Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Viewing your Web page’s PageRank using the Google Toolbar

March 14, 2008

PageRank is a measure of a Web page’s reputation (credibility).

A Web page that has a high PageRank means it has a good reputation and it will be listed high in the results list when someone does a search query using Google.

PageRank’s scale is 0 – 10.

You can see your Web site’s PageRank using the free Google Toolbar at http://toolbar.Google.com.

I just downloaded it and installed it.  I was a bit disappointed as I expected to be able to go to a Web page and see its PageRank number.  Instead, the Google Toolbar gives a graphic of a sliding bar.  You have to eyeball the graphic and guess the PageRank: “The slider is a bit more than half way, so my PageRank is about 6.”

Web page design: the importance of a good title and description

March 11, 2008

Open a browser and go to Google.

Type these keywords: web standards

I’ve already done this. You can see the results: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=web+standards&btnG=Google+Search

You will see that the first item in the results list has:

  • Title: The Web Standards Project
  • Description: The Web Standards Project is a grassroots coalition fighting for standards which ensure simple, affordable access to web technologies for all.

Where did Google get the title and description?

Answer: from the HTML document’s <title> element and the <meta name=”description” content=”…”> element.

See for yourself: go to http://www.webstandards.org/ then select from the browser’s menu View >> Page Source. Look at the <title> element and the <meta name=”description” content=”…” /> element.

Lessons Learned:

  • When creating a web page, be sure the <title> element’s value contains keywords that signify the key concepts in your document (and are the words that someone doing a Google search would use).
  • When creating a web page, be sure the <meta name=”description” content=”…”> element’s value contains a description that would get a person interested in looking at your web page (Google shows your description in the results page, and if it’s well written then it will motivate the user to click on the link and view your web page).

Searching is a multi-billion-dollar industry … finding the right signals of quality is the key

March 8, 2008

When evaluating a page to assign rank, search engines look at a host of signals of quality that might provide clues to what a page is about and the value of its content.

One such signal of quality that we can safely identify is the number of inbound links to a page from reputable sources. If a page has a number of good inbound links to it, then it is likely that it has high quality content and therefore should be ranked high when displaying relevant search returns.

This particular signal of quality is what allowed Google to rise to the top in the business of search engines while other search algorithms were looking at less reliable signals of quality. Obviously, looking at the right signals of quality is of utmost importance in the multi-billion-dollar search industry. [My comment: Wow! It makes sense now that I think about it, but until I read this I never really thought about “searching” as being such a valuable thing: “multi-billion-dollar search industry.“]

Building Findable Websites by Aaron Walter