Imagine going from non-existent (not even published yet…) to a PR4 (a Google PageRank of 4) in only 6 days! Sound impossible? It’s not – keeping reading and I’ll tell you exactly what I did, how I believed it happened! This is an anomaly in the world of PageRank – something I’ve never seen before.
That’s right folks. It’s something I’ve never done before and to be honest with you, I’ve never even seen it done before. But I wrote an article – an article right here on Bipper Media – that I published and in only 6 days, the article shot up to a PR4 (PageRank of 4).
Not sure what PageRank is? learn about it here
Now, I’m not professing to be the foremost expert in search optimization or content marketing because to be completely honest with you, I’m still analyzing this process to learn as much as I can from it. And then, I want to share with you as much as I know. But the fact remains – I was able to publish an article that within six days, achieved a PR4.
So what article am I talking about?
As I told you, the article is published right here on Bipper Media. The title of the article is Top 10 Industries & Keyword Spend on Google Adwords in 2011. The article is, in my honest opinion, not even an article more than it is a research project summary. I typically write articles about news, opinions, how to’s, etc… but this article was simply displaying research and data in a easily consumable format. But for now, we’ll just call it an article.
Ever since I saw the article hit a PR4 in 6 days – and it could have been even less than that, I just noticed the PageRank after 6 days – I’ve been studying and analyzing every aspect of the article. I’ve been obsessive at times and I’m sure my wife has laughed at me a time or two, but c’mon man… have you ever seen an article, website, webpage, anything at all on the web go from non-existent to a PR4 in only 6 days? I sure haven’t and I’ve been doing this stuff for a solid 7 years.
So based on my obessessiveness (if that’s even a word), here’s some key variables that I’m guessing have contributed to this PageRank anomaly:
1) Lot’s of content
This article (the one that went from non-existent to PR4 in 6 days) has over 2,100 words total. Now I realize that for some people, that’s not a lot of writing. To me however, I typically write only 200 – 300 words or so on the news articles that I’m writing over at Tablet Crunch. So when I write something that’s over 2,100 words, it’s a lot.
But I’m also assuming that I’m kind of the average type blogger when I typically write around 200 – 300 words. I do not believe that over 2,100 is average by any means.
I just did a quick inquiry into the word count on an average article at the New York Times online, and I just randomly selected an article. This particular article has a total of 1,376 words and actually spans two pages (they have a “page 2″ link after about 500 words or so).
So if a NYTimes.com article, which I selected randomly, has only 1,376 words in it, I can only assume that one of the reasons this particular article received so much favor from Google was simply because of it’s word count.
Now I also understand that lot’s of people write 2,000 plus word articles each and everyday and probably never see any PageRank love from Google. I’m hoping this article will help you build your pages, and your website, better in the future so that it builds PageRank and rankings fast – or at least faster than what you’re used to.
What’s also interesting with the New York Times online is that I just did an archive search and looked at all the articles that were published on February 1st (10 days ago), and all of the articles that show on the first page, all of them, have zero PageRank. This is was definitely not what I was expecting – I though for sure because these articles are coming from NYTimes.com that they would all be pushing strong PageRank by now. But nope – none of the articles I see on the first page search results for February 1st, 2012 have any PageRank whatsoever.
This is very interesting to me because, as I just showed you, NYTimes.com articles are probably all over 1,000 – 2,000 words long. So perhaps the word count of the article isn’t the biggest factor in what’s driving the PageRank for my article.
Let’s take a look at the second variable I noticed that’s unique about this article.
2) Outbound links
I went through an did a rough count of the number of outbound links on the article and I counted approximately 60 links that point to other sites. This is a lot of links for sure. I don’t ever write articles that come anywhere close to having 60 outbound links. That’s an awful lot of outbound link love being passed from the article out to other sites.
And not only are there 60 outbound links going from the article to other sites, but all of these links are pointing to different websites. So it’s like 60 outbound links and all of them point to somewhere different.
My guess is that the outbound links from the article are definitely playing a role in how quickly this article (or webpage) achieved a PageRank of 4 in only 6 days.
