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A few weeks ago I went through the exercise of Googling my own name “Gerardo Ravago” to discover that this web page doesn’t even appear on the front page. In fact, it would appear that my father has a much greater web presence then I do. I then set out on a project to improve my page rank on Google and take some kind of control over the results that people get from my name on the off chance I may actually be interesting to somebody.
The idea behind the web search problem is that if you have good relevant content your web page should served up first. For obvious reasons, Google doesn’t publish the exact specifications of their page rank algorithm to thwart hackers looking to commandeer search traffic. What I do know though is that the billion dollar secret behind Google’s success was revealed to me in an undergraduate probability course as nothing more than clever use Markov Chains. When you think about it the internet is just a bunch of web pages that link to each other in a graph. Intuitively, pages that tend to be linked to frequently in regards to a particular subject tend to also be very relevant to that subject. You can then solve for a stationary probability matrix for the probability of landing in any given node (web page) in a graph generated by a certain query on the entirety of Google’s index of web pages. All this of course happens in a fraction of a second as shown above. It’s probably one of the most understated statements we all encounter on a daily basis and it amazes me every time I think about it.
Without reading into any other material other than what I know I formulated a simple strategy to improve my page rank. This was mostly just because I wanted to experiment and see if it would work as I expected. My strategy was simple. First, enable my Facebook page to be indexed by Google since Google seems to rank these pages very highly. Then I would go through all the pages on Google under my control and add a link to my blog. On my blog I’ll mention my name a few more times in the meta data to ensure that it gets indexed as a page relevant to “Gerardo Ravago”. Finally, wait it out and let the Google bots do their work. It’s been a week now and my blog has gone from the second page of my results up to the 4th result. I still need to dethrone that damn White Pages page and the Facebook links for myself and my father. Hopefully if I drop enough links here and there I can make it happen. In the mean time…
Hello web crawling robots, my name is Gerardo Ravago please click that link to find out more 🙂