Onwards And Upwards ...
This page may be of particular interest to those developing their own Website ...
Some might ask what qualifies me to teach and give advice about the Internet and web development and in reply, I might be tempted to give traditional type answers about qualifications and experience. Instead, I would rather reveal the statistical rise of the new Web-Wise-Wizard site over the first ten months and let users decide for themselves as to the value of my knowledge about Internet and web related subjects.
You should always view Web statistics with a little caution. Website statistical programs can be over optimistic about page views depending on what the program considers to be a page, Google Toolbar PageRank™ can often be inconsistent, out of date or awaiting the next Toolbar PageRank™ update and Alexa Traffic Ranking is based on representative sampling of 12 million Alexa users who download the Alexa toolbar. However, these type of Web statistics can be very useful if used in a comparative way to determine trends and to determine the overall health of a Website. To help put these Website statistics into context I have prepared the following notes which you may find interesting.
- Visits, page views, hits and bytes served are all taken from WebLog 2.53, which is the site statistics gathering program used by the Web Hosting service that hosts the Web-Wise-Wizard site.
- Google initially gave our Home Page a Toolbar PageRank™ of PR4 and many other pages had the same PR4 PageRank. Others pages only had a PR3 PageRank whilst some pages only had a page rank of PR0.
- The first Alexa Traffic Rank figure we saw was for 13-Oct-2005 and this stood at 3,905,127 (this means that there were 3,905,126 Websites on the World Wide Web that ranked higher than Web-Wise-Wizard). Alexa Traffic Ranking provides the generally accepted figure as to a Websites Traffic Rank on the World Wide Web. I understand that there are in excess of 200 million registered TLDs (Top Level Domains) although less than half of these are active Websites. Alexa appears to start ranking sites at around the 6 million mark. The Traffic Ranking figures shown in the table are '3 months Average' figures but at the time of writing this (December, 2005) the '1 week Average' and 'Today' traffic ranking figures are dramatically lower than the '3 months Average' figures which bodes well for future improvement in the all important '3 month Average' figure.
- During the periods covered in the table all growth has been achieved using organic growth methods and is therefore capable of being sustained in the longer term. No money has been spent on advertising or promoting the Web-Wise-Wizard site (the site has even been hosted by a provider with a free Web Hosting offer) although a lot of dedicated hard work has gone into developing and promoting the site and finding suitable link exchange partners.
- At the time of writing this (December, 2005), I only own one Domain (Domain Name) and during the period up to this date, I have not used any other Website or Domain that I own or am involved with, to boost the importance or ranking of the Web-Wise-Wizard site or any of it's pages.
- The Web-Wise-Wizard site is not listed in any of the major directories (e.g. DMOS Open Directory, Yahoo! Directory, Zeal, etc.) and I will not be submitting the site to these directories until I am happy that it is ready for submission.
- There are a huge number of Web Design type Websites that cater for web authors, web developers, webmasters and Internet users, and competition for traffic is intense in this field. If you enter the search term "web design" on Google, it tells you that it has found 904,000,000 possible matches (yes, the zeros are all correct). What chance does a 'weenie' like Web-Wise-Wizard stand of getting into the all important first three pages on the search engines amongst that lot?
Future Targets ...
One can speculate about ever improving statistics for a Website but the higher a site rises in Traffic Rank, the more difficult it becomes to continue the rate of improvement because you start competing head on with many large and highly professional operations whose livelihoods depend on not being pushed down in Traffic Rank. Certainly, in the medium term one could reasonably set a target of 45,000 visits a month for Web-Wise-Wizard (over half a million visits a year) and this should be achieved by increasing the overall Google PageRank™ for the site to PR5 or higher. In turn, achieving these figures should automatically improve the site's Alexa Traffic Ranking to well under the 100,000 figure which would mean that Web-Wise-Wizard would get it's own traffic graphs on Alexa (fanciful maybe but I have been there before with a Website).
There is one thing I do know for sure and that is that there is a direct correlation between the success of a Website and the amount of hard work and expertise that is put into creating quality content for the site, and the amount of time spent improving the visibility of the site on the World Wide Web (e.g. quality link exchanges, Web directories, promotions, etc.).
Notable Events ...
Saturday, 24-Dec-2005 - drop in Google Toolbar PageRank ...
