China Watch Blog presents the fourth and last part of the SEOs Factors or Myths, which is the Part 4 of the IV part series by Michael Bluejay.
Q13. Should at any time my rankings change, or even disappear from the results, then should I consider that a permanent change?
FACT: Rankings are fleeting. There is no such thing as ever achieving a permanent ranking in Google or any other engine. The engines constantly modify their ranking algorithms (and keep them secret to boot), and every day new pages appear on the web, some of which will by vying for your spot in the SERPs. Think of every search you do in an engine as a snapshot of that moment in time. Just because you’re on the first page doesn’t mean you’ll stay there. And just because you drop from the first page and disappear from the top 100 doesn’t mean that you’re lost forever, either. Also realize that there is no real way to tell when a change happens and for how long that change will last. You might drop out of the top 100 for a couple of days or weeks, or it may be many months. The point is that there’s no way to tell. Consider the SERPs as 100% fleeting.
It’s not uncommon in Google for a new site to be ranked amazingly well at first, and then to drop several hundred results down, or completely out of the database entirely, and then reappear. It’s also typical for sites to bounce up and down through the rankings before stabilizing near a certain position. But even “stabilizing” is fleeting, because no ranking lasts forever, since the engines are in a constant state of flux. This is just the nature of the engines, and there’s nothing that we can do about it.
The important thing to take from this is to accept that rankings change, you will rarely know why, and you shouldn’t panic if your ranking drops or even if it disappears.
Q14. Are the search engine evaluation of my site’s front page the same as the inside pages?
FACT: The search engines evaluate each page on your site individually, on its merits. That means that your inside pages could rank as well or better than your front page. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s a good thing. Most webmasters concentrate on getting a lot of visitors to their home page from a few “money” search terms. But you can easily get more traffic to your site overall by getting a few visits to each of your inside pages from less common searches. Yesterday the most popular way people found my personal site was by searching the engines for “austin radio stations”. A total of 22 people did that. But 939 people found my site through the search engines total, on any term. The #1 search into my site still accounts for only 2.3% of my traffic from the engines.
All this means that you must think of every page on your site as a possible entryway, and make sure it’s able to stand alone. If a page makes sense only if a visitor got there from somewhere else inside the site, that page should be modified. If you’re selling something, try to make it easy for a visitor to buy something from every page. If your site carries a few “flagship” products or articles, make sure those are promoted on every page.
PageRank (PR) — Google’s measurement of how important a page is.
Q15. Is it true that the sites with the highest “PageRank” will always rank higher in the SERPs.
FACT: PageRank is just one criterion Google uses in figuring out how to rank pages. A site with a lower PageRank will show up higher in the SERPs if Google thinks it’s more relevant than one with a lower PageRank.
16. Should I consider another site’s PageRank when deciding whether to link to them or whether to ask for a link.
FACT: And how would that serve your visitors? Link to another site if you think it’s of value to your visitors. Ask for a link if you think your site is of value to the other site’s visitors. Don’t focus on PageRank. Focus on building a good site.