Three best places and tools to check Google Page Rank (PR ranking)

google_page_rankA simple Page Rank (PR) number used to be a good indicator of the quality of the website. Without checking any stats, it gave you a rough idea as to the popularity, age and the quality of the site. But now, because of the nuances and quirks that Google has built in to the page ranking system, it is not an indication of anything “specific” anymore, and that is a shame! I know websites that have PR of 6 and are crap and I know websites that have a PR of 0 and are exceptional.

For the past few weeks, Google has been changing its algorithm of how it calculates PR ranking. It seems that yesterday, Google tweaked its algorithm again and punished bloggers that write sponsored posts. After all, it is against their Quality Gridlines.
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Google even has a place to submit report of the link-buying and selling and pay-per-post types of bad behavior by other websites.

To get comprehensive results for PR from multiple data centers, here are three places you might consider visiting.

Also, please be aware that it is very easy to “cheat” on PR. One can structure the webpage in such a way that the PR that is displayed comes from a page that is different from the site that you are actually visiting.

(i) Dig Page Rank. (No relationship to Digg) I like this site the most. Recently when a client wanted to purchase a website based solely on the page rank, I used this site to verify the authenticity of the page rank. Especially keep an eye on the color of the page rank display. Green means it is genuine, red is fake and orange is non-confirmed. It can check PR from 700 data centers.

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(ii) SEO Company’s PageRank tool A good solid page that gives you PR from several data centers.

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(iii) Oyoy.eu This is the most comprehensive site for Page Rank and other Google data center related tools. I hope I don’t regret giving this out, because I do not want this server to die, so please be gentle and don’t overuse it.

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And of course, you can always go to Google’s Webmaster tool site.

Happy Page Ranking!



Five incredibly cool and useful blogging tools

1. Cool: Bookr

Bookr is a tool that lets you create really neat embeddable photo flip-books from images on Flickr. If your blog frequently covers events, this is one of the best ways I’ve seen to include a group of photos in your post without overwhelming the user with a bunch of images or sending them away from your site with a Flickr album link. These things are incredibly easy to create. Check out the example below.

2. Useful: Docstoc [see our previous coverage of Docstoc, a Beverly Hills startup]

Docstoc describes itself as a Youtube for documents. The site has thousands of user-uploaded legal and business docs that can be searched, browsed and downloaded free of charge. What makes Docstoc such a useful tool for blogs is that all the documents are embeddable, allowing you to display pdfs, Word docs and Excel files in an intuitive flash reader from within your posts. Find a cool doc while browsing around Docstoc that your readers would be interested in? Maybe you run a blog about entrepreneurship and run across a great business template. Don’t link to it, embed it. On the flip side, if you have a doc that is relevant to one of your posts, upload it to docstoc and throw it on. Click here for Docstoc’s quick and easy embedding instructions. Here’s an example of a doc embedded with Docstoc:

3. Useful: Show Me Widget

ShowmeWhen it comes to blogging, the importance of staying connected with the community cannot be understated. “Show Me” is a widget that displays links to all of your profiles on social networks around the web, providing a quick-and-easy way for your audience to connect with you and follow your content on multiple networks. This widget that won’t work quite as well for blogs with multiple authors (such as this one), but for personal blogs this is a great tool. Click the thumbnail to the left to see what “Show Me” looks like.

4. Cool: ClustrMaps

Clustr22For a tool that has some of the most instant “wow” appeal out of all the widgets out there, check out ClustrMaps. After submitting your URL, ClustrMaps gives you embeddable code that will display who is currently viewing your blog by geographic location. By now, most of you have probably seen these around the blogosphere, and for good reason: the experience of having a truly global view of where your readers are coming from is awesome. Sure, we all know that the web is international, but being able to actually see where your visitors are coming from around the planet is a different story. The widget is free for sites that have less than 2,500 visitors daily.

5. Useful: Google Webmaster tools

If you at all serious about your blog, or even if you’re mildly interested in your audience/traffic, you need to be taking advantage of Google’s awesome webmaster tools. When beginning to utilize these tools, you should first go to web crawl diagnostics to make sure Google has indexed your site and doesn’t have any problems crawling your pages. Second, take a look at the top search queries page. It tells you which keywords people have been using to find your site. With this information in hand you can make an effort to tailor content around what your readers are interested in. Another tool that doesn’t fall in the same category of these but is a must-have is Google Analytics, a free, simple and powerful tool that gives you heaps of information about who is visiting your site and what they are doing on it. It’s a great way to get to know your audience. Combine all of Google’s tools and you’re on your way to becoming a very informed blogger.

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Simunication: Legos for applications

simunicationSimunication is a fast prototying system for building web applications. The idea is to quickly construct a piece of code, and test its functionality, and get feedback from users and customers. The input can quickly be cycled back in through more modifications, followed by another series of testing.

The method of prototyping has been used routinely for building hardware. Manufacturers build working prototypes to test things such as feasibility and customer acceptance, before starting the actual (and expensive) design cycle.

Simunication enables product prototyping for applications, before the fully functional and more detailed software is actually built. Prototypes can be built on the Simunication website and can also be integrated in with other existing HTML, CSS, Javascript or Flash code.

As a test of their system, Simmunication built its own site using their own prototyping product.

The advantage of a product like Simunication are many - it allows brainstorming, and early optimization of the product, before the full fledged code is written.simunicator

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Slifter - Find products on the go, but why?

Corner LogoNew York-based GPShopper announced on Nov. 8th that they have received an undisclosed amount of Series A funding. The round was led by Allen & Company LLC and Affiliates. The company is an aggregator of real-time product inventory data from national and local retailers.

SlifterGPSHopper’s primary product is Slifter, a mobile-app which allows people to search stores near their area to find out if a product they want is in-stock. The user’s location is either determined automatically on GPS-enabled phones or by manually inputting a zip code. The mobile version of the service, which is also available on their website, costs $1.99/mo.

Am I the only one that doesn’t recognize under exactly what circumstances this product will be useful? Here’s one out of only two scenarios I can imagine when I would use Slifter: while I’m driving, I suddenly remember that a new video game/console was released that morning, so I boot up Slifter to see if any Best Buys or Gamestops aren’t sold out of it yet. That’s it. And the chances of that happening are slim-to-none. This highlights an important requirement in order for Slifter to be useful — the product you’re searching for needs to have a high chance of being sold out. Otherwise, you wouldn’t consider searching, you’d just go to the nearest store and pick it up.

That’s why Slifter doesn’t make sense to me. Generally, consumers must have high awareness about the release of a product in order for that product to be at risk of selling out. It then follows that if a consumer is aware of the release date for something he or she really wants, they will do all their in-stock searching on their computer before they leave the house. This makes a lot more sense then driving around waiting for Slifter to ping you. Unless you’re caught off guard like in my above scenario, I don’t see any reason to utilize this, especially for a monthly charge (even though it’s only $2).

The other scenario I can envision that Slifter would come in handy is if you’re a parent on the look-out for a sold out toy around Christmas season (think Tickle Me Elmo), so you do a daily search on Slifter while you’re out running errands. There is some value here. But how many times per year does your average consumer experience this scenario? Maybe once? Again, the monthly fee doesn’t make sense here.

However, maybe I’m wrongSlifter claims that over one million people use the service every month. If you’re one of them, please comment below and tell me when/why.

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