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PR relationship to search engine results
It's sure not just a matter of PR

 4:23 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have been following this forum for the last few years and it's been a great help to me.

Now I am trying to sort out what I can do about the fact that I have a PR7 on the homepage of one of my sites yet I only make it to #7 in my best keyword. There are no PR7 pages rating above me and some are only five and is just PR4.

I know that the text in incoming links is a factor but the title of my site includes the keyword so most of my incoming links include the word.

Four have more backlinks than I do. All have the keyword in the title but only three have it as the first word. Hmm, that is something I can control, change the word order in my page title. Three have the keyword in their URL something I can't change without losing my backlinks.

In terms of word density I use the key word 7 times in a page of 360 words. I could increase the use of the word in a natural way that would look find to a visitor but don't want to overdo and have Google decide it is too high a density.

I am hoping that some of you here will have some ideas about what more I might do. I don't expect to get up to first but would feel more secure if I could get my site to rate a little higher on the page. Since most people only look at the first page of 10 when they are searching I want to be sure I never drop below the top 10.

Thank for any help and ideas you might have



 2:28 am on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Re: "I know that the text in incoming links is a factor"

That is not a factor but a must! Google cares more for what others say your page is about than what your own text says. Search for miserable failure and the #1 guy does not have that anywhere in his code but he is still #1 over many sites with that wording on their page.


 2:47 am on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Also keep in mind that toolbar PR is not necessarily accurate and Google's link command is definitely not accurate. Try Yahoo's linksite: command for a better picture.
Also try varying your backlinks some with synonyms. For instance, if your important phrase was patchwork quilting you should also get some 'sewing' backlinks as well. Add a ~ before your keywords and try the search on G. The bolded terms are some other ideas for incoming anchor (as well as important content).


 9:38 am on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

All have the keyword in the title but only three have it as the first word.

There is "over-analysing" but I think you've just created a new phrase - "super-over-analysing". I'm assuming your trying to avoid some sort of SEO filter that you believe may exist?

but don't want to overdo and have Google decide it is too high a density.

I have densities as high as 52% on some pages and I rank on the first page for plenty of competitive keywords. Google realised that high-density was not an indication of "spam", "over-optimization" (or whatever else you want to call it) a long time ago.

That's some pointers away from the wrong direction, as for the right direction - what if I was ranked above you, why should I tell you how to compete with me? That's like emailing your game plan to the other team a month before the big game.


 12:54 pm on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Four have more backlinks than I do.

How many more backlinks do they have in *authority* pages (as perceived by the Google algo)?


 3:05 pm on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

It might also be worth considering if the other site is a better resource overall.

It can be hard to judge your own site, but see if you can't diversify the options people have once getting there, while leaving its basic structure intact.


 4:12 pm on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Internetheaven, I suppose I am overanalyzing. I'm just tired of not being able to rise above number 7, I've been sitting there for months. I'll have to admit is mostly just a challenge as most of my visitors come into individual pages on 2 or 3 word phrase searches. I worked several months using ideas from this forum, mostly working hours and hours on getting quality back links to get to the key word top 10. So maybe I'm over analyzing because I've tried all the obvious stuff. I will add some word density though. Thanks for the info on that.

julinho, I do think a pr 8 from a big university site is helping me on PR while the ones with many links are commercial though one has excellent content as well. What do you think Google sees as authority pages? It can't just be links to that site, is it somehow related to sites with many topical links to it? Or do they look at things like .edu as a factor? I've read a lot of talk about the idea of authority pages am still vague on the theory.

powdork, I got the highlighted words using the ~ . Do you mean I should link from other pages in my sites using some of those words in the link text? I think my next campaign to get outside links to my site needs to be from sites themed to some of these related words as well. A related topic that the ~ doesn't pick up is history. I have some links from university sites on that topic but need to get more.

I must be using the Yahoo linksite: query wrong as I can't get it to work. Are there some other ways to check backlinks as well? I had one in my favorites at one time but can't find it now. I found I had a great many but most must not have high enough PR for Google to show on the Googlebar

Prairie, Yes, some of the other sites definitely should be above me in the serps. I'm just hoping to get up a couple of notches.

I have a question on page title. Does it need to be the same as the text in incoming links? I am considering changing the word order in the page title to put the key word first but then it won't match most of my incoming link text.

Thanks all for the ideas everyone.


