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I want to switch 3 links purchased 6 weeks ago to funnel PR to another page

Posted on 2006-11-18
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I have a 530-page PR4 site with 52 Google-recognized backlinks. I made it so large to attract traffic as a resource site, and because I heard that Google counts internal links just as much as external links in assigning PR. Around October 1st I bought 2 PR8s and 1 PR7 link (all limited to 35 anchor characters, no descriptive text) pointing to my home page. The keywords my home page is optimized for were already doing very well, and I'm thinking of changing my anchor text and target URL on the 3 purchased links to an inner page optimized for a much more competitive keyword, where for years I've never been above the 5th or 6th SERPS page. The seller told me that Google updated around Oct. 1, and won't do so for another 2 or 3 months, when my bought links will finally be recognized and (maybe) confer PR. What's true and what's not? I'd appreciate any feedback or ideas.      
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Question by:carl777
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by:humeniuk
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"... and because I heard that Google counts internal links just as much as external links in assigning PR."
Correct.  PR is passed page to page, not site to site.

"I'd appreciate any feedback or ideas. "
Well, the first thing you need to know is that if Google identifies them as bought links, they won't help you at all (for more info, see - www.mattcutts.com/blog/text-links-and-pagerank/).  If you are going to buy links, you need to proceed very carefully - heed the advice posted here - http:/Q_22061005.html#17968064.

"The seller told me that Google updated around Oct. 1, and won't do so for another 2 or 3 months ..."
Basically true, but very misleading.  Google does update the PR listed on the Google toolbar every 3-4 months, but toolbar PR and actual PR are kind of like distant cousins at this point.  Toolbar PR is not an accurate reflection of actual PR and actual PR is a much less important ranking factor that in may once have been and much less important than many people perceive it to be.  If you want to get serious about SEO, repeat this to yourself three times - "PR is dead".  (More info, see http:/Q_22013326.html)

"... I'm thinking of changing my anchor text and target URL on the 3 purchased links to an inner page optimized for a much more competitive keyword ..."
You're on the right track.  Individual pages need to be optimized individually and should target their own suitable keywords.  This includes trying to build high quality incoming links for your intended landing pages.
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by:carl777
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Humeniuk,
Thank you. If it’s true that Google counts internal links as much as external links, how come my home page and 6 optimized pages remained at PR4 while the number of pages in my site went from under 100 to 530—with all 530 pages linking to my home page and those 6 optimized pages (and all pages having decent, unique content of from 500 to 1200 words)?
I'd love to see those links, but when I click on either  http:/Q_22061005.html#17968064 or http:/Q_22013326.html , I get “Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close.  We are sorry for the inconvenience.” This is from IE 7.0. And if I add a second “/” after the initial http:, or try to place those links as they are appropriately in the experts-exchange address window, I get “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage.” This is from I.E. 7.0.  Are these valid links? I can’t seem to use them.
Carl
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by:carl777
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Humeniuk,
Thank you. If it’s true that Google counts internal links as much as external links, how come my home page and 6 optimized pages remained at PR4 while the number of pages in my site went from under 100 to 530—with all 530 pages linking to my home page and those 6 optimized pages (and all pages having decent, unique content of from 500 to 1200 words)?
I'd love to see those links, but when I click on either  http:/Q_22061005.html#17968064 or http:/Q_22013326.html , I get “Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close.  We are sorry for the inconvenience.” This is from IE 7.0. And if I add a second “/” after the initial http:, or try to place those links as they are appropriately in the experts-exchange address window, I get “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage.” This is from I.E. 7.0.  Are these valid links? I can’t seem to use them.
Carl
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by:humeniuk
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Hi Carl -

Welcome to Microsoft's new and improved IE :)  Here are the full URLs.  If you can't click on them, try pasting them in your address bar.
www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Online_Marketing/Q_22061005.html#17968064
www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Online_Marketing/Q_22013326.html

Another useful link: www.getfirefox.com.


"If it’s true that Google counts internal links as much as external links, how come my home page and 6 optimized pages remained at PR4 while the number of pages in my site went from under 100 to 530—with all 530 pages linking to my home page and those 6 optimized pages (and all pages having decent, unique content of from 500 to 1200 words)?"

Where are those internal pages getting any PR from?  Do they have their own incoming links?  You can't pass PR from the home page to internal pages and then back to the home page.  Simply adding a volume of links can have little or no impact on PR and even less impact on rankings.  Link quality is always more important than link quantity.