Aagh! Google suddenly decided to drop the Web-Wise-Wizard Home Page, Toolbar PageRank from PR4 to PR3 on the www.web-wise-wizard.com address. May I take this opportunity to wish everyone at Google a very Happy Christmas to you too. Joking to one side and in retrospect, I think the drop was possibly been caused by Googlebot doing a full crawl of the site and finding large numbers of outbound links that had not previously been indexed. Who says that outbound links do not count in determining Google PageRank?
I have removed a large number of these outbound links from the site and can only hope that Google re-indexes the site before the next PageRank update. I have also discovered that there are two types of PageRank, Toolbar PageRank and Real PageRank and that our Real PageRank still stands at PR4. Perhaps the situation is not as bad as I first thought but it will be interesting to wait until after the New Year holiday to see if there is a drop in Google traffic because of this drop in Toolbar PageRank. In the longer term I am quite happy that the underlying Google PageRank trend is upwards and I expect it to rise to PR6 by about July, 2006. Time will tell if I am correct in this assessment.
Wednesday, 03-Jan-2006 - now in the 'Top 100,000' category ...
Our Alexa Traffic Rank has been rising steadily but amazingly, the Web-Wise-Wizard 'Today' figure has jumped to 89,292 which is well below the magic 100,000 figure. Wow! This means that Web-Wise-Wizard now gets it's own Traffic Rank graphs on Alexa and the site Traffic Rank statistics can now be classified as being statistically significant. Also, the site will no longer have to suffer the indignity of being described as 'Not In The Top 100,000". I do not begin to understand what caused this sudden jump, perhaps it is just an aberration and the Traffic Rank figure will return to above the 200,000 figure by tomorrow but regardless of this, Web-Wise-Wizard gets to keep it's own Alexa Traffic Rank graphs, for the time being at least. It will be very interesting to study and compare the corresponding site statistics when they become available.
I was going to display the corresponding Alexa 'Traffic Rank' graph but the information on this graph consists of a single dot towards the bottom, right hand corner of the graph so I decided that this was not very interesting and elected to display the Alexa 'Daily Reach (per million)' graph instead.
Friday, 13-Jan-2006 - dropped from the 'Top 100,000' (the ignominy) ...
As previously predicted, the Web-Wise-Wizard Alexa Traffic Rank rose out of the 'Top 100,000' category but I am not concerned about this and I am confident that it should return to the Top 100,000 category in the future, hopefully on a more permanent basis. In spite of this, the site Traffic Rank is continuing to rise steadily in both the '3 Months Average' figure and the '1 Week Average' figure.
Alexa has now been calculating our Traffic Rank for three months and because of this they now display a '3 Months Change' figure for Web-Wise-Wizard. This tells us that when they started recording our Traffic Rank the figure stood at 3,905,127 which means that during this period we have overtaken 3,557,554 other Websites. Justification perhaps for all the hard work put into developing and improving the visibility of the Web-Wise-Wizard site.
Tuesday, 31-Jan-2006 - month-end reflections ...
Alexa Traffic Ranking has been pretty flat and Web-Wise-Wizard keeps popping in and out of the 'Top 100,000' category. No changes to Google PageRank although iWebTool predicts that at the next PageRank update, our Home Page will rise to PR6 and all other pages on the site will rise to PR5 or PR4. Heady stuff and if accurate, a PageRank rise of this magnitude could mean a hugh jump in traffic.
In spite of the recent drop in Google Toolbar PageRank, the continuing rise in our site traffic does not seem to be diminishing. This rise flattened a little over the Christmas and the New Year holidays but this came as no surprise and it started jumping ahead again once the holidays were out of the way. At the moment, we are currently gaining approximately 100 new visitors per day (700 new visitors per week), week on week.
We have just received our first unsolicited approach from an advertising agency who want to advertise on Web-Wise-Wizard but I have no current intention of starting to monetize the site, particularly for small returns. I tried monetizing the previous Web-Wise-Wizard site and came to the conclusion that relatively small sites like Web-Wise-Wizard can suffer wholesale fraud by advertisers. Perhaps with the advent of Google AdSense and the Yahoo! equivalent, the situation is now different but I just do not know.
Wednesday, 08-Feb-2006 - Real PageRank rises to PR6 ...
The Google Real PageRank update is now in progress and it has been confirmed that the Web-Wise-Wizard Home Page Real PageRank has risen to PR6. Unfortunately, the Toolbar PageRank update works on a different cycle which means that the Toolbar PageRank will not reflect the Real PageRank for another 8/9 weeks. Still, progress is progress.
