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Two Blogging Points

A couple of thoughts and annoyances on blogging. Sorry for the self-referentialism.

Page Rank 6: For a while, my site had a PR6 on Google. Then they changed their policies, largely wisely, and I fell back down to PR5. These days, I don't know of a single individual law student blog that has a page rank consistently higher than five: Serious Law Student, Letters of Marque, Ambimb, Sua Sponte, Wings and Vodka, and even the oft-linked Jeremy Blachman have all sat solidly with me at PR5. (The sole exception, Katherine's Not for Sheep, hovers between PR5 and PR6, but is mostly PR5. I'm trying to differentiate between her link patterns and everyone elses, since this is the only observable exception to otherwise similar sites.)

Meanwhile, group blogs like De Novo, Crescat Sententia, or law professors' blogs like Professor Bainbridge or Professor Solum have PR6s. The first makes sense: the group blogs are more active and have many more inbound links as a result. Law professor's substantive posts get more inbounds as well. The combination--law profs and group blogs--seems even more powerful, given the success of the Conspiracy. So either I need to become a law prof or clone myself, I guess.

It's not really important, but I'd like to get my PR6 back. It makes it that much easier to conduct small side experiments when I want to know how Google works on some esoteric point. Of course, that involves getting my head above the parapets for a while, putting my mind to writing some truly interesting stuff, and getting links from some of the big-boys. Probably more work than it's worth in exam season.

Annoyances with ATOM: I don't read sites like Lawdork, Shetai, Wings and Vodka, or indeed Prof. Crimlaw's Punishment Theory Blog as much as I'd like. For reasons of time, I generally restrict myself to what's on my blogroll at right and what's on the Continuum. Which means, essentially, sites that have RSS functioning.

So why did BlogSpot have to implement ATOM instead of nice, standard RSS? This would have solved my problem nicely.


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What is this "page rank" of which you speak? I mean, I know Google ranks pages, but I didn't realize there were numbered grades like that. How do you find out what yours is?
Oh, and while we're on the subject of your technical expertise, how do you do that cool Google Rankings table in your sidebar? Is there an MT plugin that does that?
There's a number of ways, but the easiest is to download the Google Toolbar for your browser. It gives you the pagerank of any page you're viewing, besides being useful in and of itself. Basically (and oversimplistically, but I am doing exam study), Page Rank measure the authority links from your page have in ranking other pages. So, for instance, if you or I link to Heidi with a link such as likes chickens, then we give a certain amount of authority to her site for the terms 'likes' and 'chickens' (and more for the combination). But if Prof. Bainbridge were to do the same thing, he'd bump her even further up the rankings for the term, since he's PR6. Even more so for Volokh, etc. Obviously, this is useful for Googlebombing, but I don't do that...
Yes. It's the aptly-named GoogleRank plugin. Does exactly what it says on the tin, as they say.
Where on the Google toolbar does it tell you your page rank? I have no right to be as bad at this stuff as I am. (But I do have a RSS feed!)
You have to check the "Pagerank Display" in the Options dialogue of the toolbar. See here. The sad thing is that I do understand all this stuff, and I still can't do better at Page Rank--or even The Truth Laid Bare's ecosystem--than folks who don't. One would think that knowledge helps you game the system. ;)
Thanks Mr. Anthony! I'll plan to install that GoogleRank plugin after finals. Meanwhile, when you get a second, um, I don't do Windoze and I don't do IE, so no Google toolbars for me. Any pointers to alternate methods of assessing PageRank?
Ambimb: That's what you get for living in the world of one mousebutton. ;) There's a couple of ways for you non-Windows folks to get this information. Looking through my old links, this seems most relevant. If using the dmoz doesn't work, drop me another line...
One mousebutton? Hey, I don't do Winblows at home and I have two buttons on my trackball..... I know, most folks aren't Linux geeks.... :-)
Len, now that I think of it, Ambimb might me a Linux instead of a Mac person. I'm horribly tired now, so I hope he'll forgive me...
No worries. I do use a Mac, but mostly I have multiple mouse buttons anyhoo. Apple's very funny about the mouse thing. The mouse/trackpad drivers built into OS X adeptly handle multiple mouse buttons, scrollwheels, etc., yet Apple still ships everything w/one button. Silly rabbits. Of course, the one-button thing is really a small price to pay for the fact that Ezula can't hurt me.... ;-)
No. The price you pay for Ezula not being able to hurt you is not being able to use the Google Toolbar. It's all about the network externalities...
Argh, Anthony, you've made a monster out of me! Now I compulsively check the Google Pagerank of every site I visit. LexisNexis is a 2. My own site floated up to a 5, briefly, yesterday. Yours is a 5 right now. But Daily Kos is a 7 and Little Green Footballs is a 6. What in the heck does all this *mean*?? :)
What, the explanation above about 'likes chickens' isn't sufficient? :)

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