More on PageRank:
"PageRank is a lousy predictor of SERPs position because it is keyword independent." (www.seo-blog.com/page-strength.php)
www.mattcutts.com/blog/text-links-and-pagerank/
www.mattcutts.com/blog/more-info-on-pagerank/
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by:weikelbob
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"I heard that Google counts internal links just as much as external links in assigning PR"

Interesting notion. I am wondering as someone knowledgable in SEO, how powerful are internal links, correctly used, effective at ranging (real) google pagerank, the pagerank that's incorporated into Google's algorithm.

If true, that would be another reason for lots of content and lots of pages in an SEO-devoted site. I'm sold in 50-200 pages with lots o free information -always when doing SEO.

Interesting.
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by:humeniuk
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PageRank is passed page to page.  The process is the same whether those pages are on the same website or different websites.
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by:weikelbob
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humeniuk,

Then why not multiple sitemaps, a large sitemap and a few smaller sitemaps which cover different parts of the website which provides more page to page internal links than just a normal site map. I'm assuming Google is watching for multiple sitemaps, am I right?

And what about having a navigation system being on the top and bottom of page, maybe 2 different navs that are both easy to navigate. That doubles the internal page to page links on every page. Is that watched out for as well?

I guess there's a lot of details the more you explore SEO and balance that with what what Google wants to see in a good, natural site.

weikelbob
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by:carl777
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humeniuk (and weikelbob),

You said: "Where are those internal pages getting any PR from?  Do they have their own incoming links?  You can't pass PR from the home page to internal pages and then back to the home page.  Simply adding a volume of links can have little or no impact on PR and even less impact on rankings.  Link quality is always more important than link quantity."

The internal pages are getting PR from SELECTIVE DISTRIBUTION of the home page's PR, along with a few external links of their own. My understanding—which may be wrong—is to keep the home page's internal links (my home page has no external links) low in number and VERY selective. Its PR is then distributed selectively over, in my case, 6 specific pages optimized for keywords. These pages are also the only pages with links from all the pages on my site. I'm not interested in "passing PR BACK" to the home page, but rather in selectively leaking it from the home page to specific internal pages. This is not simply "adding a volume of links," but rather maximizing the number of incoming internal links to specific pages, and turning the faucet off, as it where, for the majority of the remaining pages, which are primarily only accessible through one page: the site map. Thus the site's total PR—which, I believe , is proportional to and distributed over the number of its pages—is selectively distributed. Is their truth in this?

Carl
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by:weikelbob
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It's an interesting read, but:

" My understanding—which may be wrong—is to keep the home page's internal links (my home page has no external links) low in number and VERY selective. Its PR is then distributed selectively over..."

Incoming links are, in my opinion, more important than internal links. Some "link sections" and directories will only let you submit the home page. In doing inbound links, I think you'll find that the index page should indeed be well optimized ) for a more general/competitive key word than your other active pages.

Most people's home page is the most important, and this is less true but still true in the SEO world as well.

weikelbob
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by:humeniuk
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"Then why not multiple sitemaps, a large sitemap and a few smaller sitemaps which cover different parts of the website ..."

Because links don't add PR, they just distribute PR.


"Thus the site's total PR—which, I believe , is proportional to and distributed over the number of its pages—is selectively distributed. Is their truth in this?"

No, there isn't.  There's no such thing as a site's 'total PR', ie. something that "is proportional to and distributed over the number of its pages.  PR is assigned to individual pages, not groups of pages or entire sites.  But if there are only six (internal) pages out of 350 total that you are serious about promoting, you might well link to only those six pages from the home page and certainly not to all 350.  The value of a link is impacted by how many links appear on that page.  A link that is one of six is much more valuable than a link that is one of 350.  Anchor text, context, and themes are also quite important.  (Again, this is true on a page to page basis, not just a site to site basis).  So, your approach is sound nevertheless.


"Incoming links are, in my opinion, more important than internal links."

In a sense, yes, but only in the sense that air is more important than food.  You can asphyxiate faster than you can starve to death, but in the end, dead is dead.  Both are essential.
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by:carl777
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Everyone and anyone,

There are 2 contributors from whom have based my idea of "total" and "combined" page rank for an entire site, which can then be distributed unevenly over the site, and is the main reasons—aside from the fact that I have a lot to say—that my site consists of 530 pages. They are:
Mark Horrell's work on page rank and its calculator:  http://www.markhorrell.com/seo/pagerank.shtml
and Webworkshop's  http://www.webworkshop.net/pagerank.html
and its associated page rank calculator:  http://www.webworkshop.net/pagerank_calculator.php?pgs=26
The idea is very appealing. Is it wrong?