Also notable is the Alexa '3 Months Average' Traffic Ranking figure which has risen to 239,116 which leaves us on course to achieve a permanent placement in the 'Top 100,000' Websites. Although we can expect a big increase in traffic over the next few months I am of the opinion that the progress made to date is the easier part of this project and that things will start to get a lot more competitive in the months ahead.
Tuesday, 28-Feb-2006 - month-end reflections ...
Because February is a short month you could consider it to be missing 2/3 weekdays in terms of the site statistics. In spite of it being a short month the stats have been a great from every point of view. Unique Visits up by 5,577, Page Views up by 47,461, Alexa '3 months Average' Traffic Ranking up by 165,264, Google Toolbar PageRank back up to PR4 and Google Real PageRank up to PR6. Wow! I am not a gambling man but I would bet that there are quite a few Webmasters and site owners who would love to be reporting these sorts of improvements in organic growth.
We are obviously going through a period of being one of the 'winners' as far as Google is concerned but this month could also be thought of as the month I discovered forums. We have been receiving an increasing amount of traffic from forums and so I started to investigate them using the tools available on our new Website Checks/Predictions Toolbox page.
To my surprise I found that many of the forums have pages with a predicted Real PageRank of PR6, PR7 and some were even PR9 but the trick is learning to find them. I started checking for pages that were relevant and that I could make a posting on that included a link back to Web-Wise-Wizard. On the positive side you can get one-way links from forums but on the negative side it is possible that Google rates links on forums as being less valuable in terms of PageRank. I made several, carefully crafted, relevant postings on high PR pages and only time will tell if they will help to bring an increase in traffic and PageRank. Happy Surfing!
Friday, 31-March-2006 - month-end reflections ...
What a great month for traffic, unique visits over 33,000, page views over 280,000 and the Alexa Traffic Ranking '3-Months Average' figure is now standing at 126,822. What a huge improvement over last month which was itself a record month. Whenever are these dramatic increases in site traffic going to end?
This is a subject that is giving me some cause for concern and unusually, I am feeling a little pessimistic about the outcome. This is because I have received certain indications that traffic could start to be levelling out or even beginning a phase of reducing. To start with the Web-Wize-Wizard Yahoo WebRank fell from 7/10 to 6/10 and then fell again to 5/10 and I do not know why. Yahoo is not particularly important to Web-Wise-Wizard but I think that it may be an opportune time to submit the Web-Wise-Wizard site to the Yahoo Directory.
The next indication that things could be levelling out comes from Alexa. For the first time ever the Web-Wise-Wizard Alexa Traffic Ranking '3-Months Average' figure bounced. At one stage the figure fell to 126,480 and then bounced back up to 126,822. It is only a small bounce but it could indicate a levelling out or an upcoming drop in site traffic although we would need to wait a while to confirm this.
However, the thing that is worrying me most is Google. They are currently undertaking a 'deep crawl analysis' of every URL on the World Wide Web (every page in the Google Index plus every new page they find) and they are likely to be applying an algorithm change to the crawl. All Real PageRank figures have been reset to zero and the crawl is expected to take ten days or more to complete. It is a massive undertaking (re-indexing nine billion Web pages) and this is why we have not been able to include a Real PageRank figure for March in the site-statistics table near the beginning of this page.
As the almighty Google roulette wheel spins it is going to create big winners and big losers. We should never forget that there is only a finite amount of PageRank to share out amongst all the sites on the World Wide Web and for every winner there has to be a corresponding loser. I can only hope that the losers are the spammers, Internet spivs and PageRank robbers, and that the winners are sites like Web-Wise-Wizard which contain original content. Only time will tell and in the meantime, all we can do is to grit our teeth and be patient.
Sunday, 30-April-2006 - month-end reflections ...
The best way to describe the site statistics for April is 'flat'. The daily average 'unique visits' total was almost the same as the previous month but it was a shorter month and we did see a sharp drop in site traffic during the two weeks surrounding the Easter holiday period. I guess all the Universities, Colleges and Schools were having a break during this period.
In the same period, Google appears to have gone into a coma. Apparently, they still have not completed their 'deep crawl analysis' and they have not restarted publishing Real PageRank figures. Our checks also suggest that there have been no signifigent updates to Toolbar PageRank which we are hoping will rise from PR4 to PR6 for the Web-Wise-Wizard Home Page.
There is some improvement in our Alexa Traffic '3-Months Average' Ranking which is now down to 114,809. However, this is really due to improvements made in February and March. As I stated previously, a very 'flat' month.
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