Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Mar 9, 2009
If you remember, back on January 1st I had a pretty comprehensive post on Page Rank and SEO, where I did an examination of this blog, and another blog, to figure out where page rank and SEO might have some sort of affect on the pages within a blog. I pretty much came to a conclusion that it was hard to to proper SEO to a blog because even if you only write on one thing, there are so many other variables on a blog that it’s hard to get a good page rank; that is, if you really care. I decided to do another long project, adding something else into the mix. So get something to drink, sit back, and either read or listen, via that Odiogo button there at the top left of this post, because this one’s going to be long.
What I’ve done is gone through this blog, my business blog (Mitch’s Blog), and my main business website. I’ve selected the top 10 visited pages, or articles, for each of these entities, based on Google Analytics. I’ve checked them for page rank, and then I’ve checked them on Google Rankings to see, based on the main search terms, where they might come up, if at all; only the top 500 this time, though, so I could get through it all. My point, which will be proven, is that SEO efforts for websites can bring some nice results, much nicer than with blogs, even if the niche is more defined. Yeah, there’s a lot of link love I’m giving myself, in case you ever decide you’d like to see what all I’ve been writing and creating over all these years, but hey, it’s also a research project, so forgive the indulgence. I do this for you, my faithful readers. My story and I’m sticking to it. So, let’s begin.
Let’s start with this blog. To begin with, it’s not always easy to figure out which search terms to try to find blog entries for. This means that the ranking figure might be skewed too far one way or the other. But we’ll take it as it’s worth. Here are my top ten articles, my Google rank, and my Yahoo rank; none of these pages has a Google page rank, so why even chart it. Here are the other numbers:
9 Instant Tips On How To Leverage The Power Of Squidoo (used to be 1) 4 Google, 0 Yahoo
Be Responsible For Your Own Life Google, 0 Yahoo 0
A Point About Commenting On Blogs Google 0, Yahoo 0
Getting Google Desktop To Index Thunderbird (this page has a 0 page rank, instead of being unranked) Google 6, Yahoo 2
Another Rant On NYS Internet Taxes Google 48, Yahoo 0
Dofollow/Page Rank Discussion Google 31, Yahoo 1
My First Week In Reno Google 0, Yahoo 0
Kontera -Performancing Ads And TTZ Google 0, Yahoo 32
My Big RSS Subscriber Contest Google 0, Yahoo 1
The Dance-Off Google 0, Yahoo 0
Out of those 10 posts, I think only two can really be considered as legitimate as far as the search engines go, those two being the one on Google Desktop and NYS Internet Taxes. The rest,… well, iffy at best.
Next, let’s take a look at my business blog. This one, it’s slightly easier to see how the SEO efforts went, but this time some of the posts do have page rank, so it’s included this time around:
RAC Audits – A Commentary PR 0, Google 1, Yahoo 1
My Personal And Business Goals For 2009 PR 0, Google 19, Yahoo 1
Did Martin Luther King Jr Believe In Our Future? PR 1, Google 18, Yahoo 0
The 7 Habits Seminar PR 1, Google 1, Yahoo 0
Is Fox News Anti-Obama? PR 0, Google 14, Yahoo 0
Am I An Invisible Man? (this is actually one of my pages on that blog) PR 2, Google 53, Yahoo 24
Group Think Doesn’t Always Work PR 0, Google 3, Yahoo 1
Quotes I like (another one of my pages) PR 2, Google 0, Yahoo 0
Evaluating Employees And Yourself PR 1, Google 4, Yahoo 0
As I said, more of these work as far as being able to see how my SEO efforts worked, but probably four of them aren’t all that valid.
So, those are the two blogs, and truthfully, though some of the numbers on this blog look pretty good, I don’t think they’re valid. And for my business blog, more are valid, but I’m not sure anyone would be looking for the keywords I used to search for those articles.
Now, though, we’ll take a look at my business website, where most of the pages we’re going to look at would offer legitimate search terms I might be found for. Notice the PR difference, as well as the more legitimate search term rankings:
Employee Evaluation Module (this is actually my most searched and reviewed product page, which I’ve never mentioned here because I doubt there’s a single person who visits this blog who could use it, as you’d need to have employees) PR 2, Google 1, Yahoo 1
2009 CPT Code Changes (one of my healthcare newsletters PR 2, Google 2, Yahoo 4
Tribute (this is a tribute I wrote to my dad when he passed away) PR 2, Google 122, Yahoo 0
Records Retention PR 2, Google 106, Yahoo 0
Free Newsletters PR 3, Google 1, Yahoo 1
( for this one, since I offer two newsletters, I also did a second search term, for free healthcare newsletter, and it came up Google 6, Yahoo 2)
Biography PR 2, Google 0, Yahoo 0
Chargemaster Consulting PR 2, Google 6, Yahoo 2
Charge Capture Consulting PR 2, Google 8, Yahoo 0
Healthcare Consulting PR 2, Google 221, Yahoo 0
Executive Coaching PR 2. Google 0, Yahoo 253
As you can see, every page here except for my bio page is ranked by either Google or Yahoo (I didn’t even know what kind of search term to use for my bio, so I left it alone), and the search terms are more accurate because, on a website, it’s easier to define what each page should be about. Now, many people forget two important things about internal pages. One, to optimize them at all, which is the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. That would explain why so many internal pages aren’t ranked on most websites; I’m happy to say that the majority of my pages have a page rank of some kind, if only because it shows that they have been optimized. Two, if they optimize, most people use the same exact meta description and keywords on every page of their site, which is a mistake because every page on a website isn’t optimized for the same thing, and the search engines will ignore pages where the optimization doesn’t match what the page is about.
Now, let me be clear here; I still don’t care all that much about page rank. However, unless they’ve banned you for some reason, it’s still a nice indicator of whether or not you’ve optimized your site pretty well. It still doesn’t mean anything as far as visitors or even making sales or more money, but it does mean you have a better opportunity to be found on the search engines, if only because someone just might put in search terms that will lead them to you. Just like we look at Alexa and Technorati, or any of the other little things we can choose to view (see the two ranking icons to the upper right, above the Twitter bird) that rank us in some fashion. It’s better being on a list, or a ranking of some sort, than not being noticed at all.
I believe I have achieved my purpose, but I need to define it a little bit better. There are things we can do on our blog to help generate more interest, to get people to read more of it, and hopefully to get it to rank in some fashion, long term, on the search engines. But when all is said and done, it’s quite possible that blogs are just so active that posts don’t really get a chance to get rankings, even posts that continue getting visits years after they’re written, if you’re lucky (that’s where internal linking might be able to help), so don’t kill yourself trying to make every one of your blog posts optimal. If you can stay somewhat consistent on a topic, as I do with my business blog, you will have a better chance of attaining and keeping a page rank, because every blog post I mentioned on my beginning of the year post, at this point, has lost its page rank. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
However, when it comes to your real websites, using good SEO skills can help your pages get ranked, which means you’ve probably optimized them well enough to have a legitimate chance to be found on the search engines. With blogs, it seems to be more important to generate visitors in other ways, such as commenting on other blogs, and many of the other ways that so many people have written about that I’m not going to bother going into it again. When it comes to your blog, just write, and write as well as you can. It’s a blog; have some fun with it.