Information, News, and other generalities related to sports cards.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The curse of Google.

I love google. Don't get me wrong. Google is the search engine I use. Google is responsible for 70% of my websites search engine provided traffic. Really, they are the only game in town that matters. MSN? Yahoo? Whatever fellas.

I haven't given a thought to google page ranking, google search engine rankings or any of that in 4 years. I was selling cards.. business was steady.. I didn't see how worrying about that was a valuable use time that could be better spent filling orders and putting new cards out on the website.

Then I sat down next to a guy at Tupelos in Hillsborough (nice place, near Chapel Hill for all those UNC fans out there) who happened to also have his own website. He's asking about my "analytics". Honestly, I wasn't even sure what he meant.. but I pretended. I then went straight home and googled it. I found out after putzing around that BargainBaseballCards.com is ranked #1 on Google for "Baseball Cards for Sale", "Baseball Card Commons", and "Baseball Card Singles". That's pretty sweet. We are also on page two for "Baseball Cards" also awesome, considering the last time I had checked (again, 2004) we were on page 12 or something rediculous. I also found out that we had a page rank of 3. Apparently thats ok. Not great, but as far as baseball card websites go, there aren't many, if any, that rank any higher.

This whole series of epiphanies happened about 10 days ago. I was on a mini-high. I never knew I was so well positioned. Woohoo. I found myself searching those keywords and checking that page rank every day. WooHoo... Still looking good. Granted I had gone four years without giving it a thought, but here, now, it was on my mind all the time.

Then: Tragedy! Google apparently updates their page ranks every few months. They did so in the last few days. We went from Page Rank 3 (sweet) to Page Rank 0 (eeGads) I had a mini-meltdown. The sky was falling.

I have no idea how Page Rank is calculated, or really what it even means. 3 weeks ago they could have bumped me down and I wouldn't have noticed or cared. I don't think it affects business (because we are still #1 for the above keywords). Really, I don't know if the Page Rank matters at all. But it sure did depress me seeing that big fat ZERO.

So.. thanks Google. Your metric that apparently has no bearing on search rankings, and isn't going to affect my business one iota has put me in a depression for reasons I can't quite explain. Jerk.

I'll forgive you tomorrow when I look at my google analytics and see all those visitors you sent. I can never stay mad at you long.

So I looked up how Page Rank is calculated, and though it is patented, it still seems to be cloaked in mystery. In any event, links from other websites factor in greatly. I have been ignoring link requests for four years. Again, didn't seem very important. Apparently others are more aware than I am.

So, here is my call. You have a website tangentally related to baseball cards? Baseball? Curling? Pretty Ladies? (okay, maybe not the pretty ladies, unless its, you know.. "tasteful") Send me an email (chris@bargainbaseballcards.com) and I'll link to you at BargainBaseballCards.com.

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