Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Random Musings: From rubber cement to Google page rank

Confession time: I can not say the word "media" without inwardly cringing. I started with a typewriter and a pot of rubber cement*, and I feel entitled to consider myself a member of the press for as long as I want.

Nevertheless, well into the 21st century it should be obvious to anyone this Internet craze shows no sign of ending. If I am to keep eating, I must acquaint myself with such things as search engine optimization, keywords and page ranks.

I am a "content generator" now, and if one goes by my Google page rank I'm not doing too badly. Last week I ran across a Web site, http://page-rank-calculator.com, where you can enter your URL and it will give you your page rank and an arbitrary monetary value. After two-and-a-half years, BizMojo Idaho has a page rank of 3 (moderately impressive) and a valuation of $2,460 (not as impressive, unless you know something I don't.)

I've read the highest page rank one can get is 10, but I think it's 9, because 9 is the page rank Google and Facebook have achieved and let's face it, who's going to get a better scores than Google or Facebook?

Oh yeah, IRS.gov is a PR 9 site, as is the much-maligned Healthcare.gov. Apple has a 9, Microsoft has 8, which ought to spark some debate, I'm sure.

Are the Beatles really more popular than Jesus? It's actually a tie. According to the Page Rank Calculator, both TheBeatles.com and Jesus.com have PR 6 ratings. (Note: Jesus.com is actually the URL of Metropolitan Community Churches. It was very canny and perhaps very bold of them to stake their claim to this Web address.)

If you want to check out your own site, I've posted the link. Just don't come crying to me if your score doesn't measure up to your expectations.

Here are a few links that explain the meaning of page rank better than I can. I found them by Googling "page rank explained," and these were the top three results:

PageRank (Wikipedia)
What Is Page Rank and How Do I Use It?
The Google Pagerank Algorithm and How It Works

*When we wanted to move sentences and paragraphs around in a story, like we do on computer screens today, we would cut the typewritten copy and paste the sections where we thought they belonged. It was primitive, but I'm proud to have come from that era.