How We Got a Page Rank 5 in Two Months

Posted by Adam Pieniazek | Blogging Tips | June 1st, 2009

As you may remember, we recently launched Sports Fan 4, a sports site focused on delivering Boston sports news and opinion with the voice of a fan. We launched the site on March 31, 2009 and kept our expectations reserved. While we felt we had a great team of writers for the site and knew that there is no satiating the thirst for sports talk in the City of Boston, we also knew from past experience how tough it is to get a new site up and running.

Well, a few days ago Google updated their public Page Rank for the first time since we launched SP4 and low and behold we were ecstatic to see we were upgraded to a PageRank 5!

While we knew we had optimized the site well for our readers (which also usually corresponds to good SEO too), we weren’t quite expecting our first Page Rank update to land us with a nice juicy 5. To be honest, a 3 or a 4 would have had us high-fiving. So you can imagine how pumped we were when we saw the Google Page Rank toolbar halfway full.

How we got a Page Rank 5 in Two Months

But enough talk about how happy we were, what you’re really interested in is how we did it. As with most SEO tips, the real truth is locked inside Google’s walls but here’s five steps we took that likely helped us achieve such a nice Page Rank so soon.

  1. Comments, comments, comments
  2. When Josh and I were sitting down and hashing out ideas for the site, one point I made repeatedly over and over is that Josh had to take initiative and comment on other blogs. Simply put, you cannot blog on an island (figuratively) if you want to have success. A huge misconception with blogging is that it is a solo activity, where the blogger just pumps out content isolated from the outside world.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Blogging is really about building a community with your readers and fellow bloggers. Commenting is thus a great way to build backlinks, expose your brand, and connect with other bloggers.

    I could easily devote a whole post to this topic, but Brett Borders already wrote a fantastic guide on creating a solid online presence by commenting. Commenting is a big reason we have over 3,000 links pointed to the Sports Fan 4 domain as of this post.

  3. Twitter, twitter, twitter
  4. We set Josh up with a Twitter account on May 15 and he immediately began using it to connect with other sports fans. The key here is we setup a strategy for Josh to connect and communicate via Twitter.

    Promoting posts was a secondary aim. It’s been a great strategy so far as Twitter has delivered traffic, guest writers and backlinks to his site. When you approach Twitter with the goal of communicating with others, the promotion will happen organically. We also installed a Twitter widget which kept fresh content flowing to the homepage.

  5. Thesis Theme
  6. Out of the box, Thesis theme is relatively well tuned for SEO. We tweaked it and tweaked it until we were comfortable that it was very finely tuned. Here’s a great SEO tutorial for Thesis theme. Also check out our guide to showing all posts in a category on one page.

    The quick tips I’ll give are to show only titles outside the homepage and to enable teasers on the homepage. Also, show excerpts on the homepage. These three tweaks will keep duplicate content penalties to a minimum.

  7. Unique content
  8. A big boost to Sports Fan 4 came when we progressed from writing game wrap ups to producing unique content not commonly found on other sports blogs. I wrote a post about Five Life Lessons From “He Hate Me”, Josh wrote a post on How to Spot Steroid Users and began producing player profiles, while Matt published a list of things to do when the Sox game is rained out.

    For the most part, these posts were content you could not find elsewhere and we all know that Google loves unique content. Not only does Google love it, but other bloggers and readers do too. These were some of our most highly trafficked and linked to posts on the site.

  9. Our Network
  10. A tip that really only applies to some of our audience. At The 42nd Estate we have a network of sites and on all those sites we post links back to our other sites. It makes sense since all the sites are part of The 42nd Estate’s network. Most of these sites have Page Ranks of 3 or 4, which gave Sports Fan 4 quality links right from the start. In other words, utilize your existing sites when launching new sites.

