Everyone knows that their ultimate aim is a popular website which will bring in money, fame and build a brand name. A newbie webmaster gets tons of feedback on what to do and how to gain popularity in Search Engines. Although the advice may not always lead to positive results, every webmaster would like to know how well his website is doing online. Among the regular visitor traffic and statistics, there are a few more indicators which are sure to point you in the right direction. This article lists some pretty sure shot benchmarks to determine whether your website has gained popularity on the internet or is still in a nascent stage.
Every experienced webmaster relies on Google Analytics and local website statistics to gain an insight on how and why visitors are coming to his website. Although Google Analytics gives you the micro aspect of your website’s statistics, it may not be helpful in plotting the long-term trend. To get a bird’s eye view of the macro trends on your website, Alexa and Google’s Page Rank are the most reliable. Both these ranking systems take into account a humongous amount of data and relate it to various other traffic from external websites to calculate your website’s popularity. Alexa Traffic Rank also tells you your website’s country-specific rank and helps you to focus on building up a regional market. Google’s Page Rank rates your website on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best rank. Both these ranking systems are well reputed and correctly indicate the larger picture of your website’s progress. The Alexa Rank changes on a weekly or even daily basis, depending on the activity on your website. However, the Google Page Rank is updated half yearly or sometimes even yearly. Page Rank is calculated by Google based on all the metrics and information collected through the Google Search Engine and is processed by a complex algorithm which is a closely guarded secret.
The bottom line for doing well under both the ranking systems is to provide unique content which is useful and of high quality. Regularity of updates and relevance are also major factors which will determine your success. Remember, you cannot fool these ranking tools into giving you a higher rank. Some unscrupulous SEO professionals may lure you into their net by guaranteeing a Page Rank of 5 or 6 for a large amount of money. However, the Page Rank depends on so many unrelated factors, that not even an “ex-Google Employee” (like most of them claim) who has his own SEO business will be able to guarantee you a higher Page Rank. You may see positive results for a month or two, but once Google detects mischief, your website will be penalized.
When your website starts coming up on the first 10 pages of Google Search, for popular keywords, you will start noticing various hack attempts on your website. You may notice fake accounts being created, SQL Code injection attempts, multiple login attempts from different IP Addresses, a spike in traffic on a specific page and many similar tactics to gain access to your website. All these are part and parcel of becoming popular since everyone wants to become famous quickly by riding on the efforts of others. The hackers also would love to have a link of theirs on your website or get access to your client list so that they may promote their own product or service. What’s the easiest and cheapest way to do it? Deface your website through a vulnerability in the code or system.
Security and Convenience are always inversely proportional. More Security is Less Convenient and vice-versa. You need to maintain a balance between security and ease of use for your genuine clients and visitors. As you grow more popular, you will need to step up the security of your website and actively monitor suspicious activity. Your web host may be of help to you here. You can talk to them to find out how they can contribute to making your website more secure.
Another notorious indicator to knowing that your site is popular, is when you receive truck loads of junk comments promoting a dubious pharmacy or praising your website by linking to the commentators website. This is especially rampant in blogs which allow comments from visitors. Don’t be taken in by praises and appreciation of the website article, instead try and spot the spam links which were inserted in the comments.
A similar behavior can be seen in your email account. If you have published an email address on your website, for visitors to contact you, that email address will be harvested by spammers and will be a spam destination. As your website’s popularity and ranking increases, so will the amount of spam in your inbox. It is best to give generic email addresses or obscure the email address on your website’s contact page.
With the good, comes a bit of the bad. You will need to learn how to deal with these adverse situations so that you can maintain your website’s popularity and reputation.