Carl

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by:humeniuk
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Larger sites (ie. more pages) tend to rank better, so having as much GOOD information on your site as you can manage is a good idea.  If you want to call that a result of some kind of "combined site PR", well ... ok.

But very simply, you can focus on PR or you can focus on SEO.  Why spend time trying to build PR when you can better spend time trying to improve your rankings?  Worrying about PageRank distracts you from what should be your primary focus.  It's as simple as that.
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by:carl777
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humeniuk,

Well said. I've been focusing on page rank because it is the component of rankings that I understand and know how to control. Which brings me to an embarrassingly naive question. Can you improve your ranking in the SERPs merely by adroit editing of your pages—and how major a component of SEO is this?

Carl
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by:humeniuk
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When it comes to SEO, you should be proud to be naive, not embarrassed.  The fact is that search engines technology is suitably complex and the major search engines suitably secretive that sum of knowledge of even the most expert SEO professional represents only the tip of the iceberg.  Socrates said, "I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing."  Search engine optimization is a good place to apply this particular aspect of Socratic wisdom.

"Can you improve your ranking in the SERPs merely by adroit editing of your pages—and how major a component of SEO is this?"

The short answer is yes.  The longer answer goes something like this ...

Here's what you can do in terms of editing your pages that will maximize your SERP placement:
1) Take the term to properly research the most suitable keywords to target for your page (www.seo-blog.com/keyword-research.php);
2) Include your keywords in a suitable and effective title (www.seo-blog.com/title-element.php);
3) Validate your code and include proper doctype, character encoding, and language declarations;
4) Write clear, effective, useful text content for your users in which your keywords appear naturally - if your keywords do not appear naturally, you likely haven't chosen them well (www.seo-blog.com/text.php);
5) Create a clear text-link based navigation/internal linking structure (www.seo-blog.com/inbound-links.php) that embodies the same positive characteristics (ie. suitable anchor text and page placement) as incoming links (www.seo-blog.com/inbound-links.php); and
6) Remember that outbound links to high quality websites featuring information that will be of interest and of use to your visitors should be considered good content (www.seo-blog.com/outbound-links.php).

By "adroit editing", you likely were referring to content.  Not all of these items are exclusive to content, but they are on-page factors that can influence ranking, so I include them here.  Much more could be said about each point, so I included a link to more expansive info on each in case you are interested.
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by:carl777
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humeniuk,

Thank you again. I have questions about item 3)
Am I using proper doctype, character encoding and language declarations in
my index.htm (entire "head" section below)?
I have no doctype statement, and have never been able to figure out what it is.

<head>
<title>title text</title>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en-us">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
<meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage 6.0">
<meta name="ProgId" content="FrontPage.Editor.Document">
<META name="description" content="descriptive text">
<META name="keywords" content="five keywords">
<META name="robots" content="index,follow">
<META name="GOOGLEBOT" content="INDEX,FOLLOW">
</head>

Carl
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by:humeniuk
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You have your character encoding - <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252"> - but you are much better off with - <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">

Your language declaration is fine - <meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en-us">

The doctype should go before your <html><head> tags.  You have a number of choices (for more info, take a look at "Fix Your Site With the Right DOCTYPE!" - http://alistapart.com/stories/doctype/) but you are probably better off with ...

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">

You can also get rid of a lot of the junk you have there and replace what you have above with ...

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en-us">
<title>title text</title>
<meta name="description" content="descriptive text">
<meta name="keywords" content="five keywords">
</head>

More on doctypes - www.seo-blog.com/document-type-definition.php
More on character encoding & language declaration - www.seo-blog.com/character-encoding.php

Also, I note from ...
<meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage 6.0">
<meta name="ProgId" content="FrontPage.Editor.Document">
... that you are using FrontPage.  You will find it very difficult to write standards compliant code that will validate using FP.
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by:carl777
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humeniuk,

So should DOCTYPE be my first line of code?
Should I apply these changes to all my site pages, or just to the index.htm (the home page)?
Is making these changes what is known as SEO, and will/can these changes alone noticeably affect my positions in the SERPs?
How important is it to (relative to ranking) to have my site validated? And if it is, do I have to publish my 530-page site by some other means than with FrontPage 2003?
Thank you very much.

