Q and A: How can I increase my PageRank to increase sales?

QuestionDear Kalena…

I’ve had my online store for 2 yrs now and have been stuck on a PageRank of 2 it seems forever. Since my income from this site is often the only income coming in at times for my family (economy in our area is awful) I’d like to increase my Page Ranking to increase sales. I’d love to be a PR5. I am no computer genius but know enough to improve my site with the right guidance and information. Your help and knowledge would be much appreciated.


Dear Penny

While there is certainly a correlation between PageRank and high quality websites, there are a few issues if you focus purely on PageRank.

Firstly, Google may be crunching the numbers behind the scenes but the publicly visible Toolbar PageRank is only updated a few times a year, so what you see may not always be entirely accurate.

Secondly, a high PageRank doesn’t necessarily mean higher rankings in the search results – I’ve seen some great sites with low PR outrank crappy sites with higher PR.

So saying you’d like a PageRank of 5 to help increase your online conversions is like going to a car salesman and asking to buy a red car…

Some people think that red cars go faster, therefore if a car is fast it is most likely sporty and by association, sports cars are often rather sexy and luxurious.

So in actual fact, what you may want is a lightning fast, motoring masterpiece that’s mechanical brilliance is overshadowed only by its sexy aesthetics… but instead you drive away in a Citroën 2CV – a vehicle that takes the better part of a day to get from 0-60 and looks like a Transformer mated with a toad – simply because you asked for a car that was ‘red’ instead of ‘sporty’.

The point is – don’t just ask how to increase your PR – ask how you can increase your rankings, traffic and conversions instead.

So what should you be focusing on?

The first thing you should look at (from an SEO perspective) are your keywords. You could have a PR8 site and plenty of random clicks, but if you’re targeting the wrong keywords you won’t sell a thing.

The next thing to work on are your inbound links. Think of an inbound link as a ‘vote’ for your website. The more votes you have, the more popular your website will seem to the search engines.

Focus on semantically relevant links (ie. links from sites that provide similar products/services or sites that contain information that would be relevant to your users).

Sure, if you manage to gain a lot of high quality links, it will have a positive impact on your PageRank, but the goal should always be to increase your sites exposure and relevant traffic instead of gaining an extra point on an infrequently updated little green Google bar.

Once your keywords, content and links are all looking good, the final thing to work on is your website usability. While this may not strictly fall under the SEO banner, there’s really no point optimising a site to gain more traffic if you cannot convert the clicks into sales.

Hopefully this will help you start focusing on the most effective SEO factors instead of just trying to improve your PageRank.


Peter Newsome
SiteMost SEO Services

Q and A: How do I remove lies and false accusations about me on Google?

QuestionDear Kalena…

How do I remove lies, and false accusations about me on Google? Please help!


Dear Rudy

Google provide the following support articles that may help: Remove information from Google: Remove a page or site from Google’s search results and if the information is of a personal nature, you may also find this useful: Personal information in search results.

Google’s job as a search engine is to find, sort and categorize information. They can only index what they find, so my first suggestion would be to try and avoid doing things or annoying people which could inspire them to create false information in the first place. Sometimes this is easier said than done, in which case, you should really go after the source of the information and not Google. Try contacting the website owners who are publishing the false information and ask them to stop (either politely or by threatening legal action).

You could also try and make the lies and false information work in your favor. Respond intelligently and politely explaining how the information could have been misconstrued and then provide the readers with the correct info.

If this isn’t possible, then the next thing you can do is create favorable information about yourself on various third party websites. Setup social media profiles on all the major networks, offer to guest blog, distribute articles and press releases about you and your company etc. Then build links to promote these third party sites. If done well, this can outrank the negative information about you.

Hope this helps!


Peter Newsome
SiteMost SEO Services

Q and A: Is there a Google method to find the ranking and traffic of a specific search term?

QuestionDear Kalena…

Is there a Google method to find the ranking of a specific search term? For example if I’m tweaking my site as I sell thermo seals, I’d be interested to see if more people search for ‘thermo seals’ or ‘winter window leaks’ or ‘stop window drafts’ etc. etc.

