QUOTE(BathGems @ Jan 19 2006, 12:15 PM)
So I found a few freelance writers to write articles of general bathroom remodeling interest. I am putting them on my site as well as shopping them around for links....
I don't think you should do this. Whatever content you put on your site should be unique. And you should write it yourself, even if it's just a q-and-a section. Don't worry about how well you can write. Your messages are more literate than most Web sites.
...My understanding of Pagerank is that it had something to do with how popular the site is and that popularity somehow was a proxy for how valuable your site is in its topic. (assuming you were not tricking the SE with link farms that were not votes of popularity)....
Not exactly. PageRank is an arbitrary (meaning, it's not a universally agreed-upon standard) measurement of importance, as determined by who links to a document. The more links from important documents a document gets, the more important the document is deemed to be.
It is better described as a Link Caste system than as a Link Popularity system. It's not democratic, although it's been described that way.
And all that said, PageRank has very little impact on your search engine results rankings.
....So my articles, I assumed, if they were republished around the net with links back, would let the SE's know that my site is relevant for the topic of the article. Then my Pagerank would increase and I would score higher in the organic listings.
The fastest, most efficient, and trustworthy way to tell a search engine what your document is relevant to is to include pertinent words in the document: title tag, body text, alt= text, outbound link anchor text, Hx header tags (if you use them), italicized text, bolded text, etc.
You should use natural, free-flowing language. And if you group several similar documents together (such as the archives of a blog may be), you create a "sibling group" of related content that links to each other. That sibling group will define, by its own internal linkage, which document is the most important.
In my thinking, my competitors with higher Alexa rankings have more traffic because they score first page hits in the organic search and this was either because of, or at least correlated to, their pagerank....
The Alexa rankings are determined strictly and solely by who (with an Alexa Toolbar) visits a Web page. Reportedly, some people have found ways to pretend to be the Alexa Toolbar sending surf data back to Alexa. I cannot prove or disprove such claims, but I would not be surprised to see conclusive evidence either way.
There is no connection or correlation of any sort between the Alexa rankings and search engine rankings.
There is no connection or correlation of any sort between Alexa rankings and PageRank.
One such phrase is Curved Shower Rod I actually supply two of the competitors through dropshipping as I am the distributer and gave them the descriptions used on their sell pages. SO I dont see how they rank higher on those terms since they have the text I gave them which I also use. The only thing I can figure is that they increased their SE relevance through means other than their site content. Like maybe linking.
The way they organize their site content could have improved their relevance. Or the way you organize your site content could have diluted your relevance. Or both. Or they both got one or two really good links that you cannot match. Or you got some really great links for other terms that they cannot match. Or....
The bottom line is that you cannot determine by looking at search results why search engines order the results the way they do. If that were possible, there would be tools all over the Web offering to explain the results for you.
To date, I have never seen anyone put such a tool online. Not ever.
But now you are saying that linking does not matter once the SE knows where I am. The articles, even without the link shopping, still add content to the site so it cant be harming me much even if it does not help.
Linking is important to a Web site marketing campaign in several ways. Linking is not the only or best way to improve search results rankings. It takes a lot of time and effort to build a solid link campaign. That is why so many companies pay link builders to do it for them.
If you want to compete with your customers (not necessarily a good idea in my book, but I can see where your business model is somewhat diversified), you have to learn how to do the right kind of research to identify their vulnerabilities. That is, if they achieved relevance through method A, method B may be pretty weak for them. So it will be easier for you to achieve greater relevance through method B than through method A.
Let's take linkage. There is more than one way to get to the top through linkage. Most people don't realize that, even though a few of the link gurus have explained it here and elsewhere.
For example, you can shotgun your URL and anchor text to every Web site that will give you a link. A lot of people do that, some even achieve the results they are looking for. But the odds are pretty good that most of the links will be worthless in every way.
Another way to do it is to cozy up with your buddies who have high traffic Web sites. If they are getting thousands of visitors per day, odds are they do it through a combination of sources, not just through search engines. Get them to provide you with high profile straight text links and baddabing! baddaboom! You're in like Flynn.
Suppose you don't have buddies with high traffic sites? Then you can pay for links and hope they don't get busted (Google likes to devalue paid links).
Or, you can build your own network of real, valid content across several domains, gradually accrue links, and then start leveraging your investment through internal linkage. Truth be told, that is part of the cause of my success. I would be a fool not to leverage my resources that way. But a lot of it comes naturally. For example, I have all or nearly all my pages link to my site map. So when I add a new page, I link to it from the site map right away. That site map is constantly being crawled by spiders because they get to it from thousands of other pages.
And there are other methods of building relevance through linkage, some not so nice as the methods I describe above.
My point, however, is that even if you can show conclusively that those two sites you are concerned with are using linkage to get above you, you still won't know which linkage method they used. So how do you decide which method you should use?
Frankly, if you have some buddies with high traffic sites, if they're willing to give you high profile links, you should be asking for them.
If you don't have the resources to go after links (and time and money are both resources), then you have to look at other ways of building your site's search engine visibility. Not coincidentally, they include many methods of achieving visibility that goes beyond search engines.
For example, every piece of paper you send out or give to a customer, business cards, letters, estimates, bills, whatever -- everything should include your URL.
If you buy print or broadcast advertising, you need to be promoting your URL.
If you speak at public functions, take every opportunity to mention where people can find your Web site.
Send out press releases that announce every special event you can think of where your business is helping a charity, local school, or the little old lady who lives down the lane. Get the news media to recognize you as a vital member of your community. So what if the only reporter who shows up comes from the Betelsberg Weekly Press? Media are media, no matter how big or small. And you have no idea of who that reporter knows or has worked for in the past or will work for in the future.
You're obsessing, to some extent, over search engine listings. They are not the only way to get traffic. When you look at and address the bigger picture, you'll find that the linkage you've been craving will come on its own so long as you show people you have something worth linking to.
If a tornado comes through and knocks down your building, are you going to hope your neighbors come by to check on you, maybe offer some help and support? I hope they will. You should feel like you are a part of their community. They should feel like you are a part of their community. Many local businesses become important to communities of all sizes. A simple bar, tavern, or convenience store can be the local hangout and gossip center. Everyone knows everyone and they help each other find jobs, figure out how to take care of sick kids, and jumpstart each other's cars.
Many businesses will develop that sense of community offline and forget how important it is online. The online world thrives on communal relationships.
Look beyond the search engines and you'll see I've only touched on the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot more out there to marketing a Web site than getting good search engine rankings, just as there is more to getting good search engine rankings than just getting links.
Edited by Michael Martinez, 19 January 2006 - 02:23 PM.