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Q: Google won't recognize incoming links to my site ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Google won't recognize incoming links to my site
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: wunderteam-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 16 Jul 2003 14:39 PDT
Expires: 15 Aug 2003 14:39 PDT
Question ID: 231789
I noticed that traffic to my new site "Toppest" plunged a couple of days ago. So I checked it
on Google, and sure enough, 56 of the 57 pages on my site had been
dropped - only the homepage was still indexed. I checked around on a
couple of message boards, and read posts from several people who said
that it appeared that Google had changed their algorithm, so that when
a site had PR=0, Google would only keep the homepage in their index.
If this is true, that would explain what happened to my site, which
has always had PR=0. The bad PR did not keep my site from ranking well
for some less competitive keywords, so I had been getting about 125
visitors/day from Google. I always figured my PR would improve as my
site gradually got more incoming links.

My site, which went live in April and was first indexed by Google in
May, has always had PR=0. When you check
for incoming links to my site, according to Google, I have 0 incoming
links (actually, they say that I have 1 incoming link - a previous
question I asked at "Google Answers"!!!): 
But this is wrong. I started
a link building campaign in June, and now I have 35 quality, highly
targeted links, all from sites with PR=3 or higher. In addition, my
site is listed in most of the top directories (Yahoo, Looksmart, Zeal,
JoeAnt, Gimpsy, and GoGuides). Why does Google think I have no
incoming links, when I have at least 40 good ones that I know of? I've
had most
of the links for at least a month or more. Googlebot had been visiting
my site at least every other day, and sometimes everyday - I assume
that Googlebot visits sites like Yahoo and
Looksmart everyday as well. What's happening here? Should I use
Google's SubmitURL feature to submit every page on someone else's site
that links to my site? I sure hope that's not necessary, but I can't
understand why Google thinks I don't have any incoming links, and I
don't know what I should do. And
here's another question: once Google starts to recognize that I do
have incoming links, how many high quality incoming links will I need
before my PR is no longer 0?

FYI, I have done nothing that could be considered spam on my site (no
text on same color background, no keyword stuffing, no cloaking, no
FFA's, no "bad neighborhoods," etc.). I also have no Flash or Frames,
which can be hard to index for some search engines. I don't think that
my sub-pages got dropped because of bad practices - I think it's more
likely that they got dropped because of PR=0. What do you think?
Subject: Re: Google won't recognize incoming links to my site
Answered By: serenata-ga on 16 Jul 2003 17:34 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Wunderteam ~

Boy, you ask a toughie - thank heavens your question is "what do you
think?" ...

As you know, the Google Answers Researchers are independent
contractors, and we don't have any insider information about how
Google's closely-guarded algorithm works. And if it were easy to
figure out, everyone would be cramming their pages with what it takes
to get listed.

With regard to page rank, we do know that everything on your page is
either weighted "for" or "against" you, to come up with the resultant
page rank.

It is great that you are working on establishing resulting links TO
your page - that always helps.

I noticed that show the 123World ( ), and links to
your page. Both of those have a page rank of 5, so that should help. I
also noticed that Google hasn't picked that link up yet. also shows the link from Young Pip (PR4) and the Afghan
News Bureau (no PR), too, so they are slowly starting to be picked up.

Considering the fact you started your links program in June, that's
really not too bad to already have some showing.

Here's my take on the situation (and I do not profess to either having
any information not available or knowing more than you can learn from
the same sources I use):

The very nature of Toppest (that is, primarily being outward links to
other sites), would make it more difficult to get a high rank in
search engine returns.

Content most definitely *does* count, so you need more than just links
to other sites to help get you listed for rich content. For instance,
here's your 'content' for the libraries.html page:

"Toppest's Libraries page features recent library news headlines and a
directory of library web sites, including library directories, free
online libraries, virtual libraries, and internet public libraries."

That is pretty close to repeating the description metatag. I know with
53 pages on your site it gets hard to come up with some fresh,
relevant and keyword-rich text, but I suspect it would behoove you to
give it a try and add some content that differs from your description.

In any case, it won't hurt, and I suspect it would help.

HTML Coding

You're absolutely right - your coding is done well, and spot checking
some of the pages, I don't see where there is anything in it that can
be held against you or considered spamming or trickery, which would
end up penalizing you.

You're smart in how you name the pages (ie., libraries.html).

Title Tags & Alt Tags

Again, using a spot/random check, most of your title tags begin with
the word "Toppest" and then other words to describe what the page is

Congratulations on using ALT tags! I notice that a lot of your ALT
tags for graphics also start out with the word "Toppest".

Instead of starting out with 53 page titles with the first word
"Toppest", how about turning that around to end the title with the
words "from Toppest"? At least that will put some key words out front,
and every page won't look like its title is "Toppest ..."

You might try the same with the ALT tags.

I cannot guarantee that it will work or help, on the other hand, it
certainly won't hurt.

Metatags, Yes or No?

In the "Your Guess Is As Good As Mine" department, I came across this
interesting post in Webmasters World:

Does this mean the "description" and/or "keyword" tags are being

The answer is obviously, "Who knows?"

But you're making good use of yours without being excessively spammy
in them. Some tuning or tweaking wouldn't hurt. Do try to not to make
them identical to your content on the pages.

Watching the Google Dance

I don't know if you're aware of this handle little website or not, but
it can be interesting to watch the rankings on Google's servers using
the Google Dance Tool. This site is in no way related to Google, but
they do have a nifty tool which you may enjoy watching. It links to 9
of Google's servers.

Submitting to DMOZ

I noticed that you haven't been listed in DMOZ. Google encourages you
to register with DMOZ:

"Google partners on the Web include Yahoo! and Netscape. If you are
having difficulty getting listed in the Google index, you may want to
consider submitting your site to either or both of these directories.
You can submit to Yahoo! by visiting You can submit your site to
Netscape's Open Directory Project (DMOZ) by visiting
Once your site is included in either of these directories, Google will
often index your site within six to eight weeks." (See "What else can
I do to get listed in Google?")
   - ://

I did find you in the other search engines you had mentioned above.


In answer to your question, " I don't think that my sub-pages got
dropped because of bad practices - I think it's more likely that they
got dropped because of PR=0. What do you think?"

There has been a lot of discussion on Webmasterworld and
Searchengineworld about Google's dropping listings for pages with a
page rank of 0, even dropping those with a PR of less than 4, but with
*all* the changes that have been occuring since May, I can't say with
certainty that is the reason it hasn't listed your site.

On the other hand, since you only started gathering relevant links
since June, six weeks is not excessive in waiting to get listed.

My advice is to give some thought to the few suggestions above and to
continue to get those links from relevant sites to yours ... and have

These things do not happen overnight.

Searching webmasterworld - 
  - page rank 0
  - PR0

I trust this answers your question.

Good luck - and keep up the good work.

wunderteam-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Solid advice given to a newbie on some difficult issues concerning
Google and PR. Not everything I asked was specifically answered - but
unless you're a Google insider, there's no way to know for sure what
the correct answers really are, so I'm giving 5 stars. [note to
Serenata - I applied to DMOZ in early June and my site was added on
June 16 to their directory, but my site has since been dropped for
some reason. I'm going to try to get in touch with the category editor
to find out why. As a result, my site is no longer linked to by
YoungPip and Afghan News, both of which are DMOZ directories.]

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