PR -0- AND PROUD OF IT!

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Posted on : 29-02-2008 | By : Katalina | In : Websites and Blogs

PR Checker

It is that time again. The forums and blogs are all abuzz. Google is updating pagerank, and bloggers and webmasters everywhere are rejoicing… or groaning. I guess I should be in the second category. The pagerank of this blog has not changed, it was PR0 before and it is PR0 now. But my other blog, My CFO on the Go was a PR1 and now is a PR0. What changed? My page views went from 200 to over 4,000 per month. Backlinks from 3 to almost 1000. Alexa rank has gone from a 3 month average of 850,000 to 213,000. Yesterday’s Alexa was 82,000. So except for Google PageRank, every statistic for MyCFOontheGo shows dramatic improvement. Still the drop in PageRank isn’t really a surprise for me. You see, I made a few changes last month, and I knew that Big Daddy Google wouldn’t approve.

I began accepting paid posts, (which is fully disclosed) and I removed all the nofollow tags and made my blogs do-follow blogs. I am very happy with the changes. I am earning a little money, and the people that comment on my blog get a link back to their blog. It seems only fair.

But this does put me in a bit of a predicament. The advertisers who pay for posts are looking for high PR blogs. Page Rank is easy for them to check, and it is supposed to give an idea of how popular a web page is. If I had gotten my expected PR3 (according to the Iwebtool.com PR predictor) I would have plenty of advertisers wanting me to post for them. With a PR0, not so many. It becomes a catch 22. High pagerank causes more advertisers… which lowers page rank… which lowers advertisers… which raises pagerank. Do see the problem?

I have given it some thought and there are a few things I could do. I could remove all the paid posts, make all the links on my site no-follow, and then I could grovel back to Google and ask them to reconsider if I promise never to do it again. But I didn’t create my blogs for Google. They are for me, for my readers, and for my advertisers. I don’t want Google telling me what I can or cannot do on my blog. Plus, from my own experience, PageRank is not that great an indicator of readership. (See the chart later in the post) My other choice is to keep doing things the way I do now. Accept paid posts, while making sure they provide value to my readers as well as to my advertisers. Keep my links do-follow links, so when someone is takes the time to make a thoughtful comment on my blog I can be nice enough to give them a link.

I have decided to run a little experiment, just to see how important pagerank really is. I have four active blogs right now. Two that I am very active with, and two that really could use a little more attention. Here is a table showing the stats on those four sites right now.

Sorry, not sure what is going on here. Please scroll down for the table.







Site PageRank 3 Month Alexa 1 Week Alexa 30 Day Page Views BackLinks
MyCFOontheGo.com 0 212,919 112,533 4048 981
KatalinaMau.com 0 680,441 314,639 1496 561
NinjaSuccess.com 2 851,145 568,953 1079 662
GetRichGeek.com 3 1,500,785 435,730 880 34

As you can see, the sites with the highest pagerank, actually have the lowest page views, and the lowest number of backlinks.

Which is why I believe that maybe Google PageRank isn’t the best indicator of how much traffic (quality or otherwise) a website gets.

Which leads into my experiment. From now, until the next pagerank update I am going to keep KatalinaMau.com and MyCFOontheGo.com the way they are. The way I want them to be. But for NinjaSuccess.com and GetRichGeek.com I am going to comply with Googles requirements. No paid posts and nofollow links. It will be interesting to see what happens and I’ll report back to you after the next PR update.

Do you have a blog or a website and you think your PR isn’t what it should be? I am planning on putting together a directory of quality sites with traffic, and low or no pagerank. If that sounds like your site, leave a comment with your stats. If it all checks out I’ll add you to the directory as time permits.

Blog Review – UpstartBlogger.com

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Posted on : 28-02-2008 | By : Katalina | In : Reviews

pic of macbook airpic of macbook air

I am not usually big on posting about blogging contests. Most of of the blogging contests I have seen want you to review a blog that may not be very good, for a prize that is just so-so. Then there is all the linking and stumbling and favoriting. It all really gets to be too much.

But there is always the exception to the rule. Ashley Morgan’s UpstartBlogger is having a contest and the prize is pretty sweet. A brand new Apple MacBook Air. The new laptop that is crazy thin. From the commercials I have seen, the Air looks like it might just be cool enough and thin enough to make up for it being an Apple! I certainly wouldn’t mind having one.

And then the blog itself is an exception to the rule. The theme is light and clean and loads fast. It is practically free of ads. (Something I have been thinking about for my own site!)And the content is worth sticking around for. Even though I have been blogging for over a year now I found myself enjoying Ashley’s post on 25 Steps to Launching Your Blog and Making $100+ A Month in 30 Days. While the post is definitely geared to rank beginners, I found some useful information relating to WordPress Plugins. He also has a post on SQL Backup Strategies that I am going to read when I am done here!