As you can see, there were no black hat (nor grey hat) SEO methods used here. Neither were any of them complicated or tough to initialize. Having said that, there was a lot of time spent in producing solid, unique content, reading and commenting on hundreds of blogs, connecting with over 1,000 people on Twitter. It required time and energy, but luckily those are the only two real costs to our strategy. That means you too can implement these tips and watch your Page Rank soar!

Now there were other steps we took that played a role in our Page Rank increase, but for space considerations I’ll leave it at those five. If you enjoyed this how to post and want to hear more about how Sports Fan 4 increased its Page Rank, or you have your own Page Rank/SEO tips, leave a comment below and let us know!

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39 Responses to “How We Got a Page Rank 5 in Two Months”

  1. Of course many will say to you, page rank doesn’t matter. But, it does make me feel good. It’s the power of authority. If you have a PR 8 site and then you write a blog post about a new domain and link to it, pleas let it be relevant too!, that site will get PR and traffic right away.

    Same old business just on the Internet. If you know the right people (websites) you can have a site with traffic and ranking fast.

    Everyone’s first goal should be to get a domain right now. Just get it, work it and hope to have some authority in the future. Then your new ideas make money faster.

    If you are good at networking you can build relationships with authorities to build your site fast, but that normally costs money.

    Felicidades on your PR5, good work.. Life of Justin is great too.

  2. How to Increase Page Rank by 5 in Two Months | The 42nd Estate

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  3. Google Pagerank of 5 in two months!
    SEO tips

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  4. Well,
    congrats!!! That’s a great success ! I will try to follow your instuctions:-)

  5. You’re absolutely right Jim that many will say Page Rank does not matter. In fact, I’ve had my own cases where I’ve seen the Page Rank drop and rise with little to no effect on search traffic.

    One thing to keep in mind though is that the public Page Rank is a little different from the internal Page Rank that Google uses and does matter. The PR we see in our toolbars (and on PR checking sites), is really a moment in time. Google is constantly updating their internal PR (not just every 3 months or so), so what we see might not reflect exactly the PR Google is using.

    Having said that, it is a nice confirmation that we’re on the right track. And as with most things in life, networking is one of the most powerful tools for success. It’s partly why commenting was the first thing on our list.

  6. Thanks chill. Best of luck to you! Shoot me an e-mail if you need any help.

  7. Yes, I don’t have many readers, but I connect with all of them, as best I can. This, I think, will bring me to that authority I want, but at a nice slow pace, the way I want it..

  8. oh wow great work! PR5 in two months is huge! Thanks for sharing. You myst have some really strong sites in your network…

  9. Congratulations on all the hard work you’ve invested so far. Creating backlinks really was a foundation for your success. I think I need to do more of that for my new blog.


  10. Good job, a page rank of 5 is huge. I was pretty happy with this update of googles pageranks since I had a bunch of sites that went from zero to three….but none when to 5. Congrats.

  11. […] How to Increase Page Rank by 5 in Two Months | The 42nd Estate […]

  12. Jim, there’s nothing wrong with the slow and steady approach. Ensuring you connect with your readers is a great step towards more success (for both your readers and yourself).

    Thanks Marko, your blog is a daily read on our end for blogging tips and Thesis tweaks.

    Thanks Social Media. I’ll agree that backlinks are crucial. They give social proof to you, your readers and the search engines that you have good content.

    Thank you Mike. Congrats on your move to PR 3, which is still very good and a ranking we would have been happy with.

  13. I was so excited when you told me about the PR5 Adam. Like you said first and foremost was commenting on other blogs and building relationships with other writers. That’s something that I have done continuously and learn so much from other people’s writing and content.

    This has been a great experience and continues getting better each passing day. I feel like SP4 is maturing right as we speak in front of our eyes. It’s a strange feeling that we were able to create something that has done so well so fast. I am grateful!