Carl

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by:humeniuk
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There are numerous ranking factors and we only know a small number of them.  Beyond some basic generalizations, ie. 'incoming links are one of the most important ranking factors', it is really difficult to quantify how important specific ranking factors are.

"So should DOCTYPE be my first line of code?"
Yes.

"Should I apply these changes to all my site pages, or just to the index.htm (the home page)?"
Each page.  Browsers use the doctype declaration to determine how to properly interpret the code on the page.

"Is making these changes what is known as SEO, and will/can these changes alone noticeably affect my positions in the SERPs?"
Proper optimization should be considered essential to the ranking prospects of any website.

"How important is it to (relative to ranking) to have my site validated?"
I consider it important, some people consider it not very important.  It is certainly less important than having good incoming links and quality content, but even so, it largely depends on whether that means there are three errors or seventy-three.

"And if it is, do I have to publish my 530-page site by some other means than with FrontPage 2003?"
WYSIWYG editors are very useful, because they generate code for you, which means you don't have to have the same level of knowledge that you would if you were to hand code your pages.  The unfortunate reality is that even the good WYSIWYG editors tend to generate weak code and FrontPage is one of the bad ones, not one of the good ones.  Many people use an editor to put together a page and then go through it to clean up the code.  Personally, I find this takes more time than doing it right the first time ... once you have taken the time to learn how to write valid, standards compliant code on your own.
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by:weikelbob
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Humeniuk's comments about WYSIWYG editors are good.

It comes down to ROI. (Return on Invsestment) Basically, ask yourself if learning how to write my own HTML and CSS that validates and is SEO friendly is worth the time and energy. If you know how to make better websites, will that mean that you have more money later on? A lot more money? No more money? You must look at your model of your business or business plan and see if web design skills are very importnat. If I put in 10 hours and end up with $1000 more then, personally, I consider learning web design a success. If it makes very little difference and wastes time, then there's no ROI.

One other thing is that if you know how to write CSS and HTML, validate your code and make it SEO-friendly, then you're 80% of the way done towards other people paying you to write websites. Which may be worth nothing, or could be a hobby, a business investment, a business background, or something for the resume.

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by:weikelbob
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www.w3schools.com

has the best set of tutorials for HTML and CSS that I have found.

http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp (HTML)

http://www.w3schools.com/css/default.asp (CSS)

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by:carl777
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humenuik (and thank you weikelbob as well),

So, can I remove all 4 following lines from the "head" code of every page?
<meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage 6.0">
<meta name="ProgId" content="FrontPage.Editor.Document">
<META name="robots" content="index,follow">
<META name="GOOGLEBOT" content="INDEX,FOLLOW">

And, does the DOCTYPES line, when displayed entirely on 1 line, read:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">

Carl
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by:carl777
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humenuik,

Thank you for all your help.
I'm tying to finish up this thread.
I guess the only questions I have left (in addition to the prevous ones) are:
I'm using the W3C Markup validation service at http://validator.w3.org/ .
What do you recommend as a site validator?
And, is there a way to reset the default font in FrontPage 2003?
Carl
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by:carl777
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humenuik,

It's not clear to me why you've stopped communicating near the end of a very fruitful (a least to me), thread.
If I've done something wrong or violated some website protocol or principle, please let me know.

Carl
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humeniuk earned 250 total points
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Hi Carl,

My apologies for the delay.  I have been largely absent from EE over the past couple of weeks dealing with some personal issues.

"So, can I remove all 4 following lines from the "head" code of every page?"
Yes, you can remove those.

"And, does the DOCTYPES line, when displayed entirely on 1 line, read:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">"
Yes, it does.

"I'm using the W3C Markup validation service at http://validator.w3.org/ .
What do you recommend as a site validator?"
In my opinion, that is the best validator to use.

"And, is there a way to reset the default font in FrontPage 2003?"
I'm not familiar enough with FP to give you a reliable answer to that one, sorry.
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by:carl777
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humeniuk,

Thanks or all your great help.
I just gave you 250 points and an "excellent." Hope you got it.

Carl
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by:humeniuk
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Yes, thanks Carl.  And sorry again for the delay.
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