 7:25 pm on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

<Off_topic> Got more results using yahoo linksite if a slash is added: linksite:www.example.org/ [search.yahoo.com]


 10:45 pm on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

If all of this weren't so painful, it would be funny.

I have a site I put up two years ago that ranks #1 on Google for a number of terms, and anywhere from #3 to #5 for others. There are only a handful of incoming links, the site has a PR of 4, and yet it's on the first page against as many as 250,000 or more competitors.

My new site, submitted in June, has a PR of 2, I've been collecting inbound links as fast as possible, yet for the very same search terms I'm anywhere from #50 to #250.


 12:35 am on Nov 14, 2004 (gmt 0)


The point I was trying to bring is that, according to the Hilltop algo, found at [cs.toronto.edu...] , to attain a high "target score" (section 3.2), itīs essential, among other things, to be linked from "authorities", rather than from "so many sites with good PR".

So, if your competitors are linked from the authorities on your topic (whoever they are) and you are not, you loose the fight.

<edit to correct spelling - not an English speaker here>


 3:14 am on Nov 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm linked from some authorities in terms of being linked from university and other professional sites in my topic. But I'm not sure if that is how the Hilltop method works. It appears to me that for sites to be authoritive sites they must have outgoing links on the queried topic and the qualifying links cannot be to sites or pages that are associated with the originating site. OK. That makes sense. I can see the sites internal linking would not count toward being authoritive. But there must be something more. Are inward links to the authoritive site considered? I still don't understand what differentiates any site with a lot of non associated links and those that qualify as authoritive. It may be that the Hilltop paper is just over my head.


 5:20 am on Nov 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

annej, this may not be the sort of answer you are looking for..

Consider that a search returns 10 listings. The first 3 are certainly going to get traffic. The bottom 3 might get just as much. Those in the middle may get visually scanned, but if they don't grab the viewers attention, that person is just as likely to scroll down to view then next 10. That's where being numbers 8 - 9 - 10 come into play. Seems like I read here at WW where that had been "proven".

If I can't get a number 1, 2 or 3, I would really prefer to have 11, 12 or 13, or even 21, 22, 23.

Your obvservations about PR are correct. I recently took a #1 spot from my competition, who has a PR 6 compared to my 4. PR is a non-issue, IMO.


 6:07 am on Nov 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Do you think on page factors helped to bump you above the PR 6 Grandpa?


 7:08 am on Nov 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think the PR 6 was doing some artificial link building with several networked domains, and finally paid the price. In other words, they probably didn't deserve that spot anyway. I've seen them fall for half a dozen prime KW's. Meanwhile, I've spent my time developing backlinks and relatively good content - not trying to figure out how to get to number 1. More and more, I believe that spot comes to those who do the work.

My old man was right about one thing.. a bit of elbow grease goes a long way.


 8:33 pm on Nov 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yep, there is no substitute for hard work and what it can achieve.

I've had my site drop fairly bad in G since late September, and I've been looking closely at my pages, and my competition.

I've seen a more than a few sites with lower page rank doing quite well, seemingly just by a higher density of keywords and other in-site/on-page factors.

I'd been careful to keep my site very clean and not repeat keywords too much, and I was using some related/similar words for the sake of semantics. I was also letting backlinks grow organic style, rather than seeking them out and doing reciprocal linking.

Either my site is caught in a 'google burp' like others I've read about over the years, or I have to get more aggressive with optimization and links gathering.


 10:00 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Like Grandpa and his Dad I subscribe to the toil and be rewarded scheme. I have an old network that has been around on topic for over 9 years. Sometimes G shakes my pages out and we get hit - most times we get great SERPs. If I tried to shift our system to adjust our results each time G updated the algo I would be doing crazy circles. Instead I just plough on - try a little of this and that in the odd page but consitantly strive for good content. It is long, slow and tedious - but it works...

PR was invented to set up a sub agme so that forums had plenty to talk about...



 11:09 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Annej, instead of thinking about your main keyword maybe you should go for your other keywords. If your competitors are not already doing this that's where you can beat them. Most webmasters focus on their main keyword and not the little ones, that's why so many webmasters fail.


 4:39 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'll be the first to admit that I get most of my visitors from lesser key phrases leading to internal pages. But it is a bit of a challenge to work on this homepage and the single keyword. In the process I learn about what will work on lesser pages.


