Sunday, September 18, 2005
Google Hub Sites: A blog goal
Building your blog into what is called a Hub Site is not something that occurs to many bloggers. Achieving Hub Site status will propel your site to the top of the Google search engine rankings. A hub site is based on having large numbers of incoming and outgoing links.
To start on the road to constructing a hub, it’s best to start thinking in terms of linking. Forgetting any preconceived ideas, about gain and loss of Google PageRank (Google's numerical measure of the relative importance of a site on the internet), is a good place to begin.
Hub sites are based almost exclusively on their linking factors. As we will see, the linking out from your blog hub site is equally as important as adding incoming links.
A hub should be seen as almost as an internet train station, with incoming and outgoing tracks. Those link tracks can lead just as easily to a direct competitor to your business, as to a web page with a similar theme.
In many ways, the internet directories, like the Open Directory Project or the Yahoo! Directory, are almost the ultimate hub sites. Both feature numerous incoming and outgoing links making them terminal stations and hub sites.
You should seriously consider turning your existing blog into a hub site. The additional boost to your Google search ranking will be enormous. Your blog will rise much higher in the search rankings than other related and similarly themed sites and blogs. They will lack your blog’s abundance of incoming and outgoing thematic links.
Your blog’s staying power, through possible algorithm changes, should be infinitely stronger as well. Once the hub status is accorded to your blog by Google, the accompanying high search rankings are less likely to be removed. That is the power and the attraction of achieving hub site status.
To be a hub you have to think links.
Becoming a hub site is first and foremost about linking. That link thought must extend beyond the ordinary thoughts of simply collecting inbound links. The hub site mode of thought extends much farther. It includes linking out to a huge number of theme related sites as well.
For many webmasters, the idea of linking out to large numbers of sites is often the opposite of their ingrained ways of thinking about links. When most people think in terms of linking, they have visions of an unlimited number of incoming one way links, pouring traffic and Google PageRank into their sites. Fortunately, that's not a problem for bloggers, for whom linking out to interesting and informative blogs and websites is a part of maintaining a blog.
A hub site is designated by having numerous outbound links to other related sites. In that sense, developing a hub site runs counter to conventional thinking. A hub site blogger thinks outside that box.
A major problem facing a webmaster seeking to create a hub site is to find and attract incoming theme related links. To achieve that goal, a website owner must provide high quality content, that is both interesting and informative, to attract unsolicited inbound links.
Incoming links are required to build up PageRank, and to gain link popularity to move up the search engine rankings. The incoming links difficulty can be solved the old fashioned way. The solution is always to add as much informative and useful content as possible.
Hubs are distinguished by their willingness to link out to other sites whose contents are based on similar themes. Google appears to have already given its blessing to hub sites. That endorsement by Google can be readily seen with blogs.
For blogs, linking out has not proven to be the drain on PageRank, that many people would ordinarily expect. In fact, for many blogs, linking out has helped to enhance their search engine rankings.
Linking out may have turned a number of leading blogs into hub sites for their theme area. The reason for that blog linking out success in the search engines is similar to the power of the hub site. It’s based on linking out to other blogs that are written on similar topics and themes.
All website owners and bloggers can use that empirical data to their own benefit. There are enough blogs linking out, while maintaining strong PageRanks and search rankings to back up that concept.
If you link out to other sites and web pages, that are similar in topic to yours, you will not be held down by Google. Any drain on PageRank will be minimal at worst. In the Google algorithm that determines position in the search results for your targeted keywords, Google may even be giving benefit for outbound links. If that is indeed the case, then linking out boosts your blog's search ranking. That concept makes sense in the context of develiping a hub site.
It’s thought as well, that Google is not kind to sites that attempt to hoard PageRank. If that is true, then seeking hub site status is a wise goal. In any case, even if there is a minute loss of PageRank, the overall rise in the search engine results pages (SERPs) makes that more than a fair tradeoff.
Turn your blog into a hub site, for your topic area, and reap the benefits in Google and possibly the other search engines as well.
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