Monday, January 29, 2007

Google, Page Rank, and Other Things I Don't Understand

Although anyone who checked out my profile could put two and two together, I haven't talked about my business website, Earthen Vessel Designs, since I first began this blog. This is my personal blog and I didn't want to spend too much time hyping my business, or providing too much information to prospective customers who might be turned off by my opinions.

Last week, I was really excited to see that Google had increased my website ranking from a lowly 1/10 to a 4/10. Considering that I have minimal technical skills and have slacked off over the last few months, as far as linking to other sites and purposely promoting my business online, I was pleasantly surprised-that is, until I tried to show my husband. When I pulled up the site, it was back to its lowly 1. It reminded me of that old Bugs Bunny cartoon where the singing frog will only sing in front of its owner. My excitement crashed into disappointment.

However, the next day it was back to a 4 and my ego was a little less bruised. I started to pat myself on the back, thinking how I must really be doing a great job to be awarded with a higher percentage of green in my Google toolbar. Then, I felt dumb that it only took some more green pixels to brighten my day. Is that really all it takes to make me happy-a few crumbs from Google's plate, and I am giddy? Wow. I really need to set higher goals.

Shortly after my business website was upgraded, I noticed that this blog also went from a 0 to a 3. Wow, I really am something! I wasn't too surprised. After all, I waste a lot of time commenting at other's blogs and participating in a few forums, so I do get more traffic than I had realized or could judge by my comments section(thank you sitemeter). But then came the kicker. My business blog, which is really more like an abbreviated newsletter, was also upgraded from a 0 to a 3.

Now, my ego was once again deflated. After all, I only post there every 4-6 weeks. I think I recently got one comment on that blog, my first after 5 months. So, my business blog, which I hardly ever touch, is on equal footing with the blog that I frequently update and into which I put more effort.

Google, are you just messing with my head or what? How can I make any sense out of your page ranking logic, and should I even put any faith in it at all? I really think the whole ranking process is something akin to the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz-lots of smoke and flash, not much substance.

On another note....

I installed sitemeter to my site to get a feeling if anyone actually bothers to read my, sometimes, voluminous blog. It has been interesting to see how people find my blog, and where they're coming from. It has also pointed out to me that Google doesn't accurately report my click-thru traffic in its Query Stats. I have had several people come to my blog through Google searches that don't show up in my Google webmaster account.

I encountered this same issue through the host for my website, Earthen Vessel Designs. Part of the package my hosting service offers is statistics on traffic and page views. But, I put sitemeter into that site because I was just curious to see where people are coming from, as far as geographical location. That site receives quite a bit of interenational traffic, more than I had previously realized. However, when I compared my sitemeter stats to the host's stats, they were way off. Trying to sort through the discrepancy that each service is providing me is like putting together a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle that is uniformly black. Did I happen to mention that I hate jigsaw puzzles? I love Sudoku, hate jigsaw puzzles.

Perhaps, it is all in my head. Maybe, I really live in a virtual world that wastes my time in order to keep me from creating a revolution of some sort in the real world, a la Matrix. Of course, if I do wake up to the real world, how will I know what my ranking is? Will there be a little green bar somewhere to give my life defintion and purpose? And, how many pixels will I have on it?

1 comment:

armando said...

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