In the first part of How to Increase Your Google PageRank to 5, we discussed what Google PageRank was, it mechanics, and I gave you a brief rundown on how our movie website got to a Google PageRank of 5. This part of the series will delve into the specific methods I used and ones you can use as well.
Post and Traffic Responsiveness
Paying attention to traffic and responding to it was another factor in how we increased our Google PageRank to 5. If I saw that Google was sending us a lot of traffic for a particular subject or post, we would write another post on that same subject very quickly in the hopes of increasing traffic for that keyword. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. It depended on the keyword, the type of post, and the saturation for that keyword already present in search engine results pages (SERPs). You can check keywords and their saturation across the Internet with the Google Keyword Tool. We still practice this technique to this day.
Another thing we did was write posts for subjects that others did not, before they did. I spoke about this here: How my website went from 4000 Page Views to over 16,000 in a single day. Here is what I believe happens after people read the post they originally came to your site for. They are going to: 1) exit your site, 2) click on a post in your related posts section, or 3.) visit your home page to see what your newest post is. Getting visitors to your website and to your home page is a key factor in getting your site’s PageRank increased, besides back-links.
Post Unique Content
I play follow-the-leader 70% of the time because lets face it, its simple and easy. That doesn’t not set you apart from the pack though. It the other 30% that does so. I try to post articles on films and TV shows that the big boys do not. This brings in traffic and attention that they forgo. If we could not find unique content to post, I created it. One particular example of this is that I took high resolution pictures of Game of Thrones (example: Game of Thrones: Season 1, Episode 3: Lord Snow Photos) and posted them after the episode aired on HBO.
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
I knew from watching this HBO show that it was good and I also knew it was increasing popular. Google Image Search took notice of the pictures and forums eventually took notice of the pictures as well, sending traffic to the posts and collateral hits to our home page.
Home Page updates
We constantly updated the home page two to three times a day (everyday), garnering traffic to it on a daily basis, pageviews which Google saw. This factor helped get us to a PageRank of 5. This consistency (written about here: Movie Content: Consistency) gave people a reason to visit the home page everyday and give that page traffic.
In How to Achieve a Google Page Rank of 5: Part 1, under sub-heading “Our Road to a PageRank of 5”, I spoke of “getting a fellow movie website to want to back-link to you i.e. how attractive are you in that regard? Is your content that good, that compelling? What are they getting out of linking to you?”
One way I accomplished this, making our site attractive, was finding a site (a small site) whose content I liked and found informative. Next we began writing posts and used that site as the source for the post, back-linking to them within the post (when you publish a post with a link to another website within it, that link shows up on the other websites dashboard in some form or another, if they have that feature enabled. For WordPress its “Incoming Links” You can also check incoming links to your site in Google Webmaster Tools.
The webmaster noticed this.
After doing that for months (I repeat: months) plus some post comments, I sent the webmaster an email asking to be added to their blogroll or whatever they called their list of links to other movie websites on their home page. Once again, I had paid my dues before asking for something that I valued: I gave them something that they valued first.
I spoke about back-links from other websites but we also back-linked to our old content within the new content. We used and continue to use descriptive terms for these back-links. This type of back-linking helps with the spidering of old content, telling the search engines exactly what the link represents, and drives traffic to them as well (e.g. the Emilia Clarke link underneath her Game of Thrones, Lord Snow episode picture above, that accurately labeled link links back to all her posts on our movie website.)
I worked on the SEO for post titles, the first few lines of the post, and keywords in the posts (written about here: 4 Ways to Hammer Search Engine Terms and here: Keyword Placement for High SERPs (Search Engine Result Positions)). I would post something then search for it in Google to see where it placed in SERPs. If I wasn’t on the first page (the top traffic sites are, old sites, sites that are Google News Publishers, written about here: How to Become a Google News Publisher), I would examine the sites that were and their wording (that little excerpt that showed underneath the title of the individual search results). Then I would compare it to my own. I read about SEO on various websites, spoke to a website SEO professional (details of the conversation and various tips here: A Professional Web Designer’s thoughts on Websites, SEO, SERP, HTML, and Search Engines) and bought a text book on the subject: Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets. Search engine optimization plays a major role in how your site is found on the Internet and the frequency of this occurrence.
Google Image Search
I began optimizing all of the images on the site so that they appeared and appeared higher in Google Image SERPs and as frequently as possible. It was laborious in the beginning but now it is routine. I wrote about image search engine optimization here: Using SEO optimized Images in your Posts to Increase Pageviews and here: 5 Ways to Optimize Images for Increased Pageviews and SEO. This is something many of the leading movie websites (Slashfilm, AintitCool, etc.) ignore maybe because they do not know about it, do not care, or find it too time consuming (and it is, believe me) to undertake. It definitely increases the preparation time of an article before you post it but to me, with the little guy, entrepreneur mentality, the end result makes it worth it.
More than 65% of the traffic our movie website receives is from search engines (web and image). That is free traffic, organic traffic and we are not even Google News Publishers yet (we are working on that).
Google Image Search is a search engine just like Google Web Search is. I began paying attention to how Google Image Search reads pictures just like I did for how Google Web Search read posts. The result: increased traffic to posts. When a person views a post containing a searched for picture, many will exit through that page (check your Google Analytics for exit pages on specific posts) but like I said previously, some will click and go to your home page. That is a pageview for your post and then your home page.
Site Design and Page Loading Speed
Google sees how fast your site and your pages load. They want to send people to sites that load fast versus sites that load slowly. The old WordPress themes for our movie website were freebies and were not bloated with excess code, nor is the newest version of our movie website (more on that in future posts). They were easily readable, spidered, and loaded relatively fast. Whether these were factors in us eventually being raised to a PageRank of 5, they surely were not hinderances. You can check the code of your website for problems and errors here: Validator.W3 and see how fast the site and its pages load here: Tools.Pingdom and here: WebPageTest. If there is a problem, a page loading issue with your site, these free services will point them out. Eliminating them will work in your site’s favor.
It is a long road to a PageRank of 5 but you can make it there if you put the effort in with your posts, their content/frequency, SEO, and your site. You can check the current Google PageRank of your website here: PRChecker.