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Q: Yet another page rank question ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Yet another page rank question
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: milanmalkani-ga
List Price: $75.00
Posted: 02 Jun 2004 16:34 PDT
Expires: 02 Jul 2004 16:34 PDT
Question ID: 355579
Our site is  We seem to have a page rank of 5
(which I thought was pretty good).  When try to pull up "Asteio
Corporation" or "C# Training Austin Texas" in a search, we are
listed low.  When I pull up the same keywords on Yahoo or MSN, we are
listed much higher.  I do not know what we are doing wrong.  Is there
some change that I can make to our site?  Are the any other places
that you can come up with for us to list our site that are related to
technical training for our field (ie. asp .net, java, c#, microsoft,

Thanks for the help.
Subject: Re: Yet another page rank question
Answered By: serenata-ga on 02 Jun 2004 21:42 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Milanmalkani ~

You're correct ... I checked and you do seem to have a PageRank of 5,
which is a very decent PageRank number. But don't mistake the PageRank
number on the Google Toolbar for an indication on how you rank in
search engine results pages (SERPs).

The two may be vaguely related, but PageRank is only one of the many
factors in Google's algorithm that determine how pages are ranked in
SERPs. And because some unscrupulous people have learned how to
manipulate links in an attempt to raise that PageRank number, there is
anecdotal evidence that the PageRank number has even less to do with
SERPs ranking than it might have before.

Google's "mission" is to deliver the  ** MOST RELEVANT ** results in
answer to a searcher's query. They have clearly stated so in the
"Google Today" portion of their Corporate Information, here:
   - ://

If you read through it, you will learn that they are constantly
working to improve their algorithms, sometimes changing several times
a day, in order to perfect that goal.

In the past, people have figured that 'x' amount of links will help
them place better in SERPs. When that was overcome by application of
certain tweaks to the algorithm, they tried 'x' amount of links to the
site with a PageRank of 4 or more. Again, when this type of
manipulation started delivering less than ideal results, the
algorithms were changed.

Not surprisingly, your average searcher didn't often notice a change
in the quality of search results, except that they seemed to be
getting "better" - while those who worked to "optimize" their pages to
game the system and gain a higher SERPs ranking were hollering loud
and clear.

Throughout all of this "upheaval", noticed mostly by overzealous
website owners and search engine optimizers, the searcher - that is,
the person to whom Google feels a duty - rarely noticed that a site
disappeared, and apparently by always placing the interests of the
user first, Google has built the most loyal audience on the web.

Ranking Well on Google
and Other Search Engines

Unlike other search engines, Google has consistently offered
guidelines in how to place well in its SERPs. In its "Design and
Content Guidelines" recommends the following to make a user-friendly,
search engine-friendly site:

     "* Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links.
        Every page should be reachable from at least one
        static text link.
      * Offer a site map to your users with links that point
        to the important parts of your site. If the site map
        is larger than 100 or so links, you may want to break
        the site map into separate pages.
      * Create a useful, information-rich site and write pages
        that clearly and accurately describe your content.
      * Think about the words users would type to find your
        pages, and make sure that your site actually includes
        those words within it.
      * Try to use text instead of images to display important
        names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn't
        recognize text contained in images.
      * Make sure that your TITLE and ALT tags are descriptive
        and accurate.
      * Check for broken links and correct HTML.
      * If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL con-
        tains a '?' character), be aware that not every search
        engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static
        pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the
        number of them small."
   - ://

You can't beat a combination of ** relevant ** content, links to your
site and good HTML design to make it easy on your visitors and on
search engine crawlers to index your site.

And SERPs ranking, while using a complicated algorithms, are always
striving to deliver that ** relevant ** content. Minus the content,
you're not going to rank well, whether or not you've got thousands of
links TO your site and a PageRank of 10!

Your Search Terms

You mentioned your ranking while searching for the term "Asteio
Corporation" (with or without the quotation marks). While it may seem
that your site *should* be first, the reason it isn't is easy to see.

My search for Asteio Corporation (without the quotation marks) turned
up the following page,
   - ://

The first entry is the site, here:

(home to the real link directly under it, here)

The reason this rates before your own is the AMOUNT of relevant
material on this page is far greater than the amount on your own
site's home page.

The actual design of your page has something to do with it. Consider
the listing Google has for your page (enter your domain in Google's
search box). Here's the listing you get,

     "Asteio Corporation - Offering Onsite Customized .NET,
      C#, VB .NET ...
      Asteio Corporation, ...