If I see that one term gets 5,000 hits or is ranked #17,500 where as another one gets 7,000 hits and is ranked #12,345 then I’d be sure to talk the talk of the higher rated search term. I’d like to enter terms, get some form of ranking and then enter another term, so that I have an apples to apples list of results.



Hi Dave…

Although Google is generally against automated rank checking / reporting, they do allow you to research historical organic search data using their Insights For Search. This will allow you to compare search patterns and volume for various search terms and keywords across specific regions, categories, time frames etc.

For paid search listings, you can use the Google Adwords Traffic Estimator. This gives you estimates on the typical number of clicks you’re likely to receive if you were to bid on these keywords using Google’s Pay Per Click system – Adwords. And with this information, you can then identify which keywords are worth optimising for. Generally, more people click on organic search rankings than paid listings, so this type of data won’t give you an exact figure if your focus is organic traffic, but it certainly works well as a guide.

If you’re willing to spend some money and would like to see what keywords your competitors are focusing on (along with the traffic they attract and a whole bunch of other competitive information), you could try tools such as SEM Rush, Compete.com or SpyFu.

There are plenty of other tools out there that can help achieve similar results, so if you have a favorite or would like to share the tools you use, add some comments below.

Hope this helps!


Peter Newsome
Brisbane SEO with SiteMost

Q and A: Is it possible to guarantee a 1st page listing in Google?

QuestionDear Kalena…

I see some of the SEO Consultants guarantee for 1st page listing in Google is this possible to guarantee for 1st page listing?


This is one of the most common questions that we, as SEO’s have to deal with and the short answer is “No”. No company (other than the search engines themselves) can, with 100% certainty, ensure you a 1st page listing in the organic search results. The paid / sponsored listings are a little different and it is quite possible to guarantee those results, but not for the organic stuff.

[shameless plug] A couple of years ago I discussed this on my own blog with the post What rank checking and nose picking have in common, but even Google advises against using SEO’s who guarantee results. They state:

No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.

Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever.

While we, as SEO’s are often quite confident in our skills which have been acquired through years of testing, reading, experimentation and interacting with other SEO’s – the fact of the matter is, we have no control over what (and when) search algorithm changes are going to happen. Further to that, the results that one persons sees may differ considerably due to geographic locations, personalised search data / history, universal search, local business search listings and the list goes on and on.

If you’d like to read more information on this topic, Rand at SEOmoz has put together a great post about Why Reputable SEO Firms Don’t Promise Guaranteed Search Engine Rankings.

Hope this helps

Peter Newsome
SiteMost – Brisbane SEO

Q and A: Is it ok to use the noscript tag to add relevant keywords to a site?

QuestionDear Kalena…

On another site I ran into the use of noscript tag for SEO.

What do you think of the use of this if used to add keywords relevant to the site?



Hi Jena,

For those who aren’t familiar with the noscript tag – despite great advancements in search technology over the years, search bots still have trouble reading content contained within scripted sections of web content (such as JavaScript, Flash etc.). To remedy this, the noscript tag was introduced so that web developers could display relevant content that the search bots and browsers that didn’t support scripting could see.

As you could imagine, it didn’t take long before the tag was exploited and used for keyword stuffing which resulted in penalties.

There are still a lot of positive ways to use this tag that will not result in penalties – such as embedding links if you have a script-based navigation structure and there’s certainly no harm in using it to include relevant content or keywords (as long as it matches the content contained within the scripted version of the page). But if you try and exploit this, you’ll end-up running into troubles.

However, if you’re looking to use this tag to improve the on-site SEO aspects of a website – my advice would be to create a script-free architecture (through the use of CSS) and work on creating content that will be visible to bots and users without the requirement of such tags. This will not only have a better impact on the SEO of your site, but also improve the functionality of your site across a wider variety of browsers and mobile devices (which commonly also have issues displaying scripted content).

Hope this helps

Peter Newsome
SiteMost Search Engine Optimisation