The contest ends Feb. 29, 2008 so if you want to enter you are going to have to be quick. Even if you are too late for the contest Upstart Blogger is worth a look.

Criticism

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Posted on : 27-02-2008 | By : Katalina | In : Websites and Blogs

How do you deal with criticism on your blog? I would like to say I am a perfect adult and always take criticism well. But my first reaction often is “HOW DARE YOU FIND ANY FLAWS IN MY BABY! DON’T YOU KNOW, LIKE ALL BABIES, IT IS ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!”

Once I get over my temper tantrum I then try and take a more objective look at the critique, and appreciate the time and consideration that went into it.

This has been a week of critiques. First, I found out, quite by accident, that KatalinaMau.com was reviewed by Bloggeries. Bloggeries is my favorite blogging forum, and you will often find me hanging out there, usually when I should be doing something else! I am thrilled that they choose to review my blog, but I am surprised that they did not find my blog to be perfect. (Please see first paragraph) You can read the review here. While they did have some very nice things to say, there were more than a few things that they felt could “use improvement”. One of which was the overall look of my blog. Ouch! I worked hard to make it look like that! I felt much better when a few days later a commenter said she really liked the look of my blog.

And then there is the issue of posting. I know I have been bad about keeping up with the posts. There are just so many other things to do! But not only did Bloggeries mention that I should be more regular in my posting, Reward Rebel took the time to send me a PM saying pretty much the same thing. To both of you I want to say a really big Thank You! Sometimes we all need a friendly little kick in the behind to get moving.

So the whole purpose of this post is to let you know that I have listened to the critiques, and found them valid. Over the next few weeks I will be working on the overall look and feel of KatalinaMau.com. Let me know what you think of the changes. I will be trying out different themes, seeing what I can do with them.

The other thing I am going to do is take the Alan Lest’s 30 Day Blogging Challange.

I am going to do my best to make a blog post every day, for 30 days in a row. I just hope I can make most of  the posts something someone would actually want to read! I know that by doing anything for 30 days you can make it a habit. I have heard from other people that once you get started it becomes much easier, and you become a better blogger. And that is what it really comes down to. While my inner child fumes that anyone could find anything I create less than perfect, the adult in me knows that these types of critiques will make me a better blogger.

Thanks again everyone!

Paying Off Your Mortgage

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Posted on : 14-02-2008 | By : Katalina | In : Wealth

One of my lifetime goals, was to pay off my mortgage and live in my home debt free. I set that goal 20 years ago, and I achieved it 3 years ago. Paying off my mortgage, and all my debts, has been one of the best things I have ever done. Having no debt payments allows me to live quite comfortably on a small income, while being able to save for retirement.

Paying off a mortgage early isn’t easy. It takes discipline and the ability to look to the long term. But while surfing the net today I found an interesting tip that would be easy for most people to implement, and could take a few years off of your mortgage. It only works if you have an adjustable mortgage. With an adjustable mortgage your monthly payment is going to vary along with your interest rate. When your interest rate is higher you have a higher payment, and when your loan adjusts down, so does your payment. In an article titled “Borrowers can pay off mortgage early by keeping payments up”, the site, Money Magic suggests that when interest rates go down, and your mortgage payment goes down, you should continue paying the higher payment. By continuing to pay the higher payment (which you’ve already managed to squeeze into your budget!) even a relatively small interest rate drop can take years off your mortgage!

Along with news and tips relating to your mortgage, Money Magic offers a First Time Buyer Mortgage .  The sooner you have your mortgage, the sooner you can pay it off!

I Love My Readers! Who are You?

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Posted on : 14-02-2008 | By : Katalina | In : Happiness

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I have been trying to think of a way to thank all my readers this Valentine’s Day, and to let you know how much I appreciate you. It just wouldn’t be practical to send chocolates, or flowers, or cards. I could send e-cards but that might be a little spammy. So I thought and thought and then I thought some more. I wanted to make sure whatever it was went to my readers, and not those who were just passing through. That’s why this paragraph is a little long and wordy!

So I finally came up with an idea, it’s not much, but it fits my budget! I am giving away links, to everyone who wants one. Here is how it will work. This blog is a do-follow blog and I have Comment Luv installed. That means if you comment on a post you get a link back to your blog plus, comment luv adds a link back to your last post. And of course they are all do-follow links.

Now usually I just delete comments that I feel are blatant self-promotion, but on this post I am welcoming it! I’d like it if you would tell me a little bit about who you are, but if you are in a hurry go ahead and make a one word comment, or no comment. You could even include another link to your blog. (Only one please)

Now only a few restrictions. This is a PG-13 blog so if your site is adult, gambling, or adult pharms, than I’m going to have to say sorry, this offer doesn’t apply to you. And if you like my idea, feel free to copy it. Just please be nice and provide a link back to this post.