  14. […] 2. Become popular on other social networks 3. Get post indexed higher in search engines 4. Get a PageRank for the post over time 5. Develop long term […]

  15. Hey, thanks a lot for sharing the info behind the success. I would certainly be interested in hearing more.

  16. […] just read a post about increase PageRank was writen by Adam From The 42nd Estate. In that article, he was said that: Out of the box, Thesis theme is relatively well tuned for SEO. […]

  17. No problem Brent. Glad you enjoyed the info. We’re considering running posts that dive into more details about each of the steps outlined in this post, as well as another list about the steps we took. The first should be up soon. Subscribe to the blog feed so you don’t miss it!

  18. Thanks for the post, back linking seems to be the most powerful issue here, and its also the most time consuming.

    Much appreciated!

  19. I have a question for you all, we offer web design and we have many clients more than 80. when we finish a web site we put a back link on all site. This back links to our web site work to increase the page rank?
    i type and the result are just 9 link pointing to our site. what do you recommend?

  20. @Genner Puello – From what I understand this can help, but remember that these sites are not going to be about web design (like yours) so the relevance is not there. I think that Google weighs this, so you will get some PR passed, but not a real jump in SERP’s. Good for Branding though..

  21. @Elemental You’re right. Building backlinks is perhaps the most important, but also time consuming. It really plays into the fact that building a community is absolutely crucial to the success of a web-site. With a strong community, they’ll blog and share your articles, thus building backlinks for you.

    @Genner It helps, but not by much. As Jim noted, the links will not be targeted. They will also likely feature your brand name, which you should already be ranking for. Further, links in the footer are heavily devalued and will not pass much PR. In general, the higher up on a page a link is, the more PR will be passed.

    Also, try Yahoo Site Explorer for a more comprehensive look at your backlinks (including internal links).

  22. Congratulation… Great job and thanks for share. I do the same, but i just get PR 2 for 42 day. And i just get litle backlink, because i scare for build much of backlink for new domain. What do you think about this..? And can i know how much average of your unique visitor a day…?

  23. thx for the tips. comment…comment…comment… that what i’ll do

  24. provide best quality custom web site design and development services at the most affordable prices. Check out our Basic Website Starter Package starting at just $200. All custom web sites we build are W3C standard compliant, cross browser compatible, highly optimized for load time and created using cutting-edge tableless CSS programming.

  25. Most blogs add nofollow attribute on their comments, except dofollow blogs. Twitter put nofollow attribute to all the links inside it. Both are useless in pagerank building. Your network, content, and thesis theme are the heroes.

  26. You’re absolutely right Isaac. Commenting and using Twitter doesn’t directly build up your search ranking. But it does help indirectly by connecting you with other bloggers and your target audience. A comment or tweet increases your exposure which may lead to a backlink and/or higher traffic which helps build your rank up.

  27. Thank you for the great post. Useful and highly valuable information.

  28. wow thats really interesting to read…i would start following your tactics as soon as possible. Thanks 🙂

  29. I create my blog. and want my site up in page rank.. currently it is at PR1 but i am sure after reading your article i will increase it surely.

  30. This is one of the best posts I’ve read related to SEO and link building. Thanks a lot! Your suggestions will greatly help us!

  31. It seems the only way to succeed to built up those good link back need hard work.No easy way huh..i need to try this also..

  32. Page Rank 5 in 2 months ! That’s a huge leap and I can see why. Thank you for sharing this with us. I’ll definitely follow these steps.
    Thanks again

  33. It seems the only way to succeed to built up those good link back need hard work.No easy way huh..i need to try this also..

  34. I thought getting to 5 would take at least a year. Excellent info, thanks much!

  35. Its great to achieve such hard task. Congrats but hope with your tips i will be able to achieve at least PR 2

  36. Well that is really a great post i will try my best to follow your instruction thanks indeed

  37. The suggested all 5 tips are really useful to increase website google page rank. Thanks for sharing knowledge!!!

  38. Thanks for Sharing Your Knowledge 🙂

  39. I think commenting is the most important factor that helps you increase PR by 5 in that short time. Although almost backlinks from comments are nofollow, but so many backlinks mean your site is great and Google must believe that 🙂

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