Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

Ranking PageRank

I'm slowly learning that keeping Google happy is a full-time job. From PageRank to search result placement and AdWords to AdSense, you must constantly monitor and develop your website's relationship with Google.

Today's class was on PageRank. First, I discovered that there still isn't an ideal toolbar solution for non-Microsoft browsers if you want easy access to a site's PageRank. If you are using Internet Explore, just download the Google Toolbar and you're all set.

I did find an excellent alternative, however. This Firefox extension adds a PageRank display to your status bar. I've installed it and so far it works great.

Second, I found a number of sites that allow you to submit a website address and receive the site's PageRank if you'd like to avoid installing any toolbars or extensions. Here is the simplest one I found.

Lastly, I discovered that this site is doing fairly well (a PageRank of 5), as are the sites I managed. For large church sites, 5 appears to be a typical ranking. Here's a basic article on what your PageRank means. What is particularly interesting about this is that my personal site has achieved such a high ranking despite being only a year old and receiving far less traffic than our sites.

This is not something to brag about (in fact, it could interpreted as a sign that I have invested more effort in the success of my own site, which would be a very bad thing!), but an indication of how highly Google values blogs and particularly the conversations (i.e. links) that they inevitably produce.

Over the next month, we will begin rolling out new features to help address this, as sites that participate in and encourage those conversations will eventually surpass those that rely on traffic alone.