      Google can show you the following information for this URL:

     * Show Google's cache of
     * Find web pages that are similar to
     * Find web pages that link to
     * Find web pages that contain the term "" "
   - ://

The first line of the Description is some of the information contained
within your <title> tag. The description, however, is the first line
of text within the body of your site, and then Google's search bot
never gets beyond all that javascripting to get to the heart of your
page's content. That's why all it says is:

     "Asteio Corporation, ..."

Not enough content there, before adding all the javascripting, to make
a description, let alone consider the page's content for SERPs

Even if it does consider the page's content, the
page has more content than your own - and Google deems it more
**relevant** than your own page.

The reason it may come up first in Yahoo is simple ... until recently,
Yahoo used Google as it's search engine. When it started developing
its own engine, it used all the sites within its Directory. I notice
your Yahoo listing is identical to your Yahoo Directory listing.

And MSN seems to be following Yahoo's lead. Notice their first listing
is the Yahoo directory listings?

This explains the difference in SERPs results at the moment. But
remember, too, both Yahoo and MSN would like to take their share of
Google's search away, so they, too, will be working on developing and
tweaking their own search engines in the same endeavor as Google.

The bottom line is still that it is incumbent on you to deliver
relevant material, have good HTML design, and develop links from
relevant sites to your own.

Establishing Links

There are many practical ways of establishing links which are
beneficial to you in your endeavor to get respectable position
placement on search engines. These methods may take time, but they
also help in establishing credibility and help with your page rank.

Approach like-minded or complementary businesses about linking to your
site (with a reciprocal link from your own). This works without
harming search engine positioning or page rank.


Google specifically warns "Don't participate in link schemes designed
to increase your site's ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid
links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web as your own
ranking may be affected adversely by those links." (See Google's
Quality Guidelines - Basic principles)
   - ://

It stands to reason that what's good for Google, currently ranked as
the number one search engine is good rule to follow for other search

Articles on Link Popularity

Some excellent articles on how to establish the right kind of links
are available in Traffick's "Ten Steps to Building Links to Your
Site", Craig Fifield - 5/3/2002

Search Engine Watch's "Google PageRank Lunacy" by Mike Grehan, March, 2004,

and his "Link Equity Explained", available in PDF,

"Link Building Is Important", which discusses link building from A to
Z and also provides a good reference page with linking resources.

The information contained in the above articles offer suggestions
which can be easily adapted for use on any website without resorting
to link farms. The differences in "good links" and those which may be
harmful are discussed, and the articles offer simple ways to get
started to the kind of linking search engines prefer.

The Importance 
of Good HTML

Shari Thurow, one of the leading authorities in web design and search
engine optimization (and author of the book "Search Engine
Visibility"), recently made the following observation with regard to

     "Clean HTML is absolutely imperative for search engine
      indexing. Browsers are extremely forgiving when it comes
      to displaying pages with "unclean" HTML (unclosed tags,
      no quotation marks, etc.).  Search engine spiders are
      not so forgiving.  Even something as simple as a missing
      quotation mark on the <.a href="page.html"> can cause a
      spider to not index text or a link." (See: Link Exchange
      Digest, July 3, 2003, "Clean HTML")

She explained how errors in HTML can affect your ability to be
indexed, and ultimately, ranked.

You might want to double check your javascript for your menu rollover
- as that's where Google's search seemed to end without picking up any
of the rest of your content.

Important Google Links For Your Reference

I am including important links from Google's site. This information
will help you understand Google's goals and responsibility to the web
searcher (and not the webmaster or site owner).

It is incumbent upon you, the webmaster or the website owner, to
ensure your site meets these basics if you want your site listed.
Webmasters who do follow the guidelines and avoid Google's "Thou shalt
nots" usually have no problem getting listed and showing up under the
search terms they desire.

