The Vagaries of PageRank

I was mentioning to Matt very late at Denny’s in Belleville that Google wasn’t giving my blog a whole lot of love. I’d supposed that was probably because nothing actually links to it, but he suggested that I try Google Webmaster Tools and see if there’s a problem with the crawler. (Matt’s generally more up on web stuff than I am these days. My web skills have atrophied a bit).

It turns out there was nothing wrong with the crawler; nothing actually links here.

I figured, though, that I could possibly take advantage of my (considerably depleted) influence on the webs and put up some links.

I finally put up a link from my homepage, something I’ve been really reluctant to do. But I figured, what the hell? At the moment, I’m less embarrassed about the blog than I am about the homepage.

I also figured I’d slip in a sly link onto the Abslom Daak site. It was then that I realized that I let the domain name expire. For two months.

Oops.

Fortunately, I was still able to renew it. So that was nice. That’s the only site where I have any pagerank at all (and probably quite a bit less now). *sigh*

Anyway, I think I’m going to make a project out of redoing the homepage sometime in the near future, to make it a bit more professional and a bit less 1996 university student.

Also, I wouldn’t be offended by a link to the blog (or the homepage) if you’ve got a site somewhere. (Also, I know of at least one person who’s linking to my livejournal when he should really be linking to the blog. I’ll probably have to pester him in person, rather than leaving a parenthetical note at the bottom of a blog post…)

10 thoughts on “The Vagaries of PageRank

  1. matt

    Good to hear you’ve got a plan of action! :-)

    [Aren’t the tools cool?]

    In any event, since you’re tackling your name as part of your SEO efforts, you’re in good stead.

    WordPress will help a great deal.

    You might want to see about mangling your URLs to include your name though — otherwise flyingsquirrel.ca, the date and things like this post title (ie. the-vagaries-of-pagerank) get caught.

    Aliasing your account to use your name is another option (rather than “flying squirrel”).

    Lastly, as you noted, getting linked is probably the best way to start the push towards entering the rankings. Putting out notifications on post to those blogging services might help — just be careful (Google reportedly just revised PageRank for a ton of sites — theoretically based on link selling, etc.).

    I don’t think you’ll have any trouble, it’ll just take some time.

    Best of luck!

  2. matt

    One more (the last I promise!)…

    Yahoo! and Live Search yield similar results (though your old csclub page comes up via Live Search).

    You could submit to dmoz.org (they have an apparently diminishing impact, but… )

    You could try one of the following categories…

    http://www.dmoz.org/Society/People/Personal_Homepages/

    http://www.dmoz.org/Arts/Online_Writing/Journals/Personal/

    http://www.dmoz.org/Society/People/Personal_Homepages/Weblogs/

    (regional would be better still…)

    I’d count on a relatively lengthy wait, but you’d be covered.

  3. Darcy Casselman Post author

    The more I think about it, the more I think I’ll probably rejigger things a bit, and redo the homepage somehow. Maybe make it a WordPress page or something. I don’t know.

    It’s probably time I registered darcycasselman.com. I like flyingsquirrel.ca a lot. If I want to take ownership of my online identity, though, that’s the way to do it. It’ll probably just stay an alias for a while, though. We’ll see.

  4. matt

    Just a quick note that darcy-casselman.com is probably a better choice…

    Has to do with separating the name (otherwise people would only really benefit by ramming everything together).

    [So, you end up making the choice of human-friendly vs. machine-friendly… but if people being able to search you out is a goal, machine-friendly is the place to start…]

  5. Darcy Casselman Post author

    Dashes seem to be somewhat unfashionable. That’s probably because of the way spoken URLs are evolving. I can tell you “Darcy Casselman dot com” and you know exactly where to go. I don’t even have to say “all one word” anymore. If I put a dash in there, I’d have to emphasize “Darcy dash Casselman dot com”.

    Not that I expect to have to tell people a URL very often (but you never know, I guess). It’s just that, looking around, for most personal sites, the “all one word” thing is what most people seem to do.

  6. matt

    Yeah…

    That’s the human-friendly part.

    The only way around it is to do both, though you’d likely want to look into some sort of redirect to the machine friendly domain for the search engines.

    (I still haven’t sorted out the best way to do that… probably a permanent redirect on the domain.)

    It would be easier if the greys between white hat and black hat SEO didn’t exist.

    Actually doubling up might work fine, Google seem to have rewritten their content guidelines… ( http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769&topic=8456 )

    [Yahoo! seem to still frown on it… ( http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/srchsb/ssb_gl.php )]

    I suppose you’re not really trying to capture a highly competitive market though, so… take it all with a grain of salt! :-)

  7. Darcy Casselman Post author

    Sorry. I don’t check the comment quarantine as often as I should (I haven’t bothered to set up email notification… I don’t even know what my SMTP server is anymore…)

    At the moment, I’m looking into getting off-site hosting of some sort. I figure if I do ever manage to get any traffic on the site (it could happen…), I might want to be able to handle it…

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