(Astroblogging) Checking my Google pagerank today for Astrology Explored got me all excited. I was back at a 4! I hadn’t seen that number since the AE dot com days before Google changed its algorithm to penalize blog networks.
Of course AE has taken some hits since 451 Press shuttered. I created Astrology Media Press on the now defunct BlogsMu platform before I finally took the plunge into self hosting my modest astrology network. All that moving around, losing content and links took its toll. Where once proud Astrology Explored was the 6th ranking blog on Invesp, now it is only 65th. And once Jamie Darkstar decided to use only Alexa rankings for his Best Astrology Blogs page I dropped off that radar all together.
So being the competitive sort, and not the kind of the person to stay down for the count I decided today to get serious about my Alexa rank.
What is the Alexa Rank?
For those that don’t know Wikipedia tells us this about Alexa:
Alexa ranks sites based on tracking information of users of its Alexa Toolbar for Internet Explorer and Firefox and from their extension for Chrome.
There is some controversy over how representative Alexa’s user base is of typical Internet behavior, especially for less trafficked sites. In 2007 Michael Arrington provided a few examples of relative Alexa ranking known to contradict data from comScore, including ranking YouTube ahead of Google.
On April 16, 2008, many users reported dramatic shifts in their Alexa rankings. Alexa confirmed this later in the day with an announcement that they had released the new Alexa ranking system, claiming that they now take into account more data sources “beyond Alexa Toolbar users”.
Based on page views, whether or not you agree with how Alexa tracks web pages, it still is one measurement of how well your blog is doing in the blog-o-sphere.
Here is one blogger’s recommendations increasing Alexa rank:
1. Download a Alexa Toolbar;Download Alexa toolbar for your browser and Set your website or blog as a home page in your browser. You can also encourage your friends to install alexa toolbar and make your site as a homepage.This will increase your page views and will also give good ranking to your site.
2. Put an Alexa rank widget on your blog or site.
Each click by visitor in widget will be counted as visit.
3.Get your blog listed in any high PR directories.
Your site should have backlinks from high PR sites,forums. Post your site links in high PR do follow forums.
Counting your own page views seems like cheating to me, so no, I’m not going to do that. However, I’m all for installing a widget. Nothing is simpler. But wait, there’s a catch. You need to claim your blog before you collect your Alexa widget and this is a little bit of a headache.
What to do? (Instructions and illustrations follow)
Alexa gives you several ways to claim your blog, but they all involve installing their verification code for your blog somewhere on your website. The simplest way is to put the verification code in a comment, but that didn’t work for me, so I was instructed to install the verification code in my template.
Not being a programmer, and knowing just enough html to be dangerous, though not necessarily effective, this last instruction caused beads of sweat to form on my brow much like the time I had to replace the power board on my old Mac.
So after reading the Alex faqs on installing this code, I opened my template in my WordPress theme and went to the section marked header and looked down the code until I saw the head tag and scrolled down until I saw the /head tag. I put the little piece of code between the /script tag and the /head tag so not as to disturb any of the script, like so.
I then hit the “Verify Blog” button and received this happy little message:
Yes. The rest was just adding following the prompts, adding some info to my “profile” and gathering and placing the Alexa widget. See, that was easy, wasn’t it?
As for having getting your blog listed on high PR sites, that is a post for another day.
Alexa illustration courtesy of a Creative Coomons license issued thi by user dallco_photo on Photobucket
Beth Turnage authors Astrology Explored as well as being publisher of Astrology Media Press. Beth is available for private consultations. You can contact Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org.