skip Sister H - Please tell L she is most welcome here and tell her she has made us very happy. K?

Relax Max said...

@Soubriquet - What is really scaring me right now is that I actually understood a lot of that.

soubriquet said...

Max, You're ahead of me there, because.... I don't understand it, pretty much any of it, let's face it, this "Soubriquet" alter ego keeps hijacking a real person to do this stuff.
No, actually, you've got it far worse than me, I suspect you have enough blogpersonas taking control to fill a small-town telephone directory.

As for the Skip-Sisters, oh skippies, ladies, I must ask you, K, to comfort L, I was unaware of your joint yearnings, of L's need to clasp me to her heaving bosom, alas, my dears, I am taken, but... I'll warn my beloved that should she ever dump me, there's a lady desirous of uplifting and salvaging me.

Stephanie B said...

Relax Max, I actually provided a pretty detailed answer to your comment on that line of comments. However, if you want, I can address this on my Ask Me Anything blog. Giving soldiers automatic carte blanche needs to apply to all sides of a conflict or it doesn't mean anything - and, if both sides are innocent, what's the rationale for killing?

Relax Max said...

@Soubriquet - Yes, we will have to blog a post about why people blog. I can see that now. Although I notice Ben (can't think of his last name right now, the guy who used to help on Entrecard and now is with the Turnip fellow) has a new blog and I notice his first post is about why people blog. But Ben is too serious so I will do one anyway. Soon. Very soon.

@Stephanie - I DO realize you provided a pretty detailed answer already. Only thing is... (how do I say this diplomatically?).. only thing is your answer was wrong. ::winces:: And, further, if I ask you formally on your Ask Me Anything blog, I have a feeling you will get it wrong again. Soon I will explain it too you, K?

Heh. So much to do. So little time. :)

Relax Max said...

@Stephanie - I hope you will realize the above is intended tongue-in-cheek. These are things which have no "correct" answer - only a statement of opposing values. I respect yours. They are very different than mine. I do not claim mine are right universally; only right for ME.

I am very open to debate and for the opportunity to state and defend my values any time you would like to engage in that debate. I feel very strongly about my values. :)

Stephanie B said...

As do I, RM, as do I.

The evil that is in the world always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence, if they lack understanding. On the whole men are more good than bad; that, however, isn't the real point. But they are more or less ignorant, and it is this that we call vice or virtue; the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance which fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill. There can be no true goodness, nor true love, without the utmost clear-sightedness.
- Albert Camus

For this cause I too am prepared to die, but for no cause, my friend, will I be prepared to kill.
-Mahatma Gandhi

A faith is something you die for, a doctrine is something you kill for. There is all the difference in the world.
- Tony Benn

I may be "wrong" but I'm "wrong" in good company.

Relax Max said...

@Stephanie - time to defend those values, then:

Albert Camus and Tony Benn are good company?

Gandhi WAS good company, but unfortunately for him, someone else WAS prepared to kill.

It is hard to argue reality against your theory. You can take the theoretical all over the place. But when all is said and done, reality is what remains for us to confront in the real world.

Your posts contain too many points to debate on a blog. But your question of what murder is is very simple indeed. Murder, by definition, is unlawful killing.

That means:

A soldier who kills in the line of duty is not a murderer;

A police officer who kills in the line of duty is not a murderer;

A private citizen who kills in the course of a home invasion is not a murderer;

A state executioner who administers capital punishment in the name of the state is not a murderer.

Thus, since there is no guilt or even shame, no absolution is necessary or even possible.

Just for starters.

Having said that, I respect human life very much. I would not have it taken lightly. However, I cannot value someone's life more then they themselves value it.

Next we must define what a "frivolous" war is and then continue from there. :)

Don't be shy.

Stephanie B said...

Shyness is not my problem. But I don't buy into your definition of murder.

Who's law? If you stand on Iraqi soil, who's law do you follow?

"Murder=unlawful" can excuse a police officer shooting a suspect in the act of a violent crime and the medical experiments of Mengele.

I do value life, but I also believe there is justifiable homicide (so I'm not quite as benevolent as Gandhi). But I believe the reason must be unassailable, justifiable and each individual death completely able to survive scrutiny. We've become too cavalier about the deaths of "others", in my opinion.

You bomb a village and kill a dozen children. What's the justification? It's lawful? That's a mighty bad law, then.

We can point the finger at "the law" as the bad guy, but we all have a responsibility for our own behavior. I can think of a dozen things I can do that could result in hurting others (financially/phsyically) that no one would consider unlawful. That make them OK?

Aren't there things the law allows that you consider morally reprehensible and would not do?

Seriously, Max. Aren't there?

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