 1:15 am on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Find the sites that are linking to several of your competitors (those with ranking above yours) and then try to get links from these "common" domains.
You can use the respective SEs link:commands and do this by hand or use a tool like Arelis to find the incoming links to your competitors sites in G, Y, and Msn.
Then sort each competitor's inbound link list alphabetically. Set the lists side by side and highlight the common link sources. So now you know that site X links to 3 of your competitors. site Y to 4 of your competitors, etc. Try to get links from those sites which link to most of your competitors.


 1:26 am on Nov 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Looking through my comptetors backlinks really made me realize how important links within the site are. The big one was a major magazine and it has hundreds of links to the homepage from other pages on their site. Even though links within the same domain are thought to have less weight than inbound links from the outside I think their effect can add up.

I don't have a big site like that but I can and will increase my internal links.

I did not find any fantastic links on these higher ranking sites that are from high PR pages. So that's a mystery to me.


 3:33 am on Nov 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'll be the first to admit that I get most of my visitors from lesser key phrases leading to internal pages. But it is a bit of a challenge to work on this homepage and the single keyword. In the process I learn about what will work on lesser pages.

I have come to believe that the inner pages should be used to support the main page, not the other way around.

In other words, links to inner pages, 'natural PR' on the inner pages, and those pages then giving their PR and link strength back to the home page.

How often do you look at IBL's on the inner pages of your competitor's sites?

No proof here. But, if you think about it, a true authority site on a subject will have links landing on many of the interior pages. For instance, if I link to a University site, I will probably link to the relevant topic pages and not to the home page. The apex of a pyramid is build on a broad foundation.

And, don't forget OBL's. Look at all the directories that have really great rankings these days. In fact, just last night I was searching for suppliers of a rather obscure widget and it seemed all that I could get back was directories - one of those searches that suppports the contentions of those that say G's SERPs are poor these days.



 1:39 pm on Nov 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Willy-"And, don't forget OBL's. Look at all the directories that have really great rankings these days. "

I know that this gets discussed periodically -- but I've always thought there is no clear evidence on OBLs ... Were you saying that placing OBL's is a requirement for high ranking in the SERPS? So a site which "hoards" PR (no outbound links) will *definitely* move up in the SERPS (all things being equal) just by starting to place OBLs on its pages to, say, authority sites in its sector?


 3:30 pm on Nov 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am far to inexperienced to say that anything is "definite".

Some of my highest trafficked pages are those with the most OBL's. These are, however, on fairly focused niche terms.

I will leave it to someone with more resources and a better mind than mine to do definitive tests. Anecdotal evidence suggests to me that OBL's are a website owners friends.



 3:45 pm on Nov 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

come to believe that the inner pages should be used to support the main page

I had the impression that internal backlinks are given less weight by Google than external backlinks. Now I'm not so sure.

I've been wondering about the text in my internal back links. I know it's important that the key word be in the text but it is important that the back link text contains the exact words of the page title or does Google look at matches of individual words?

I'm also curious if I am being hurt because some of my internal pages have two links back to the homepage. It is linked from both the top in the title of each page and again at the bottom in a site guide. Could Google be penalizing me because I am over back linking from these internal pages? I like having the two links for easy navigation as the visitor can always get back to the homepage whether he or she is at the top or has read the article and is scrolled down to the bottom of the page.


 4:04 pm on Nov 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

There is a theory that outbound links help a page rank and I believe it to be true at least for the terms in the anchor text of the outbound link. Others believe that outbound links don't help at all. They often give the example of webmasterworld, which has no outbound links that Google can see.
Do what best serves your users.


 6:03 pm on Nov 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

They often give the example of webmasterworld, which has no outbound links that Google can see.

Hmmm... links to westhost, best bbs, etc. don't count? Nor do links in member profiles?

Do what best serves your users.

Always the best approach.



 6:12 pm on Nov 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

set your useragent to googlebot and then view the WW pages.


 9:01 pm on Nov 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just curious:

Is the site listed in ODP (DMOZ)?
If not, what about those above you?


 1:02 am on Nov 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have a lot of out bound links because of the academic nature of my topic. I don't feel having them has ever hurt me but have no idea if they help either. I do think they might help someday as search algos become more sophisticated.

On DMOZ the site homepage I am working on is listed but it is listed rather deep into the directory. states/widgeting/history that sort of thing. BTW Does being in the Yahoo directory matter anymore?


 4:10 am on Dec 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

If it isn't a commercial site, definitely try for a free Yahoo listing.

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