Too often, initial questions like “what's my page rank?” can turn into bad attempts to get a better ranking using outdated information from the web. Today's information on web page ranking is different than it was even in 2010 or 2011. If you want to know not just “what's my page rank?” in 2012, but also what to do in order to improve your ranking, this guide can be your lifeline. Keep reading for four do's and four don'ts that will help you understand exactly how to keep building your web page ranking now and for the foreseeable future.
DO: Build Your Web Page Ranking Through Original Content
Once you ask “what's my Page Rank?” and find out the answer, odds are you won't be satisfied. You'll want to keep improving your Page Rank. That's a great impulse, but you'll want to make sure that you're building your web page ranking in a way that looks organic to Google. This means creating original content.
What's my Page Rank got to do with original content, you may be wondering. The answer is: more than you might expect. Google actually checks your content to see if it is indexed anywhere else on the web when it indexed your page. If your content is original, your web page ranking will be slightly higher. It will be lower if it's elsewhere on the web, and significantly lower if you're just copying things that appear in a wide variety of places.
DON'T: Build Your Web Page Ranking Through Automation
If you're not satisfied with the answer you got when you asked “what's my Page Rank?”, don't make the mistake of automating link building just to escalate your PR values rapidly. Many different websites have tried link building automation, but Google tends to crack down on known link buyers and sellers, as well as people who otherwise manipulate search results or over optimize their websites.
Natural looking is absolutely key—your web page ranking will grow much better if you're able to maintain a natural appearance for all of your links and content. It's simply not worth the risk of growing your website through automation. If you do, you risk asking “what's my Page Rank” someday and finding out that the answer is lower than it has been in months or years due to Google imposing penalties on your site.
DO: Keep Track of Your Competitors' PR Value
While it's of course important for web marketers for law firms to ask “what's my Page Rank,” it's also important for them to ask questions about the Page Rank of the websites for your competitors. If you're not doing at least some competitor research, you're missing out on a vital part of the marketing puzzle. It's easy enough to find out the web page ranking for any URL on the internet. Many web tools will let you look at Google PageRank as well as other ranking numbers for any web page you want.
If your answer to “what's my Page Rank” is significantly lower than your answer to “what's my competitor's Page Rank,” you should start looking into how your competitor is structuring their links. You may be missing out on vital inbound link resources that are giving your competition a vital edge.
DON'T: Expect Instant Changes to Your Web Page Ranking
Sometimes, when people first make some changes to their website and get a little more traffic, they run a PageRank tool right away, asking “what's my Page Rank” within hours or days of putting up a new link. This is likely to be a very disappointing exercise, because in most cases, Google won't even have a new web page indexed for some time after it is submitted to the search engine.
You can usually expect for your web page to start building some Page Rank on a new website within a few weeks. If it's taking longer than that, you should try to work on some inbound link building strategies to encourage your web page ranking to climb faster.
DO: Work On Getting Traffic From Unusual Sources
While you should definitely use some information about your competitors' inbound links to inform your own strategy for increasing your web page ranking, you should also get some inbound links from other sources. Otherwise, you'll only be able to match your competitors' performance—never beat it.
Try getting involved with some social bookmarking sites and really learning how to interact with their user bases. If you do it right, your next answer to “what's my Page Rank?” may very well be higher than ever before.
DON'T: Plaster Your Name on Irrelevant Websites
Contextual links matter a lot more when you're asking “what's my Page Rank?” than non-contextual links. If you put your website's name all over websites that have nothing at all to do with the practice of law, your web page ranking will probably stay very low. That's because Google can now identify when websites are linking contextually versus non-contextually, and tends to view sites with non-contextual links as spammers.
DO: Build Your Reputation In Your Community
One of the best things that you can do for your overall web page ranking is to get inbound links from .edu and .gov websites. Typically the best way to do this is by creating relationships within the business and education communities. Your reputation is key—this is another reason that you should make sure you're not using spam techniques online. You want to be able to create those relationships in an authentic way. In other words, don't just do this because you want to be able to have a better web page ranking. Do it for the future of your firm.
DON'T: Do “Astroturfing” to Build Your Web Page Ranking
“What's my Page Rank? Too low? I have to do something!” Don't let that “something” be astroturfing, a technique where you give yourself pretend reviews or false buzz. As an attorney, astroturfing can not only present you with a serious public relations problem, it can also mean ethics board hearings if you're ever caught.