With every passing day, the number of websites and hence the number of web pages are growing at an explosive rate on the internet. This can cause a major headache to the search engines as they gear up to meet the challenge of crawling and subsequently indexing the new sites popping up everywhere in the cybersphere.
Today, when a new web site is launched, it will take a while before its pages get crawled and indexed in Google. With the increasing strain on hardware and resources due to the rapid growth of new sites, Google has become very strict in its policy of admitting sites and retaining web pages of sites in its index. It is a case of survival of the fittest in cyberspace.
Some of the basic facts to be borne in mind when looking at the issue in its entirety are:
- The Page rank is proportional to the total number of pages in Google’s index
- The page rank gained by a site depends on the number of inbound and outbound links to that site
- To increase its page rank, a site must build more pages and increase its virtual real estate
When a new site is launched, the number of backlinks to that site is negligible unless the business is well known and has a credible following offline and is launching its brand online. The average site owner has to set about building an external link profile by submitting to directories, guest blogging on well established industry relevant blogs, providing a platform for user generated content on her site, promoting site badges etc etc.
All this takes time and effort and it is a slow and steady natural growth. There are several link building software programs that promise instant deliverance by helping you build multitude of links in no time. The problem with this approach is that an average human cannot acquire 100 links in a day (read 8 hours of work time). Google also knows this and it is an easy recipe for raising a red flag.
Coming to the crux of the issue, creating and growing the number of pages on your site is relatively easy as you, the site owner, have full control over it. If you are passionate about your industry with good working knowledge, you can build lots of content over a short span of time. But this alone will not make the cut in today’s circumstances for making it into the Google index and being retained and ranked over time.
The most powerful links that can be obtained today are editorial links. When another site owner regards your site content as one of high quality and decides to link to from her blog or site, it is clearly a double thumbs up for your content and Google will also consider it seriously. A great linkbait program can help your site gain lots of natural inbound links from the linkerati.
If you have votes from other sites in the form of backlinks to the various pages of your site, this is crucial in Google retaining those pages in its index. Again, you cannot produce top quality content across all pages of your site as the subject being discussed can be limited in scope or not very popular in the eyes of users.
I have been noticing of late that even powerful domains with several product pages with wafer thin content and footer heavy links do not pass muster to be admitted/retained in the index. It is becoming increasingly clear that each individual page must attain a certain pagerank threshold to be retained in the index. This clearly proves that things cannot be taken for granted. Also, well established sites cannot afford to rest on their laurels any more.
To achieve a minimum pagerank threshold, internal linking can help to an extent and you as the site owner can do your bit to this end. But it is very vital to get a link from external unbiased sources to derive some link juice that can boost the pagerank of the page in question.
If the momentum on “natural” external link building profile of your website is maintained at a steady level from the inception of your website to its current state, you can expect Google to maintain a decent indexation level of your site and update its index regularly with the fresh content and growing number of pages offered by your site.
Rand in his Whiteboard presentation on Link Growth Patterns explains the relationship between link growth patterns and indexation levels.
Eric Enge in his post on The Disproportionate Value of Deep Links talks about improving the pagerank flow to hitherto areas of the site where there was no link juice flowing before.
Ravi Venkatesan is a senior SEO consultant at Netconcepts, an Auckland seo firm offering both search engine optimisation and ppc services to their customers in New Zealand and Australia.
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