November 29, 1999: Admit it. You'd like to get more attention on the Web for your site. Just about everyone could use some more traffic.
We checked our own ranking in the hot new Internet search engine Google today under the phrase "Minnesota law firm" (since we publish a fair amount of information about Minnesota law firms already).
We decided to subject ourselves to this simple test because Google is receiving a lot of attention for its page ranking technique: rank is based on crosslinking and the quality of linking sites.
Unlike traditional techniques for trying to gain ranking by manipulating metatags or setting other simplistic hooks designed to snare the attention of a robot, this technique is based on the considered judgment of web sites about each other.
Here's how Google describes its PageRank1 process:
PageRank capitalizes on the uniquely democratic characteristic of the web by using its vast link structure as an organizational tool. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. Google assesses a page's importance by the votes it receives. But Google looks at more than sheer volume of votes, or links; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important."
These important, high-quality results receive a higher PageRank and will be ordered higher in results. In this way, PageRank is Google's general indicator of importance and does not depend on a specific query. Rather, it is a characteristic of a page itself based on data from the web that Google analyzes using complex algorithms that assess link structure.
1. The quoted material comes from http://www.google.com/why_use.html.
So how did we come out on a simple search for "Minnesota law firms"?
We ranked first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth in the top ten results.
Four pages on our site were listed on the second page of results, and four more on the third page.
In short, we held a nicely commanding position of twelve of the first fifteen pages and sixteen of the first thirty pages listed.
And that was our low score. We re-entered the words surrounded by quote marks -- to indicate a phrase -- and scored nine out of the first ten, seventeen out of the top twenty.
How'd we do it? We did it the old-fashioned way, with hard work and no gimmicks. Our ranking is a by-product, not a goal in itself.
Can you find out our secret?
Yes, you can. We consult based on our integrated knowledge and experience. We'll show you how you can succeed on your own terms on the Web.
Who you choose as your consultant does make a difference in what you'll hear.