When I observe the articles from the NYTimes.com archive – those that were published on the 1st of February, I first noticed that none of them had any PageRank. But they all have a strong word count, which is why I don’t necessarily believe word count is playing a huge roll in this. But if you notice on these articles, there is very little outbound link love going from these articles out to other sites. Check them out for yourself – here’s five articles that I was looking at:
- Republican Chided Over Blog….
- Physical Flickers of Light & Motion…
- The Fifth Down…
- Still Creating Otherwordly Adventures…
- So How Safe Is Your Ship…
You’ll notice that these articles – all of which are randomly selected and posted to the New York Times website on February 1st, 2012 (10 days ago). What you’ll also notice is that none of these articles do a a whole lot of outbound linking. There’s a lot of internal linking to other pages within the NYTimes website, but not very much outbound linking to other sites.
If you notice with my article, the one that climbed to a PR4 in only 6 days, is that not only do I produce over 60 outbound links, but all 60 of them are to highly authoritative sites – most of them well over a PR6 and PR7. And 10 of them (the first 10 links) are keyword phrases that link out directly to the Google search results for those keyword phrases. And these search result pages, as you’ll notice, all have a powerful PR9 (just like the homepage of Google.com).
Here’s the list of links from the article – these are the first 10 links that all point to Google search results, and all of which are on PR9 pages:
- self employed health insurance
- online video conferencing software
- accredited online college degrees
- cheap car insurance
- affordable life insurance
- ink cartridges discount
- high speed internet deals
- pre paid cell phones
Again, all 10 of these outbound links are pointing to PR9 Google search result pages. And the rest of the 50 or so links throughout the rest of the article all point to the homepages of the specific companies I’m writing about.
So what’s the takeaway from all of this? Why in the world did my article go from nothing to a PR4 (PageRank of 4) in Google in approximately 6 days? I’m going to chalk the majority of the PR juice up to outbound linking. But not just any outbound linking, but linking out to highly authoritative sites, pages, and resources (i.e. Google’s search results themselves).
The next factor I’m going to attribute this PageRank anomaly to is word count. If you are going to produce a lot of outbound links to other sites, then you are going to need to have a lot of content within which to produce those links.
Finally, your content needs to be valuable, or of some type of high quality content or structure. Basically, anything that actually provides some value to your readers.
I’m excited about experiences like this because a lot of what I do is, basically, content marketing. The sole purpose of utilizing content for the purpose of marketing, traffic, and exposure on the web is to produce content that’s going to grow in authority and achieve top rankings in search results for a list of targeted keyword phrases. And then, hopefully, when someone is searching for one of these keyword phrases they will then connect with the webpage and thus the business or organization that’s associated with the content. That basically describes content marketing in a nutshell.
And what’s becoming more and more perplexing to me why people will spend so much time investing in sites that are just regurgitating content, or producing content automatically from RSS feeds. As I’m learning and growing in this area, I’m realizing that these are all frivolous efforts and never, at any point, will any of these sites achieve any substantial PageRank, rankings, or traffic. And in turn, are achieving the exact opposite of what the site owners are wanting to achieve in the first place.
So write A LOT, link out to a A LOT of highly authoritative sites, and then watch your PageRank, rankings, traffic, and brand soar to new heights!
Here’s some external websites to learn more about PageRank and the power of networks: this might help you understand the relevance of why outbound linking is important, and how, through the process of outbound linking, you are in essence creating a network within your webpage, website, etc…
- netwiki Scientific wiki dedicated to network theory
- New Network Theory International Conference on ‘New Network Theory’
- Network Workbench: A Large-Scale Network Analysis, Modeling and Visualization Toolkit
- Network analysis of computer networks
- Network analysis of organizational networks
- Network analysis of terrorist networks
- Network analysis of a disease outbreak
- Link Analysis: An Information Science Approach (book)
- Connected: The Power of Six Degrees (documentary)
- Influential Spreaders in Networks, M. Kitsak, L. K. Gallos, S. Havlin, F. Liljeros, L. Muchnik, H. E. Stanley, H.A. Makse, Nature Physics 6, 888 (2010)
- A short course on complex networks
And of course some great Wikipedia articles on the associated subject: