Google’s head of Google webspam, Matt Cutts (a Google employee and guru on everything search) is always telling webmasters not to obsess too much about PageRank. I would agree, it is not always that accurate, (give or take 1 rank either way) probably because it is not publicly updated that frequently – it is always updating, results are just not released regularly to the public.
At the end of the day, PageRank is just a lovely green (or maybe a not so lovely white) bar that a page is given. It doesn’t necessarily correlate to how a site is performing in the SERPs, and doesn’t guarantee good rankings.
That said, I am pleased for the blog, as our green increased a little, and white retreated back, as Technology Bloggers jumped from a 3 to a 4 🙂
Google say on their own website that PageRank represents:
“Google’s view of the importance of a webpage”
That is a direct quote from Google.
So basically, pages ranked 0/1 (in Google’s view) aren’t that special, there are loads out there, nothing makes them stand out. Pages with a PageRank 2 are more important, they are special, but not that special. The further up the scale you go, the more value your page is worth. You might have a high value homepage, but low internal pages, that is to be expected, as a lot of the algorithm is based on links.
One would assume that if you have serious traffic, you should be right at the top of the PageRank scale, as people find your page very useful, and therefore Google must think your page is important.
Until very recently, Google.com has been a PageRank 10. It is the most visited site on the internet, by a long way. From what I understand, the site receives around 1,050,000,000 (1.05 billion) unique visitors a year. Facebook is second, with around 950,000,000 (0.95 billion) unique visitors a year – note not all those people have accounts.
Twitter gets just 220,000,000 visitors a year (0.22 billion). So why is it then that in the recent PageRank update, Google ranked its main homepage (Google.com) 9/10, it ranked Facebook 9/10, but it ranked Twitter 10/10. Twitter is one of around 10 sites on the net with a PageRank 10. Twitter is only the 8th most globally visited site on the web, whereas giants Google and Facebook are clear leaders.
The UN and the The U.S. Government’s Official Web Portal are two of the other few sites with a PageRank 10 on the web. Updates over the last year have seen a lot of PageRank 10’s loose their rankings. Why?
Larry Page and Sergey Brin - the founders of Google.
Is the web getting less ‘important’? What are your thoughts on this? I find it really interesting how Larry Page‘s (co-founder of Google) algorithm, which is used by Google, ranks Google less than top.
How often do you think about your use of water? Serious question, one which some of our readers will undoubtedly say all the time. Those living in areas of almost constant drought will have water as a very pressing issue on their mind, most of the time.
But then there are some of us, who might not really consider it as much. The authorities are in control of it right? If they aren’t, strictly regulated private companies are, so we are good, yeah?
Water is a resource which we all need, and cannot possibly live without. Whenever scientists are looking for life on other planets, one of the first things they try to work out, is was there ever water on this planet, and is there now? Why? As water is a key component to life as we know it.
Sadly, water is a very scarce resource, and according to National Geographic, a mere 0.007% of our planets water is drinkable. That’s right, just 0.007%. The rest is in the oceans, and the majority of the 3% of freshwater left, is locked up in ice, which ultimately melts into the sea.
As I am sure you heard, in October last year, (2011) the earth’s population reached 7 billion, and is still growing. That 0.007% figure is not getting any bigger, but the population is – rapidly. That is why, currently, on the earth:
That’s right, 1 in 5 people living on our planet does not have access to a safe supply of water which they can drink. If the population is 10 billion by 2050, that statistic could increase to 2 in 5, or maybe even 3 in 5.
In the 20th century, the global population tripled, the use of water sextupled – grew by six times. Los Angeles can support around about 1 million people with its water supply. It currently has a population of 4 million – see a problem? Elsewhere in the USA, in less than 5 years, Central Florida could potentially run out of water.
Some places in the world are naturally dry, and frequently suffer drought. Some places are naturally wet, and frequently suffer flooding.
The thing is, most of us probably don’t think we are in drought right? Say you live in the UK, like me, you probably think our water supplies are fine yes? Recently in the news we have been notified most of the UK is in drought, but are we really? Well the answer is yes, and many other areas of the world might be too, you might not realise it, but where you live could be. Check out this drought monitor, to see if your area is. You can toggle the time period on the left hand side, as you may be in long-term drought, but not short-term and vice versa.
Look after it
We all need to learn to look after our water better. We are not getting any more, so we need to be more careful with what we have. Our lives quite literally depend upon it.
My question to you is how much water do you use? According to Thames Water we use around 8 litres every time we flush the toilet. Brushing our teeth with the tap off uses 1 litre, whilst brushing them with the tap on (assuming a 2 minute brush) uses 12 litres. Our dishwashers typically use 20 litres, whilst our washing machines thirst for a giant 45 litres.
Everyone always moans when we go into a hosepipe ban. What is the point? Surely I use just as much water as other activities, so why ban that? Well it doesn’t. One toilet flush is around 8 litres, but one hour of hosepipe use is 540 litres. That’s right, 540!
Lets assume you are washing your car. Say it takes you 20 minutes. With a bucket, you would typically use 10 litres – 2/3 buckets. What about with a hosepipe? Well, you would use 18 times as much water, a staggering 180 litres!
More refugees (25 million) were displaced by contaminated rivers in 2008 than were forced to flee from war zones. I don’t have more recent figures, but I would assume the figure would be much greater. The UN state that around every 15 seconds, as child dies from a water-related disease – poor sanitation, which 1 in 3 people on the planet suffer from.
How can you save it?
Depending upon how much you use, will determine how much water you could potentially save. Here are some great starting points:
Turn the tap off when cleaning your teeth – you could save 11 litres
Fill your kettle to the minimum you need, don’t fill it half full, or to the top if you are only making 1/2 drinks!
