May 17, 2013

Google PageRanks of Indian Blogs

In the series on our observations during our survey of Indian blogosphere this year, this second post is on the dynamics of Google PageRanks of Indian blogs. 
The first post in this series was an overview of the Indian blog-world.

Google assigns rank to a webpage based on how the page is linked on the web. This ranking, called PageRank [not about webpage, but because Larry Page developed this ranking tool], measures the web entity’s importance. Higher the PR, higher is the bolg's web reputation and its chance of being shown high on the search engine. In general, it becomes harder to get a higher ranking as one goes up. So, it is much more difficult to jump from PR of 4 to 5 than to climb up from 1 to 2.

We have a gut feeling that Indian blogs in general have a lower Google PR as compared to those by American and European ones. Though in the Directory of Best Indian Blogs, we have quite a few blogs with PR of 5, 6 and 7, majority of Indian blogs tend to have PR of 0, 1 or 2.

As shared many times earlier on ITB, a majority of Indian blogs either hibernate or die as early as within a year. So, it is not surprising that these blogs get either no PageRank or a very low score (0 or 1). Another big number of blogs that run for sometime and then collapse, manage to get a slightly higher PR. Even among regularly updated blogs, the majority have PageRank of 0 or 1 as can be seen in the graphic below.

Since we have been examining Indian blogs for the last 3 years, we have comparative PRs of thousands of Indian blogs. We find that in the last one year, the PR of about 10% of blogs in our database has gone down (in some cases, by two points) even though they were constant in updation and their quality of content. We have not analysed whether this was because they gathered bad links during this period or fewer people linked to them due to declining content quality or they stopped linking / SEO that they were doing before and stopped later. 


This graph shows the PR of about 3000 regular blogs
for which we have PR data for 2012 and 2013.
The thickness of a line reflects relative number of blogs
following that trend.
Trends with fewer than 3 blogs
have not been captured in the graph.
Only a few blogs have their PR gone up in the last one year. Most of this has happened from 0 to 1. Though age matters, what seem to matter more than age are the quality of content and a bit of ethical SEO. We have earlier discussed SEO in detail. Just to tell in short, ethical SEO is mostly a common-sense approach to making your content search-friendly and popular without trying to hoodwink search engines.

Blogs that were good and regular but are now less active have retained their earlier PR or lost it only slightly over one year. This could be the reward for their content. 

The adage ‘content is king’ is proved right when you check thousands of blogs for their PageRank. Blogs that have well-researched posts, graphics to support written content and original content tend to have high PR while blogs with mediocre content, even though updated many times a week, seldom go beyond 2 or 3. 

Though all blogs on a reputed platform have a reasonable PR, there are some blogs with very high PR while others remain at the bottom of the range (e.g. on http://indiatimes.com, blogs usually have a PR of 3 and individual bloggers have no role in blog’s design or SEO, but a few have a PR of 5 due to their popularity which in turn is due to their content and regularity of updation).

The next topic in this series of discussions is on what you can expect in the Directory.