   * Google Today (absolutely the best information you
     can read about the "how and why" of Google's results
     - ://

   * How Do I Get My Site Listed on Google?
     - ://

   * My Web Pages Are Not Currently Listed (a good 'primer'
     on how and why Google works so well)
     - ://

   * PageRank Information (covers both Google's PageRank and
     - ://

   * Webmaster Guidelines (contains both the dos and don'ts)
     - ://

   * Google Facts & Fiction (can  you buy your way to a
     high ranking in Google?)
     - ://

   * Search Engine Optimizers (some good advice on what to look
     for if you're going to hire a Search Engine Optimizer)
     - ://

   * Frequently Asked Questions (pretty much what it says, but
     definitely worth wading through)
     - ://

   * Remove Content from Google's Index (just in case you feel
     a burning need to start all over again)
     - ://

Other Sources of Information

There is also good information from many of the top search engine
optimization experts, such as

   * Detlev Johnson, Search Engine Guide

   * Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Watch

   * Jill Whalen, High Rankings

   * Shari Thurow, Web Pro News (and quoted all over the Internet)

who all have columns or newsletters to which you can subscribe and
keep abreast of the best way to use good content for better
positioning in search engine results.

In addition, Webmaster World - - has
discussion boards on most of the search engines. While some of the
discussions are anecdotal and/or questions for information, there is
usually enough discussion to keep abreast of what seems to be

There is an entire section devoted to Google at:

It never hurts to keep track of the discussions; but remember, trying
to optimize for search engines only is like trying to hit a moving
target. You'll notice among the more experienced contributors to the
discussions - plus the SEO experts listed above - that there really is
no substitute for content, relevant links and good HTML.


While there is nothing inherently "wrong" with  your site, there are
other sites which Google obviously considers more relevant than your
own, even for your own corporate name.

This can easily be remedied with some redesign and understanding what
it is that is really important in Google. Any of the SEO experts will
tell you that there is no substitute for content, good design and
links to your site. This meshes with what Google recommends and
suggests, too.

As an extra bit of information, the last Search Engine Session I
attended (and there's a new one in London in a few days), the other
search engines have always agreed that if you design for Google,
you'll have no problem doing well in theirs. Don't rely on what's
there now when it comes to Yahoo and MSN. They're both too new to the
search engine game using their own algorithms to be relied on to stay
that way.

Search terms ~

Besides the specific searches as listed above, I relied on reliable
resources I use in my daily business as a designer and SEO consultant.

I hope this helps,

Google Answers Researcher

Request for Answer Clarification by milanmalkani-ga on 03 Jun 2004 00:54 PDT

Thank you for the response, but I was looking for something a bit more
targeted to MY SITE.  I have seen most of those links before and done
a good bit of that reading before.  What I am looking for is an
analysis on, not a general tutorial on Pagerank.  The
reason that I am coming to you is that there is too much information
out there and I need a direct analysis on our pages.  The suggestion
about having my content come before the javascript is something that I
will work on changing and I think that it is a great suggestion, but
is that the only change to our site that you can recommend?  Is
everything else OK?

Also, I had a second part to the question.  I do not know if it is
fair to ask this question at the same time, but I feel that it is
related to my pagerank issue.  If I need to post this as a second
question, please let me know.

"Are the any other places that you can come up with for us to list our
site that are related to technical training for our field (ie. asp
.net, java, c#, microsoft, etc.)?"


Clarification of Answer by serenata-ga on 03 Jun 2004 05:04 PDT
About those search terms

Assuming your key word metatags are the words and/or terms under which
you want searchers to find you. I found the following returns for
these terms:

   * alarm - about 8,850,000 results
   * alarms - about 2.780,000 results
   * central - about 114,000,000 results
   * central connecticut - about 3,470,000 results
   * security surveillance systems - about 1,530,000

No matter how you look at it, that is a powerful lot of competition
for the terms you want your site to be found under. I suspect you
aren't even sure what the terms your potential customers are looking
for - most people don't, unless they spend a great deal of time
researching that subject.

I would really suggest spending some time at Wordtracker
- - to seek out all the related phrases you
can, then write copy based around the best, most relevant terms.
Include those words in your Title tags and within the content of your
website accordingly. That will certainly help.

If nothing else, by visiting Wordtracker, you'll get an idea of what
search terms they are *really* using when it comes to security and
security systems.

I usually suggest spending a day at Wordtracker - - to seek out all the related phrases you
can with relation to the search terms your target market is using, and
then write copy based around the best, most relevant terms. You can
take it a step further and include those words in your Title tags and
within the content of your website accordingly. That will certainly

If nothing else, by visiting Wordtracker, you'll get an idea of what
search terms they are *really* using when it comes to IT training.

Thanks for asking for the clarification,


Request for Answer Clarification by milanmalkani-ga on 03 Jun 2004 08:20 PDT
What do alarms and central connecticut have to do with our web site? 
Once again, the "advice" that you are giving is generic copy and
paste.  I am paying to get more specific advice.