Use a bucket to wash your car and save yourself 170 litres
Don’t put your dishwasher or washing machine on until it is full – two washes uses twice as much water
Don’t leave the tap running when washing up or cleaning vegetables
Fix leaks – if you have one dripping tap, it could use a staggering 3,120 litres a year!
Take a water test, to see how efficiently you are using your water
Saving water is very important, and it can save you money.
Please, think about your water usage, as it is something that affects us all.
It’s not often we post on a Sunday. In fact I think this is the first time we ever have. The reason for this post is clearly one of high importance then…
UPDATE: I have since discovered that this is our second post on a Sunday, the first being a warning to potential writers about providing copied content – another (although slightly less) important matter.
Every year (for the past four years) on the 15th of October, there is a global Blog Action Day, where bloggers around the world write about one common problem in the world today, in order to try to raise awareness of a pressing issue.
This year the day have been moved back to the 16th of October (today) as that makes it coincide with World Food Day. Unsurprisingly, this years Blog Action Day theme is on food.
A history of Blog Action Day
The first Blog Action Day was held in 2007. The 2007 theme was the environment. At the time, one of the main global concerns (not that it isn’t even more so now) was regarding the sustainability of our current way of life, and the environmental impact, be it global warming, climate change, ecosystem instability or environmental degradation.
A green coloured globe represents the environment, which is held carefully in someone’s hands – representing how we control the future of our planet
Blog Action Day took off with a bang with around 20,000 blogs taking part, of which, there were around 20 in Technorati’s top 100 blogs – at the time. This proves that from day 1, Blog Action Day had a big influence, giving it a big potential to actually raise awareness and improve things that it petitions for.
2008 saw an equally important matter being raised: poverty. Poverty is a very pressing issue, and is part of the UN’s 8 Millennium Development Goals which it hoped to meet by 2015.
In 2009 the theme changed to climate change. The phrase ‘global warming’ used to be used before we realised that it wasn’t a very good term, as it’s not just warming that is likely to take place.
The world’s climate is so intricate and complex that you couldn’t say that increase in greenhouse gasses via intensive farming of rice, rearing of cows, burning of fossil fuels, cutting down of rainforests etc. would cause global temperatures to rise, as it wouldn’t necessarily do that everywhere, all the time.
Melting ice caps are a symptom linked to climate change
Hence the term climate change was born in order to supersed the term ‘global warming’ in describing the likelihood of an increase in extreme and irregular weather/climate patterns.
In 2010 Blog Action Day moved onto stressing the importance (and scarcity) of water. Currently most people in the developed world use far more water than should really be available to them, if all water supplies were equally divided.
Only 3% of the world’s water is freshwater, of which the majority is ‘locked up’ in the form of ice. This means that less than 0.007% of all the worlds water drinkable and accessible. This matched with an exponentially rising global population is why over 20% of the world’s population don’t have access to safe drinking water, and one in three people around the world have inadequate sanitation.
2011 – Food
Now down to matter in hand – Blog Action Day 2011. As I have already mentioned, today is World Food Day, and Blog Action Day’s focus for this year is food.
World Food Day marks the 1945 foundation of the Food and Agriculture Organization, a UN project aimed at achieving food security for all, as well as making sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality, nutritional food, to lead active healthy lives.
Why should we worry about food?
In the words of Blog Action Day’s website:
“We use food to mark times of celebration and sorrow. Lack of access to food causes devastating famines, whilst too much is causing a generation of new health problems. It can cost the world, or be too cheap for farmers to make a living.
The way we companies produce food and drinks can provide important jobs for communities or be completely destructive to habitats and local food producers. Food can give us energy to get through the day or contain ingredients that gives us allergic reactions.
Food can cooked by highly skilled chefs with inventive flair, or mass produced and delivered with speed at the side of road. It can be incredibly healthy or complete junk and bad for your health. It can taste delicious or be a locals only delicacy.
Food is important to our culture, identity and daily sustenance and the team at Blog Action invite you to join us to talk about food.”
Nobody alive today can live without food for more than a month, and a lack of inadequate amounts/types of food can also kill.
Many people don’t realise it, but the greedy ‘Western’ lifestyle is the main reason for food issues around the world. Developed countries are getting too fat, whilst undeveloped ones are not getting enough food. According to the UN, malnutrition kills a child around the world every 15 seconds. That is heart breaking.
Westerners waste so much food, it is disgusting, even more so because of the fact that there are people who don’t have enough of the right foods (or any food at all for that matter) to eat.
How can you help?
If you want to help on a personal level there are two main things you can do.
Try to source as much of your food as locally as you can. This helps local producers, as well as reduced greenhouse emission and water loss from undeveloped countries who use vast amounts of their scarce water to produce food for us. Some global food purchases can be justified, so try to pay attention to where your food is coming from and what the impact of getting it to you is.
Donate to a crisis. There is currently a famine in Eastern Africa, and charities are there to help, but they need your help, be it through voluntary work or capital donations. I an not listing any charities, as it’s often better to decide yourself which ones to support.
You could also blog about the topic. If you have a blog, I wholeheartedly recommend you help to raise awareness yourself. If you read this a day or two late, don’t worry you missed the date, sill write about it and raise awareness. I missed the day last year, but I still blogged about it.
Blog Action Day suggest some topic areas you might like to discuss, which can be helpful if you are not sure where to start.
Technology Bloggers is supporting Blog Action Day!
If you do decide to write about Blog Action Day, you can register your blog with them, on their official list, so that they know roughly how many blogs took part.