4 May 2006
Google Toolbar : PageRank, Linking Strategies & More
So, you've gone and downloaded the toolbar at toolbar.google.com, but now what? This free toolbar that allows you gather useful information about yours and other websites. You just need to know how to use it.
Google Toolbar Basics
1. PageRank: The green bar you see as you visit different web pages shows a website's Google PageRank. To put it simply, PageRank is a bit like link popularity, but there are many factors involved in its calculation ~ which Google won't entirely reveal. You can look at the "official" Google information on PageRank at google.com/technology/ if you are inclined.
2. Page Info: You'll see the letter "i" in a blue circle with the words "Page Info" beside it. There's actually a lot of useful information to be found here.
3. Cached Snapshot of Page: This will show you what the particular page you are looking at looked like when Google last indexed it. * Note - When you do a search on Google, you can always choose to see the cached version of the page. This highlights the keywords you typed in right on the web page. It's a very useful search tool.
4. Similar Pages: I don't quite get this option, but Google says it shows "pages that are related to a particular result" ~ I guess they are sites related to yours. For myself, I find they are usually sites I've exchanged links with, but it's a smaller list than "Backward Links".
5. Backward Links: You may have exchanged links with a zillion sites, but by checking the "Backward Links", you'll see how many and which links Google actually considers to be important. These links help make up your PageRank.
6. Translate into English: If you're visiting a website in another language, you can have Google translate it into English. Of course, you'll have to take any translation with a grain of salt. So What Do You Do with This Google Toolbar Information? Find Link Partners As you can already see, Google does not consider all your backward links to be important. It is generally thought that Google indexes links from pages with a PageRank of 4 or higher ~ but this is not the sole determining factor. This means the precise page you are receiving the link from should have a PageRank of 4 or higher to be counted. If the home page has a PageRank of 4, but the links page only has a rank of 2, it might not be counted.
This does not mean your links will not be considered important by other search engines. We are just talking about Google here. If you want to increase your PageRank, you want links from pages with a PageRank of 4 or higher.
You might want to avoid exchanging links with a site not listed on Google (do a search for the site or put your mouse of the PageRank bar to see if it has been ranked). If they are not listed, they may very well be a new site, but it is possible they are a banned site. You do not want to exchange links with a banned site. You could be guilty by association!
You should also make efforts to exchange links with sites that are targeting similar keywords as you. Do a search for sites using your keywords. Analyze Your Google PageRank Your PageRank can certainly help you with your rankings for certain keywords. Your goal is to increase your PageRank to receive more FREE traffic from Google. Use your toolbar to find out the various PageRanks of the various pages within your site.
You can help increase your PageRank on your own by creating numerous internal links to your various pages. When exchanging links, don't just have links to your home page. Choose a few other important pages to which you would like to generate links. Make Sure Your Pages Are Being Indexed by Google You can check if all your pages are being indexed by Google. Go to the particular page and choosing "Cached Snapshot of Page" ~ if there is no cache, your page is not indexed. If the page is new, then perhaps its a matter of time. If the page is important has not been indexed for a couple of months, analyze your navigation structure. Consider linking to this page from your other important (and high PageRanking) pages and see what happens