Clarification of Answer by serenata-ga on 03 Jun 2004 11:15 PDT
Hello again Milanmalkani ~

Oops! That's what I get for trying to clarify an answer before my
first cuppa in the morning. Please accept my apologies for the
embarassing mistake.

I was looking for a link for finding search terms and called up an old
answer to find the link - and inadvertently pasted that material as
the answer. Luckily, I did have your answer saved, too, which I will
post below. Thank you again, and accept my apology for the screwup.

The answer you SHOULD have gotten:

Please understand that I am not being hypercritical. Your subject was
a PageRank question, and you say in your clarification (although you
didn't mention in your original question) that you were aware of
either the links provided or the information I provided. However, your
site lacks a great deal of information you could provide (content),
which would help with your SERPs ranking.

Specifically to your site, besides the first page that I mentioned,
your training.html page only mentions these terms once in the most
general way:

  - Microsoft
  - Visual
  - C++
  - MFC
  - C#
  - Visual Basic
  - .NET
  - .NET Framework
  - ASP .NET
  - Windows Forms
  - XML

and the rest.

Thatis the sum total of real content or information, though.

What about this training? You state that go to the company in certain
cities to train, but there is so much more information you can and
should be offering. For instance, who does the evaluation of the level
of training needed? When you are done are they in a position to be
certified by Microsoft themselves? Can they pass the examinations?

This is what I meant by content - there really is none except the most
general. The more relevant content you offer, the better the chances
of your pages will rank well. It should be understood, too, that the
more information you give in anticipation of  your visitors'
questions, the better your chance of turning those visitors into

Your pricing page makes reference to "advanced technical class", but
you don't mention anywhere else on the site what that "advanced
technical class" is or consists of.

Your "contact" information contains two email addresses, but there is
nothing about who you are nor what your qualifications are to offer
this training, how long you've been in business, other companies
you've offered the training to, testimonials on the BENEFITS of their
personnel having been trained, etc. All those factors add content and
add credibility to your corporation.

The site I mentioned in the answer (and which is
included on your 'links' page) has more relevant content and
information about your company than your own website. Your site should
expound on your offerings in a similar manner.

You could do well to take a look at those sites which place well, for
example the search term "C# Training Austin Texas" (without the
quotation marks), MicroAssist is the first listing.

This page,

contains a great deal of real content, including what is covered in its lessons.


offers a great deal more relevant information about its training than
your company's site.

You simply need to expand on your training for your courses.

In a nutshell, the other sites are deemed more relvant for those
search terms. And those other sites contain more relevant information
than yours. So it is time to rewrite, perhaps even to hire a good
designer with SEO and marketing experience - or at the very least, a
good copywriter - to add content to your site.

With regard to the second part of your question, "Are the any other
places that you can come up with for us to list our site that are
related to technical training for our field (ie. asp .net, java, c#,
microsoft, etc.)?"

From the perspective of Page Rank (which is the subject matter of your
question, after all), that is covered in the section about
establishing links. You know your market (and your target market is
important here) - where do they look, what do they read, what sites
are common to them and to your business? These are sites which should
link to yours, and which you should approach via the suggestions about
establishing links.

On the off-chance you were approaching that from a marketing
perspective, it makes sense to buy advertising for visibility in the
periodicals your target market subscribes to.

There is also Google's AdWords, which would give you visibility as a
'sponsor' for the search results.

It would help to understand what search terms your market uses when
looking for training for IT personnel. I suspect they do not search
for your corporate name; but do you know if they look for C# Training?

You might want to take some time using a search tracker like Word
Tracker, (I usually suggest spending a day at Wordtracker) - - to seek out all the related phrases you
can with relation to the search terms your target market is using, and
then write copy based around the best, most relevant terms. You can
take it a step further and include those words in your Title tags and
within the content of your website accordingly. That will certainly

If nothing else, by visiting Wordtracker, you'll get an idea of what
search terms they are *really* using when it comes to IT training.

Thanks for asking for the clarification,



P.S. Again, I'll make sure I've got the coffee IN me and my EYES and
MIND in function mode before I try doing that again.

milanmalkani-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
That's what I was looking for.  Thanks for the help.

Subject: Re: Yet another page rank question
From: serenata-ga on 06 Jun 2004 10:58 PDT
Thank you for your kind comments and the rating.

Best of luck to you,

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